Ofsted: Religious belief being used to ‘actively pervert’ young minds

Sky News reports that some schools are being used by individuals to “indoctrinate impressionable minds” under the guise of religious belief. The head of Ofsted says inspectors are increasingly coming across those who want to “actively pervert” the purpose of education. 

Amanda Spielman will use a speech to a Church of England education conference to warn schools that they should not assume that the “most conservative voices” of a particular faith group speak for everyone.

While insisting that many faith schools are good at promoting tolerance she will say there is a difference between respect for others and “privileging all belief above criticism”.

“Under the pretext of religious belief, they use education institutions, legal and illegal, to narrow young people’s horizons, to isolate and segregate, and in the worst cases to indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology.” 

She will also give her backing to Neena Hall, headteacher of St Stephen’s primary school in east London, who was forced to reverse plans to ban young pupils from wearing the hijab in class.

Ms Spielman will say: “Schools must not allow pressure from certain elements of school communities to dictate school policy, nor should we allow vocal parental minorities to pressure other parents and children to act or dress against their
wishes.

Read more Ofsted: Religious belief being used to ‘actively pervert’ young minds

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