24 November 2017

Church of England schools to be ‘sensitive’ over hijab

.... A recent survey by The Sunday Times of 800 primary-school websites found that one fifth, including C of E schools, listed the hijab as part of the uniform (News, 8 September). A campaign group of Muslim women complained in a letter to the same paper that allowing girls as young as five to wear the hijab as part of the school uniform was an “affront” to gender equality.

Ms Speilman had met some of the group two days before the announcement, on Sunday. “While respecting parents’ choice to bring up their children according to their cultural norms, creating an environment where primary-school children are expected to wear the hijab could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls,” she said.

A spokeswoman from Church House responded on Tuesday: “Research shows that there are many reasons why pupils wear the hijab in school. Our approach is to encourage local schools to set uniform policies having due regard to the cultural and religious sensitivities of the communities they serve, in balance with the well-being of their students.” [Church Times] Read more