A BID to create an Islamic faith school in Swindon has been rejected.

The Al Habib Islamic Centre has failed to win the contract to run Oakhurst Primary School, which will be managed by Swindon Council instead.

The council’s bid has been judged as stronger by the Schools Adjudicator, which said there was more support for a community school than an Islamic one.

Coun Garry Perkins, Swindon Council’s cabinet member for children's services, said: “It is good that the adjudicator made the decision based on the strength of the council’s bid.

“The school is needed in Oakhurst for Oakhurst children.”

But Shahid Sahu, chairman of the Al Habib Islamic Education and Culture Centre said he would submit another bid for a school for Muslim children in the near future.

He said: “It was a fair competition. I am a bit disappointed but maybe it was not the right time.

“Politically the opposing community missed the main concept of the school so there was a lot of resistance.

“Innovation always faces opposition. We are not giving up, as there is a need for this type of school.”

There are 200 Muslim children in Swindon primary schools but the School Adjudicator was not convinced that they would all go to Al Habib’s proposed school.

On the other hand, Mr Sahu believes the 50 per cent of places which would have been allocated to Muslim pupils would have easily been filled.

Oakhurst parents are relieved at the decision as they have been campaigning for a new school to ease a shortage of places in the area.

Councillor Justin Tomlinson (Con, Abbey Meads) said: “I am exceptionally pleased with the outcome.

“Working with local residents, we flooded the school adjudicator with feedback, which was also expressed at a public meeting.

“We are delighted that common sense has prevailed and this community facility has been secured.”

Dad Richard Kirk, 42, plans to send his two children to the new primary.

He said: “We are over the moon that we have a local school for local children.

“We were concerned that if Swindon Council did not get the bid there would not be enough places for local children.”

North Swindon MP Michael Wills said: "I am delighted for all the parents who have fought so long to get this much-needed school.

"This is the right decision and I had no doubt that given the criteria that the Government has laid down that the School Adjudicator would find this way."

Oakhurst Primary School is due to open in September.