A NEW Sikh primary school is set to open in Southall in 2008.

Built in the grounds of Norwood Hall, Norwood Green, it will cater for 470 boys and girls from age three to 11.

It will give pupils the opportunity to learn about Sikh values, music, art, and Punjabi language, as well as the standard national curriculum.

The voluntary-aided school is being set up by the trustees of the nearby Sikh temple, Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall.

The Government has earmarked funding of £7.1m towards the £8.88m project, with trustees funding the remaining 20 per cent.

Cllr Ian Gibb, deputy leader and cabinet member for children's services, said: "There is clearly demand and overwhelming support for a Sikh school in the Southall area.

"Of the 3,247 responses received during the extensive consultation, only 34, or 1 per cent, were made against the proposal."

The school is expected to open on September 1, 2008, with students of all abilities welcomed.

And 20 per cent of places will be offered to non-Sikh pupils.

Cllr Gibb added: "Generally speaking, faith schools of all kinds have a good record of delivering high education and parents welcome the clear ethos of these schools. The Government and the council recognise this and welcome this new school."

Council approval is subject to the trustees obtaining planning permission and this will involve a separate consultation process later in the year.

There are also plans for a Sikh cultural centre to be established in Norwood Hall, where adult learning parenting classes, adult education, exercise classes and counselling will take place.