Parents have thrown their support behind a Muslim school that closed for three days last week over health and safety issues. This is from the Derby Telegraph…
Al-Madinah School, in Derby, reopened yesterday after issuing a statement that said the problems – which emerged during an Ofsted inspection – had been “fully addressed”…
Despite the issues, parents yesterday gave their backing to the school – which is a free school and so is largely autonomous, answering to Ofsted and the Government.
Amongst them was Rifat Shaheen, who has a five-year-old girl at the school’s primary site, in Friar Gate, and a 12-year-old daughter at the secondary site, in Nelson Street.
Mrs Shaheen said: “Both my daughters are progressing really well at the school. My older daughter went into year seven at the secondary school, having not been pushed hard enough before that.
“This school gave her a number of targets and she’s achieved all of them. The teachers have done their job and my daughter was so happy when she achieved her targets.
“It is a good school but there are a lot of people who do not want it – or other free schools – to succeed.
“The so-called controversy about girls being made to sit at the back is codswallop. In our religion, for this age group it is considered unacceptable for girls to sit next to boys.
“You look at other schools where there are teenage pregnancies – it is about trying to avoid that.
“When I asked why girls were sitting at the back and why they could not instead have girls on one side and boys on the other, the answer was a lack of space. I don’t think it’s that big an issue.
“The only thing that has disappointed me is the lack of information the parents have been given about why the school closed last week. ”
The Derby Telegraph asked Al-Madinah School for the reasons behind its closure again yesterday and was told it would not be commenting beyond confirming it was a “health and safety” issue.
But a dad with two pupils at the primary site also backed the school.
He said: “There was a lobby against the school even before it opened. Some people don’t want it to stay so they start saying negative things about it. It’s not a good thing.
“I’ve got two children here and they are both very happy…
What happens in a situation where parents are happy with a school but the wider society has issues with the approaches it takes? How should such a clash be resolved? Please let us know in the comments or on twitter…