Brand new guidance has been issued to madrassas across the county, as the religious education institutions prepare to re-open next month.

The Lancashire Council of Mosques has set out some practical advice to provide support and help so that mosque schools can re-open their services in a safe manner.

Maulana Rafiq, Chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: "This new guidance on the safe reopening of madrassas has been devised as a collaborative effort between education, Madrasah, public health bodies and the Lancashire Resilience Forum.

“I would highly recommend this guidance to be adopted and implemented by each madrassa.

"This will help ensure students continue to receive their education in a conductive way without disruption and will assist towards developing their personal and spiritual well-being.”

The guidance sets out a 12 point plan that organisations should have in place prior to re-opening.

Chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum BAME cell, Professor Dominic Harrison, said: “I welcome and endorse this practical advice and guidance on the reopening of Madrassas.

"This will help to keep children, staff and communities safe.”

This formal guidance is the first of its kind in the country and it is hoped the principles will be adopted not only in Lancashire, but by madrassas across the whole of the UK.

Abdul Razaq, co-chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum BAME cell said: "As we develop plans and preparations for the safe reopening of services and settings during the next phase, we are ensuring that key public health messages are incorporated into guidance to keep all of our communities safe from the potential risks of a surge in coronavirus infections.”

The BAME COVID-19 health inequalities cell forms part of the Lancashire Resilience Forum.

This group has drawn its membership from public sector professionals, as well as BAME representatives, organisations and umbrella groups from across Lancashire.

Guidance will be issued directly to mosques.

Further information regarding the guidance is available on request.