TES is reporting that Amanda Spielman has rejected claims that Ofsted is pursuing an “anti-faith” agenda in its inspection of religious schools.
The chief inspector told MPs on the education select committee that Ofsted did not inspect faith schools with greater “intensity”, insisting that inspectors took their duty to be fair and objective “incredibly seriously”.
Mr Halfon said he had received representations from faith bodies suggesting “that Ofsted is now delivering an anti-faith agenda”.
The chairman said concerns included “ongoing comments questioning the wearing of the hijab, the desire to inspect unregistered faith classes, such as Sunday schools, and the proposal that faith schools should be inspected under the new education inspection framework”.
She added that, in the state sector, inspection outcomes for faith schools were significantly better than non-faith schools.
The chief inspector added: “We are in a country and a time where there are significant tensions between people who have a strong interest in different protected characteristics.
Ofsted was criticised last year for pursuing “a secularist agenda” following inspections that resulted in a Jewish state school being placed in special measures.
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