A Muslim pupil has lost a High Court challenge against a ban on prayer rituals at a school in Wembley.

The pupil, who cannot be named, took legal action against Michaela Community School, claiming the policy was discriminatory and “uniquely” affected her faith due to its ritualised nature.

She argued the school’s stance on prayer unlawfully breached her right to religious freedom and was “the kind of discrimination which makes religious minorities feel alienated from society”.

The school, founded and led by headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh, a former government social mobility tsar, argued its prayer policy was justified after it faced death and bomb threats linked to religious observance on site.

Ms Birbalsingh previously told The Sunday Times she believes the school should "be allowed to be secular".

In a written ruling on Tuesday, Mr Justice Linden dismissed the pupil’s arguments against the prayer rituals ban.

The judge upheld her challenge to a decision to temporarily exclude her from the school.

Lawyers for the pupil told the judge at a hearing in January that she was making a “modest” request to be allowed to pray for around five minutes at lunchtime, on dates when faith rules required it, but not during lessons.

The school’s legal team told the court in London that students seen praying outside contributed to a “concerted campaign” on social media over the free school’s approach to religion, with there also being a since-removed online petition attracting thousands of signatures.

They added that the governors and headteacher at the school of some 700 pupils, about half of whom are Muslim, had “a margin of latitude, discretion or judgment” over its policies.

Some reporting by PA.