Concerns have been raised about child safety in unregistered schools, after a BBC investigation filmed a teacher appearing to strike a pupil’s head. The BBC filmed a suspected unregistered ultra-orthodox Jewish school in Essex, and photos from two other such schools showed dirty and unhygienic conditions.
Ofsted said it has identified more than 350 suspected unregistered schools, but lacked sufficient powers to close them. The Department for Education said 38 had ceased to operate since 2016.
The BBC investigation also filmed one suspected unregistered ultra-orthodox Jewish school in Westcliff-on-Sea.
The footage of a teacher appearing to strike a boy and manhandle a distressed child showed “huge safeguarding issues”, Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England said.
“When the adult turns round, the child steps back and the adult clearly strikes the child”, she said, observing the footage.
The synagogue, on whose grounds the school is based, said it was not aware of any incidents, but asked for more information.
Photographs from inside two other suspected unregistered schools show shocking conditions, including poor food hygiene, dangerous wiring and dirty rooms in a state of disrepair.
There are concerns over extremist material at some sites. The BBC obtained a copy of a book from an unregistered Islamic school in Birmingham. In one section it openly advocates the murder of homosexuals.
Most of the safeguarding alerts the BBC uncovered related to physical abuse allegations. Some were also sexual.
Watch the video and read the full article Abuse concerns over unregistered schools – Video
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