Derby Muslim free school Al-Madinah closes after inspection

A Muslim free school accused of imposing strict Islamic practices, such as segregated classrooms, has closed following an inspection by Ofsted. This is from the BBC

The BBC understands Ofsted’s findings were so damning that the acting head of Al-Madinah, in Derby, had little choice but to shut it down immediately.

The school said the move was due to a “health and safety issue” but expected it to reopen in the “very near future”.

Ofsted said it could not disclose its concerns until the inspection ended.

It added it had “made some findings and shared them with the principal”. The second day of the inspection is taking place later.

In a statement on the school’s website titled “short term closure”, interim principal Stuart Wilson said: “Owing to a health and safety issue, I have taken the decision to close the school… until I am confident that all children are safe on site.

“As parents, you will be informed directly, and on the website, when you are able to send your children back to school…

“Assuring you that we have your children’s best interests at heart.”

In a series of newspaper reports unnamed former staff members of Al-Madinah, which opened as a free school in September last year, had alleged that girls were forced to sit at the back of the classroom.

Unnamed female staff members have also claimed they were forced to conform to a strict dress code including wearing a head scarf or hijab – whether or not they were Muslim.

When it opened Al-Madinah claimed to be the first Muslim ethos, all-through [reception, primary and secondary] free school in the country.

The school’s first head teacher, Andrew Cutts-Mckay, left the school after less than a year in the job.

Last week, the interim principal told the BBC that he had not received any complaints from colleagues regarding the dress code and that pupils were not being segregated, with girls and boys being treated equally.

Ofsted is not the only organisation with concerns about Al-Madinah.

The Education Funding Agency – from which the school gets its public funding – is investigating alleged financial irregularities.

In a statement, the Department for Education said it was already investigating the school before the allegations became public…

More at:  Derby Muslim free school Al-Madinah closes after inspection

How unusual is it for a school to be closed immediately by Ofsted? Presumably it is be a  temporary situation until certain changes have been made but what would normally happen to the students in these circumstances? Please share your thoughts in the comments or on twitter… 

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Categories: Free Schools.

Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Negative articles about free schools mounting up. Some must be fine but maybe DfE should do more hwk before awarding status

  2. BramRaider

    SchoolsImprove Like Father Ted tells Jack, say, “That would be an ecumenical matter.”
    Only parts of the story are so far known.

  3. sqwky

    It is VERY disturbing to hear reports of taxpayer’s money (including mine) may be being used by a school to teach children that boys are superior to girls and that women are somehow 2nd class compared to men. That’s the last thing I want to have my taxes spent on.  Oh.. and just for the record, I am a man.

  4. rdgresident

    meolscop1978 SchoolsImprove and I expect the LA have fewer staff to deal with this mess after the academies were created

  5. BramRaider

    SchoolsImprove We need to be very careful commenting until we have more facts about the circumstances of the closure.

  6. BramRaider

    SchoolsImprove Saying that, a parent stated that claims regarding the segregation and inferior treatment of girls was untrue (Radio4 today)

  7. BramRaider

    SchoolsImprove At the same time, I’m very concerned with public money being used for what amounts to indoctrination into religious beliefs.

  8. BramRaider

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Gove’s policy on Free Schools amounts to using public money to indoctrinate youngsters in radical religions,

  9. andylutwyche

    BramRaider SchoolsImprove Not sure that was his initial idea but does seem to be happening in some cases as DfE throw money out randomly

  10. BramRaider

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I’m quite certain it wasn’t. But as often happens, his ideas were not fully thought through.

  11. rdgresident

    SchoolsImprove problem is it was not closed because it was divisive so may open with little changed. Public money should not be so used

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