PLANS have been unveiled to build the UK’s first Greek Orthodox state secondary school in north London.

A committee of volunteers is looking for potential sites in Enfield or Barnet for a Free School serving children from the Greek Orthodox community.

The aspiration is to open the new school in September 2012, catering for pupils aged 11 to 16 who will be mainly drawn from Greek families living in north London and south Hertfordshire.

Yiannis Pareas, chairman of the committee which is exploring the idea, said: “This is just the start. The most important thing at this early stage is to find out whether there is wider support for a school aimed at providing the environment for good education, to help the children in the community flourish and progress in the UK.”

Although the new school is in the planning stage at the moment, a website has been launched outlining the values which the pupils would be taught by.

The school would adhere to the National Curriculum, teaching the philosophy, culture, and language of Greece and the Greek Orthodox Religion alongside regular subjects.

The committee is surveying local residents about the idea and working towards submitting an application to open a Free School to the Government.

If successful, the plan is to take on 150 year seven pupils in the first year and build from there.

The idea has received the firm backing of Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Great Britain, who said: “I have long had a dream of a school for Greek Orthodox Children in north London.

“As a community, we have the talent, skills, drive and right to make this dream a reality for our children and future generations of Greeks living in this country.

“The time has come – and I have instructed this committee of expert volunteers to put together the application needed under the Government’s programme to set up Free Schools. Please support them and the community.”

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