26 January 2016

Can schools ban the veil?

No-one knows how many adult women in the UK wear the full face covering known as the niqab.

But it is a minority of British Muslim women, many prefer to simply cover their hair with the hijab.

Uniform rules in state-funded schools in England tend to reflect the sensibilities of local communities, as each school determines its own policy.

Many allow the hijab and adapt their uniforms to accommodate concerns about modesty.

Now, Ofsted says head teachers are coming under pressure to relax rules that exclude full face coverings.

It will not say where or how many schools are facing this pressure, but the chief inspector of schools in England is massively raising the stakes.

On Tuesday, Sir Michael Wilshaw said a school could be judged by Ofsted inspectors as inadequate if the wearing of a full face covering was "clearly hindering communication".

It is a line in the sand. [BBC] Read more