A parent’s perspective: ‘Our hearts were always set on Al-Ashraf’

Posted on: 28 Mar 2024

Shahin is a pharmacist and mother to three young children, two of which attend Al-Ashraf Primary School. Shahin works to supplement her household income, and she shares the cost of school fees with her husband.

We considered a few different schools for our children, but our hearts were always set on Al-Ashraf. The school covers the usual curriculum, but it also allocates one hour a day for faith-based education, including prayers. The teachers are brilliant, and our kids have the best of both worlds; they go to a school which aligns with our Muslim values at home, and we don’t feel like they’re falling back in secular education – if anything, they’re ahead. It really feels like one big family, a home away from home, and it’s right on our doorstep.

Our children really thrive at Al-Ashraf; they’re happy, confident, and they’ve got loads of friends. They mix with lots of other children and take part in extra-curricular activities, including football and swimming. They never say they don’t want to go – they’re very proud of their school.

We sacrifice things like holidays in order to send our children to the school. Like a lot of families at Al-Ashraf, we aren’t materialistic. In line with our values, we see faith-based education as an investment; for us as parents, our children, and those around them.

While the fees have increased, it hasn’t been drastic - the school has worked hard to remain affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. If VAT was added to the fees, we would have to have a look at our finances, but we would try our best to keep them at their current school. We don’t want to disrupt their education, and we wouldn’t know where else to send them – if anything, we would consider home-schooling them. My parents love the school and want to make sure they stay there. They would be quite happy to contribute to the fees if needed, but I have lots of nieces and nephews and I don’t think it would be fair if they didn’t have the same support.

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