27 April 2016

Religious independent schools ‘actively undermining’ British values, Ofsted chief says

In a letter to education secretary Nicky Morgan, published today, chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said inspectors “continue to find that staff are being segregated because of their gender in Muslim independent schools”.

It follows concerns raised in November by Wilshaw after four in five religious independent schools formerly inspected by the discredited Bridge Schools Inspectorate were rated as inadequate or requires improvement by Ofsted.

The Department for Education (DfE) requested emergency follow-up inspections at three inadeqaute independent faith schools this month.

One school, Rabia Girls’ and Boys’ School in Luton, had made improvements but the leaders’ behaviour were “so concerning” that the school remained inadequate.

Wilshaw said: “At the initial meeting with inspectors, the school insisted on segregating men and women through the use of a dividing screen across the middle of the room.

This meeting was not carried out in a religious setting but in a classroom. HMI also gathered evidence that male and female staff are segregated during whole-school staff training sessions. Male staff sit in one room and the session is simultaneously broadcast to female staff in another part of the school.” [Schools Week] Read more