Pupils ‘at risk’ in unregistered religious schools where children are ‘beaten and study religious texts all day’

The Independent reports that thousands of pupils are at risk in unregistered faith schools, according to the new Ofsted boss.

Amanda Spielman has called for new powers to protect children who are forced to study religious writings from the Koran, the Talmud and Torah and the Bible “full time”.

“Since January 2016 my inspectors have visited numerous establishments that they believe should be registered as schools. The fact that such places are able to operate and remain unregistered leaves pupils at risk.”

Inspectors have discovered 286 unregistered schools in England over the past 18 months.  Less than half of them have been inspected, 36 have been issued warnings and the inspectors have not managed to gain access to the rest, The Sunday Times reported.

Up to 6,000 pupils are taught in unregistered centres. Some schools have closed, but none of the places Ofsted recommended for prosecution have come to court.

In one Hasidic Jewish school in Stamford Hill in North London, Talmud Torah Tashbar, former pupils told the newspaper about being hit with a stick for asking questions, having a finger broken or being forced to stuff chalk or soap in their mouths.

Many pupils are registered as home-educated but attend the school during the day.

Read more Pupils ‘at risk’ in unregistered religious schools where children are ‘beaten and study religious texts all day’

What can be done? Is it a lack of inspection resources? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin  

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