Muslim boys’ school bans women from applying for job as science teacher

The Telegraph is reporting that a Muslim boys’ school in Leicester is facing claims of segregation after advertising for a temporary science teacher but making clear that women need not apply…

The advert published by the outsourcing company Capita requested a “Male Science Teacher” to cover lessons, including some mathematics classes, until the end of the current academic year on a short term contract for up to £150 a day.

Secular campaigners said the advertisement was just the latest in a series of demands for religious customs and practices to be “accommodated” in the education system as a result of giving faith groups the power to run schools…

Capita argued that the exclusion of women could be legally justified but the advert was later withdrawn after a warning from the Department for Education over the need to comply with equality law.

The National Secular Society said it had been alerted to the advertisement by a female science teacher who had been looking for work in the Leicester area…

The advert describes the school simply as an Islamic School for Boys in Leicester without specifying which school.

Capita refused to confirm the name of the school claiming it was to “protect their confidentiality”.

But it follows a similar advertisement placed by the Madani Boys School in Leicester last month for the post of “Male Technician” in the IT department.

Capita insisted that the male-only requirement was legal under the Equality Act, which allows employers an opt-out from sex discrimination rules in specific circumstances.

“These provisions are referred to as occupational requirements and they create exceptions that allow an employer to act in a way that would otherwise be discriminatory,” a spokeswoman said.

“Capita Education Resourcing is committed to equal opportunities both as an employer, and as an agency for the recruitment and placement of educational staff.”

But a spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: “Schools must comply with equality law.

“We asked Leicester City Council to raise this with the school and the advert has now been withdrawn.”

Stephen Evans, campaigns manager at the NSS said: “Being male isn’t a genuine occupational requirement for a science teacher in a state school. Any attempt to try and make it so is unjustifiable.

“The Government’s encouragement of schools run by religious groups will bring with it increasing demands for religious customs and practices to be accommodated within our education system…”

More at: Muslim boys’ school bans women from applying for job as science teacher

Can you see any justification for allowing the recruitment only of a certain sex of science teacher? Are there any circumstances where you would find it acceptable? More generally, if more schools are being run by religious groups, how can the balance between religious beliefs and what is expected in our broader society best be achieved? Please give us your insights in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove this makes me mad, what a step backwards for equality, but mainly 4 faith schs hoping to improve image and gain credibility

  2. nrcantor

    SchoolsImprove If we allow faith schools, we shouldn’t be surprised if they implement things some people don’t like based on that faith.

  3. Janet2

    The school is breaking the law.  “Faith” is no excuse.

    But what are the chances of a woman actually being hired?  All sorts of excuses can be used such as “the best candidate was a man” or “she didn’t have the qualifications needed”.

    Capita is as much to blame for going along with this.

  4. nrcantor

    SchoolsImprove Where are the calls to get rid of all faith based schools, as they are all problematic in one way or another?

  5. jrw006

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove Did you realise that 34% of ALL schools in UK are actually faith schools? Was 36% before Academy movement.

  6. CharlotteSISRA

    edujdw SchoolsImprove no doubt they will simply only appoint a male, even if women apply. Would anyone realistically challenge then?

  7. PrincesBold

    nrcantor Do you think faith schools should be proportionate to actual practicing members? Would need to close a lot of schools!

  8. nrcantor

    PrincesBold I suppose I have 2 objections: 1) Gov shouldn’t subsidize proselytizing 2) state funded schools shdnt be selective.

  9. nrcantor

    PrincesBold The majority of schools are harmed by the actions of a few schools who then get better results and are paraded as successes

  10. nrcantor

    jrw006 SchoolsImprove More than 50% of surveyed Muslim women didn’t want faith schools due to the potential negative impact on women.

  11. Organic_Jane

    SchoolsImprove If this school is funded by the tax payer it must be taken to task. I am so sick of hearing of religion used as an excuse.

  12. LaCatholicState

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove Speak for yourself. Parents love Faith school. Homeschooling online would be my next preference!

  13. HamdonEducation

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove Extraordinary bigoted claim. 180 CofE schls in our diocese take any child regardless of faith, ability or class.

  14. HamdonEducation

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove I think you made the claim. Come to Somerset & find the evidence – a selective Church school – or withdraw.

  15. HamdonEducation

    nrcantor SchoolsImprove I’ll find out. I can say that most CofE schools are either village or town/based & have no selective admissions.

  16. edujdw

    CharlotteSISRA SchoolsImprove and therein is the real issue, how could you prove discrimination? The fact they tried an illegal ad helps

  17. nrcantor

    HamdonEducation SchoolsImprove DfES 2005 UK-wide was: CoEPrimary 11.3 Secondary11.6
    Non-religious 20.1 & 15.4
    Hence claim re selectivity

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