Ofsted tight-lipped on Al-Madinah inspection

Government officials are staying tight-lipped over whether an inspection team has visited the controversial Al-Madinah School in Derby. This is from the Derby Telegraph

The school was already being investigated by the Education Funding Agency – from which it gets its public funding as a free school – when the Derby Telegraph revealed exclusively that female staff were being forced to wear a hijab, an Islamic head scarf, and girls were told to sit at the back of classrooms behind boys.

The Department for Education reacted instantly to say that it would send in an inspection team from the Office for Standards in Education earlier than intended, probably by the end of this week.

But an Ofsted spokeswoman said yesterday: “I am not be able to say whether the inspection has been carried out.

“Schools are usually given notice in the afternoon, the day before the inspection and the report is usually published around 25 working days after the date of inspection.”

Staff members have told their teaching unions of their experiences at the school.

The teachers have been asked to sign new contracts, which contain rules regarding dress code and not wearing jewellery.

One teacher, who did not wish to be named, told the Derby Telegraph that she quit her job after repeated pressure to wear a hijab and follow Muslim dress code – of which she claims she was not made aware before she agreed to take the job.

She said this included wearing loose clothing to cover everything but the hands and face and not the business suit she usually wore…

More at:  Ofsted tight-lipped on Al-Madinah inspection

Does anyone have local knowledge about whether the inspection happened? Maybe this is one for Watchsted? Please let us know your thoughts on this situation in the comments or on twitter… 

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