A PRIMARY school teacher went on a month-long fact-finding trip to Pakistan in a bid to improve relations with his pupils' parents.

Majid Ditta has returned from the education mission, completed in his own time during the summer holidays, and written a report for colleagues at Wensley Fold Primary, Blackburn.

And he defended his decision to spend time learning about education in a country where almost 60 per cent of the population is illiterate. Two grants, one of £350 from Blackburn with Darwen Council and another for £1,600 from the Department of Education and Skills (DES) paid for the trip.

The year eight teacher said his report, entitled Education in Pakistan, will be used by teachers at Wensley Fold, which has a high percentage of Asian pupils.

Mr Ditta, 28, of Blackburn, said: "It will be used as a resource and the information I have collected will be shared.

"At Wensley Fold we have a high percentage of families from the Indian sub-continent.

"In a lot of cases one parent has had a British education and, particularly with Pakistani marriages, wives and husbands are brought over here, but the other parent hasn't. I will be able to use what I learned over there here in Blackburn. The report is to make other teachers sensitive to the different types of education some of our parents have had.

"Some of the parents who have children at Wensley Fold have never seen a school, or one with the resources we have, so understanding their position will help to foster a better understanding between parents and teachers."

Mr Ditta, who is still in his first year in school, applied for a personal development grant from the DES to take him from Manchester to Islamabad.

A DES spokesman said: "It is up to the individual teacher to decide what they spend their bursaries on, providing the chosen activity relates to workplace development."