A private primary is bidding to become the country's first state-funded autonomous Muslim school.

Our sister newspaper The Herald reports that Al-Qalam school in Glasgow has submitted a proposal to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to expand into secondary education with the help of public funding.

Under the plans the 60-pupil school would be funded by the state, but run by an independent board of governors outside council control.

It would be non-selective, seek to serve the whole community including other faiths and would strive to become a beacon school for the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), with particular specialisms in artificial intelligence and Islamic education.

The school is the second in recent weeks to contact the Scottish Government with a proposal to set up a state-funded facility outside council control.

Ms Sturgeon is already considering proposals from families in East Dunbartonshire to take over the running of the Catholic St Joseph's Primary in Milngavie, which is being shut by the council.

Although state-funded schools run by independent trusts are common in England, there is no similar provision in Scotland, although a handful of grant-maintained schools do exist, including Jordanhill, in Glasgow's west end.

However, the Scottish Government already funds Catholic schools across the country as well as the Calderwood Lodge Jewish School in Newlands, Glasgow, which is run by East Renfrewshire Council.

The Al-Qalam business plan states: "The existing school provides a solid foundation from which to build an autonomous school which will deliver excellence in education, through innovation, to the Muslim and wider non-Muslim community.

"The state-funded autonomous school will offer a practical demonstration of the benefits of such a model in terms of higher levels of attainment and also cost effective delivery, compared to the prevailing state system."

Shoeb Sarguroh, the school's director and curriculum leader, added: "We have had a satisfactory inspection, we have developed further and now we are ready to take the next step to move to a secondary school by 2017, expand the facilities and build upon the innovations we have introduced to the Scottish curriculum.

"There is a demand in this community for an all-through innovative school. Parents are keen to have a secondary school, which we may not be able to offer while keeping a low-cost fee structure.

"I believe that securing state support would enhance the facilities offered by the school allowing us to deliver up to secondary education and the Scottish administration should look at this proposal seriously."

Mr Sarguroh was backed by parent Humaira Choudhry, who has two daughters at the school, who said: "The children appreciate how to behave here and they learn the important values of life.

"It would be very good if it was possible for the school to extend into secondary and it would be very good to get state funding because the school is now a well-established part of the community."

The business case for the school has been prepared with the help of Bill Nicol, a director of the charitable trust the Hometown Foundation, which has also worked on the St Joseph's proposal.

He said parents across Scotland should be given the right to set up community schools outside council control.

"The Hometown Foundation has a strong interest in education and we are interested in looking at new models that could improve attainment," he said.

"We believe an autonomous model that clearly places responsibilities and accountability with the headteacher, but which also includes significant parental engagement and involvement can push up attainment levels while delivering education at a much lower cost."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said officials had received the submission from the group and would respond in due course.

She added: "Our approach to raising standards must be based on what works and we are always open to new ideas for improving our education system.

"Ultimately, any decision on this, or any other proposal, would be based on the needs of Scotland’s education system as a whole."

Moves to allow more schools to run as autonomous state-funded institutions would be highly controversial because previous attempts have been seen as politically-motivated and intent on undermining the power of local authorities.

There is also instinctive opposition amongst trade unions in Scotland to reforms south of the Border which have led to the setting up of autonomous, state-funded free schools and academies.