Monday, March 05, 2007

Britain: More than half of private Muslim schools have not been inspected for five years, while some have not received a full inspection for a decade

Julie Henry:

An analysis of the 114 independent Islamic schools in England registered with the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has found that Ofsted reports are available for only 53. Most of these involve recent visits, but two reports are for the 1997-98 academic year.

Most of the other 61 schools, and their 6,000 pupils, were inspected five or more years ago but, because of a gap in the law, their reports have never been made public. The law has now been changed, but is not retrospective.

Seventeen schools have no listing on the website of Ofsted - the official inspection body - making it impossible to establish whether they have ever been visited.

News of the apparent gaps in monitoring comes as questions are being raised about whether some Muslim schools are adequately preparing children for life in Britain. The Government recently closed an Islamic school in East Sussex, which was raided by police as part of an anti-terror operation, because it did not meet registration standards.

Last month, King Fahad Academy, a west London school funded by the Saudi government, was condemned for using text books that described Jews as "pigs".

Muslim parents are increasingly choosing the private sector because they feel the state sector does not cater for their children.

Last month, the Muslim Council of Britain accused state schools of failing to respect Muslim wishes and called on headmasters to open prayer rooms, introduce single changing cubicles, overhaul sex education and reschedule exams outside Ramadan.

'We are independent - we can choose what we wish to teach'

They’ll Never Stop Saying … Sharia


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