The early Gujarati settlers in Leicester (U.K.) found that English was the main
spoken language. The prominent members amongst our Gujarati community felt that
if people continued to speak in English only, we would eventually forget our mother
language and our culture and values. This inspired them to set up Gujarati classes
“India-Ling” was set up to teach Gujarati and Punjabi classes at Charnwood Primary
Schools on Saturdays in Highfields area. However, most of our Gujarati community
lived in the Belgrave area and meant travelling long distances by bus, as very few
people owned a car in those days. After consultation with the parents, it was decided
that we needed to continue with the Gujarati school in our local area.
In 1964, the Indian Education Society (IES) was formally established as a charity
organisation, the first of its kind to be set up in U.K. offering Gujarati classes.
On 31st May 1977, we called another AGM and decided to give 6 committee members lifetime membership to the society: Lalloobhai Patel, Dhanjibhai Atwala, Ranchodbhai Mistry, Jeevanbhai Mistry, Naginbhai Chauhan, Rameshbhai Ramji.
The Indian Education Society celebrated its silver jubilee at the prestigious venue of
De Montfort Hall, Leicester. Since then, IES has organised an annual cultural
evening to celebrate our student’s hard work at the Gujarati Schools and award
trophies to the successful students on gaining their GCSE.
The Indian Education Society Leicester celebrated its golden jubilee at Shri Ram
Mandir. All past and present staff were invited to a get together to celebrate with a
cultural programme of events.
The Gujarati school was operating at two venues, Rushey Mead and Abbey Primary
school. Rushey Mead became an Academy and decided to increase the rental for
the hire of classes. It was unsustainable to maintain operating at two venues, and
reluctantly we had to transfer all teaching to the one school at Abbey Primary.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all schools were closed and meant we could no
longer continue with our evening classes. The teaching staff and the committee
members worked together to sustain the Gujarati classes by facilitating teaching via
Zoom. IES was the only Gujarati school to have continued with Gujarati classes
during the pandemic period. A remarkable achievement and a true testament to the
dedication and hard work of our teaching staff.