The Daily Mail is reporting that dozens of Islamic schools continue to operate despite inspectors finding that pupils are unsafe, exposed to extreme views or unaware of basic British values.
Five Islamic schools have been allowed to stay open after inspections found they were failing to protect children from extremism or radicalisation. Some 18 are still open despite Ofsted warning that pupils are ‘unsafe’ there.
Even in the most extreme cases – where the Government has tried to shut a school – staff have been able to use legal challenges to keep it open. At least two failing Islamic schools are continuing to teach children while staff try to drag Ofsted through the courts over their damning reports.
But there are understood to be thousands more children educated in unregistered illegal faith schools across the UK. In what MPs described as a ‘shocking scandal’, we can reveal that:
- At least nine Islamic schools have stayed open despite having ‘limited or no’ music teaching, and 16 do not teach art properly;
- Male and female staff were separated by a screen during meetings at one Islamic school;
- Another school was found to be teaching children in buildings infested with pigeons, mice and rats;
- Several treat boys and girls ‘unequally’ and allow sexist views to go unchallenged;
- Pupils at one Islamic school said they did not know what Christmas was;
- Several schools have been repeatedly rated inadequate with serious failings, but have been allowed to stay open.
Then education secretary Michael Gove vowed schools would be shut down if found not to be protecting pupils from the threat of extremism.
Tory MP Philip Hollobone last night said the Mail’s revelations were ‘a shocking scandal’, adding: ‘There is no point having Ofsted inquiries and investigations if their findings and recommendations are not implemented as soon as possible.”
A DfE spokesman said: ‘Extremism has no place in our society and when we find schools promoting twisted ideologies or discrimination … we will take action, including closing the school or working with the police as necessary.’
Why do you think these schools are still open? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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