Bradford Council ‘in denial’ over illegal and unregistered schools

The Yorkshire Post is reporting that Sir Michael Wilshaw has criticised Bradford Council for “not getting a grip” on illegal schools at a crisis meeting.

…Naz Shah MP, who attended the meeting, said the council were in “denial” over the city’s school system.

Ms Shah said: “Mr Wilshaw called it naivety. I feel that would be a nice way to put it. I would say that there’s some denial here.”

Mr Wilshaw said in December that standards were so bad in the local education system that he called for an inquiry…

Councillor Green said: “At the meeting with Michael Wilshaw we were asked about whether there were any unregistered and illegal schools in Bradford. Our response was that we are not aware of any.’

“We have agreed with Ofsted and their inspectors is that there were questions about whether we were getting information and intelligence, and acting on that intelligence and I said we are more than happy for their inspectors to come in and look at that.

“We will throw the books open so they can assess the actions that we take, rather than simply making a bold statement about what Bradford is doing.

“Having seen that information and evidence, if they feel there are any shortcomings in our processes we will act on their advice.”…

Around 500 children are home schooled across the city, split 50/50 between the white and Asian population.

He said: “Ofsted are concerned that there is a tendency for groups of parents to get together to jointly educate their children in an establishment or somebody’s house, and that would be an illegal and unregistered school – and we are not aware of that happening and we explained the processes we go through in terms of checking.”

“I am not naive or in denial, I am concerned about it. We need to be clear that Bradford in terms of education and child safeguarding has got real challenges, and we are tackling this issue.”

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “In our annual report we identified Bradford as a city where standards have been low for many years across both primary and secondary schools…

More at Bradford Council ‘in denial’ over city’s illegal and unregistered schools


Fairly strong words here especially from MP Naz Shah – does she make a valid point or is the council right to suggest they are tackling the issues raised?

Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Parents spending £16 on World Book Day - and not on books
Campaigners unhappy with GCSE and A-level English curriculum
Categories: Local authorities and Safeguarding.


  1. Unregulated schools are a problem and difficult to detect.  Answer is to require home-schooled children to be registered – this would allow checks to take place.
    That said, disingenuous of Osted spokesperson to link unregulated schools with results in Bradford schools.

Let us know what you think...