News / 17 March, 2014

Hackney Central Police Station sold to free school trust for £7.6 million

Muslim Olive School ‘honoured’ to acquire building hit with closure as part of controversial cost-cutting

The building formerly known as Hackney Central Police Station

Free school site: The building formerly known as Hackney Central Police Station

A free school is set to move into the former Hackney Central Police Station after the site was sold for £7.6 million.

The Olive School, which is currently based in temporary accommodation in Stoke Newington, will move into the Grade II listed building once it has been converted.

The primary school opened in September and aims to provide a “progressive, Muslim” education.

No timeline has yet been fixed for its move to the police station, which closed last summer as part of cost-cutting measures.

The Lower Clapton Road site was put on the market shortly after the police station closed, with promotional material emphasising its potential for residential redevelopment.

Following an open bidding process, however, the site has been bought for use by the school, with the Education Funding Agency – the government body responsible for finding sites for free schools – paying for the site.

Julie Bradley, Executive Head at the Olive School and Director of Primary Education for the Tauheedul Free Schools Trust, which runs the school, said she was “honoured” to have acquired the site.

“It’s a historic building, treasured by the local community…We feel incredibly honoured that we’re able to take over that history,” she added.

Ms Bradley said the building was blessed with large amounts of outdoor space, unlike the sites other London schools were forced to use.

As well as the main four storey building, the site consists of a house on St John’s Church Road and what used to be the car park for the police station.

Only the main building is Grade II listed, but the site also sits within Clapton Square Conservation Area.

The site was sold without planning permission, meaning the school will need approval before conversion work can be carried out.

The police station closed in July last year in order to reduce costs. It was one of 63 front counters across London hit with closure and among 29 police stations put up for sale by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

The school currently has 180 children on its books across two year groups but will grow to its capacity of 630 pupils as additional forms of entry are added each year.

Ms Bradley said she hoped to be able to keep the characteristic blue lamp outside the former police station.

She confirmed there were no plans to retain the cells for use in school discipline.

/ 17 March, 2014
  • Sam DaMan

    Well, that place will become a primary school.
    That would be cool, that place looks a bit like a school already.
    Only concern is, is the police station’s car park big enough for a playground?
    Disability access is another thing to remember. The building looks like it has 4 floors. How accessable will the classrooms be?

  • Umm Salamah

    One prays that the school works sincerely a d commitedly in fulfilng it’s aims and objectives it sets out to achieve remembering that each and every pupil under their wing is a ‘trust’, a bud waiting to blossom. They all learns in their own ways and thus eduction needs to be tailored to suit them per se, inshaAllaah. Allaah grant Barakah in their endeavours Ameen.

  • dan

    How is this going to benefit people of different faiths, It wont benefit the local community, We need housing ,jobs, This site was sold for £7.6 million, and has been bought by the Education Funding Agency (my money your money) and it is to be used as a primary school that aims to provide a “progressive, Muslim” education. What about just education if we need schools why dont we have schools where faith doesnt come in to it , Put us all together so we can learn together We dont need state-funded religious schools, that will make us grow apart ever more,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • snoman

    Faith schools

    just what we need to create a harmonious society NOT

    Secular state schooling for all

  • local

    Abolish all faith schools. Hackney needs more schools, but for all, not exclusive to one belief system. I recently visited Urswick secondary, just seemed a little strange to have a crucified man staring down at you in an educational establishment.

  • Jay

    From the website for the company that runs this school: “TFST schools embrace the Big Society”. ‘Big Society’ being a phrase wholly associated with David Cameron’s party political pronouncements. Is there a way to block this ideological blight: Faith School, Free School, Party politically aligned school. It just doesn’t fit or belong in the diverse mix of Hackney.

  • Mass

    With more and more housing developments springing up in the area, ie, Pembury Circus, there will inevitably be a need for more primary school places. If this site is to be a school then it should be for everyone. 650 places for Muslims only, what sense does this make? Faith schools are divisive and deliver a one dimensional education. Not good for Hackney…
    Also, could ‘progressive Muslim’ be defined please, in my opinion a progressive Muslim would choose integration.

  • Mike

    The inevitable consequence of this will be the ethnic/religious compartmentalisation of Clapton primary school children. Rushmore Primary for example will probably lose a significant proportion of its large Muslim contingent to Olive and become majority white – an unbalanced representation of the local community’s kids. This new exclusive school must be opposed.


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