A scathing attack has been launched on the government after an Islamic trust was given the go-ahead to open a free-school before a public consultation had even started.

A proposal by the Islamic Tauheedul Free School Trust to open the Waltham Forest Leadership Academy for Girls was approved by education secretary Michael Gove in May, despite the public consultation only beginning earlier this month - and the location of the school remaining a secret.

Jonathan White, of campaign group Our Community, Our Schools, said: “Our view is that this should have obviously been done before the Trust sought approval from the Department of Education.

“It’s not at all clear how the Department could have made a judgement about the suitability of the school, the demand for it, or the view of the community before this consultation.”

He said the brief consultation document came nowhere near giving enough information on which to make a judgement on the free school - a school which is funded by the taxpayer but maintains control of its own finances.

He added that he thought the community was very much in the dark about the borough’s four new free schools and the people behind them.

The consultation document was launched on June 10 and will be available to view until July 19.

Visit www.walthamforestlag.co.uk/downloads.html for consultation documents.

Tauheedul Free School Trust has been approached for comment.

Another secondary school, Oasis Community School, was given approval in May as well as DV8 Academy for 16 to 19-year olds and Walthamstow Primary Academy.