A controversial survey designed to record potentially extremist attitudes which was handed out to primary school pupils was not aimed at children of a particular religion, Waltham Forest council has said.  

Up to 250 students at Buxton Primary School in Cann Hall Road, Leytonstone, were asked to fill out the questionnaire without the knowledge of the headteacher and senior school management. 

The survey, devised as part of the council's Building Resilience through Integration & Trust (BRIT) programme, asked children whether they agreed that God has a purpose for them and whether they would marry someone who follows a different religion. 

The Islamic Human Rights Commission said the survey was Islamophobic as it targeted at Muslim children and could result in names being placed on government watch lists. 

In a joint statement, cabinet member for children, Cllr Mark Rusling, and cabinet member for community safety, Cllr Liaquat Ali, denied there was a focus was on Muslims, but admitted changes would be made. 

It read: “[The survey] is not targeted at children of any one faith – it’s delivered to whole classes of ten and 11 year olds. 

“Schools have helped shape the project’s content, more than 250 children have completed it so far and there are more schools on the waiting list. 

“Children’s individual comments were never going to be looked at or passed on, and the evaluation process was always going to be anonymous. 

“We know that we need to go back to the drawing board to get the survey and our evaluation right - and we’ll be doing this with parents and schools.” 

Last week, Buxton Primary executive headteacher, Kath Wheeler, said the council handed the survey directly to an inexperienced member of staff, with no senior leadership team consulted on its contents before being filled out by pupils. 

“We apologise for causing distress and worry to students, parents and carers, and others in the community who have raised very real and well-founded concerns in response to this questionnaire”, she said. 

"We will not be taking part in this method of evaluation now or in the future."