The Independent is reporting that the principal of a gender-segregated majority-Muslim school in northeast London has hit out at “militant” parents for trying to derail his plans to mix the sexes.
The Crest Academies school was formed by the merger of adjacent two single-sex schools last year, and installed a “wall of segregation” down the middle of the campus to ensure that boys and girls couldn’t interact, even outside the classroom.
The only non-faith, segregated school in Brent, northeast London, it was put under special measures after failing an Ofsted inspection in February 2015 – and new principal Mohsen Ojja says it was an “easy decision” to bring down the wall and integrate the sexes.
He has announced that, starting this September, classes and common areas will be mixed, the school’s name will be changed to a singular Crest Academy, and each child will get a new school blazer for free which reflects the “rebrand”.
But there is a vocal group of parents who are not happy. Some 400 have signed petitions urging the school to keep the segregation in place, and said that was more important to them than improving standards.
“The challenge has been to persuade parents that just because we have a Muslim majority now of over 90 per cent, we don’t have to be a Muslim school,” Mr Ojja told The Independent…
Removing segregation was one of the key recommendations made by Ofsted inspectors in February, and Mr Ojja said he had the support of both students and teachers…
It is interesting that the claim is made that those opposed to the changes have said that keeping segregation is more important than improving standards.
How should a school react in the face of such priorities from parents?
Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) 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