Let’s review what we know about the Al Hijrah school, one of Britain’s first Muslim schools to secure state funding.
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Islamic school that tried to gag Ofsted after report criticised it for segregating pupils and having books advocating domestic abuse in the library is FINALLY named.
The Islamic school that tried to suppress its critical Ofsted report can finally be named after a legal challenge by the Daily Mail. Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham was criticised for segregating pupils and keeping books in its library that advocated beating wives.
And still it remained open.
Ofsted criticised Al-Hijrah, which accepts children between ages four and 16, in an inspection in June 2016 for its practice of segregating girls and boys entirely from the age of nine, including separate lessons, breaks and school trips.
The school was rated as “inadequate”, the lowest possible grade, but it challenged the report in a judicial review in the high court in November.
And still it remained open.
An Islamic school whose public funds were allegedly sent to Pakistan has run up debts of almost £3 million, it has emerged. Pupils at the troubled Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham were forced to eat their meals on the floor after the school failed to provide basic facilities, appoint enough teachers or introduce a new national curriculum. It was alleged last year that public funding earmarked for dining tables and chairs was instead sent to Pakistan.
And still it remained open.
And still it remained open.
The Courts in the UK shielded the school – in accordance with sharia law. A High Court judge in London ruled in November last year that Ofsted inspectors were wrong to penalise Al-Hijrah school, in Bordesley Green, on the basis of an “erroneous” view that segregation amounted to unlawful discrimination.
A Muslim child died there. So now there is outrage? The government is taking it over. Why haven’t they closed this haven of hate and incitement to violence?
Controversial Muslim school where child died and books say husbands can beat their wives is taken over by the Government
- The Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham is to be taken over by the State
- An interim board has been appointed to oversee that multiple problems identified in a damning Ofsted report are addressed immediately
- The education watchdog issued a damning report on the school which found bullying, a chaotic playground, weak teaching, pupils who were not ‘sufficiently’ safe and staff who did not know what to do in medical emergencies
By Liz Dunphy For Mailonline, 16 July 2017
A controversial Muslim school which has been monitored since a child died there and books condoning domestic violence and forced sex were found in its library is to be taken over by the state.
The Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham is to become an Academy and the Department of Education confirmed to the MailOnline that an interim board has been appointed to oversee that multiple problems identified in a damning Ofsted report are addressed.
The education watchdog issued a highly critical report earlier this year which listed bullying, weak teaching, a chaotic playground, pupils who were not ‘sufficiently’ safe and staff who did not know what to do in medical emergencies as being serious problems at the school and gave the school the lowest ranking possible.
Waseem Yaqub, the former Chair of the Governers at Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham
Offensive books have also been found in the school library which state that a husband can beat his wife and insist on having sex with her.
The DoE said that the regional schools commissioner for the West Midlands is currently working with Birmingham council and the interim board to secure a new sponsor to run Al-Hijrah from September.
The school became State funded in 2001, it is one of Britain’s first Muslim schools to secure state funding.
But the 750 pupil school has courted controversy in recent months after a child died there and it mounted a legal challenge to a critical Ofsted report.
Mohammad Imaeel Ashraf, 9, collapsed at the school in March and died later in hospital. His death was reportedly linked to an allergic reaction to fish and chips.
An inquest into the death will be held later this summer.
The school, which has both female and male pupils but segregates the sexes for all lessons from the age of 5 to 16 had mounted a legal challenge to an earlier Ofsted report that said that its segregation policy was a breach of the Equality Act.
In the first case of its kind, the state-funded Islamic school challenged its own critical Ofsted report, which found separating the pupils left them ‘unprepared for life in modern Britain’.
It was argued in court that segregating pupils for religious reasons harms girls’ life chances and creates ‘an apartheid’ within schools which makes girls feel they are ‘different’ and inferior.
Ofsted said that Muslim faith schools which separate boys and girls are guilty of sex discrimination.
Appeal court judges have been asked to make a definitive ruling in the case.
If Ofsted wins, faith schools across the country that teach boys and girls separately will be inspected and may have to change their policy.
Amanda Spielman, chief inspector at education watchdog Ofsted told The Times that she found it ‘deeply frustrating’ when legal challenges were ‘used to delay things that in our view urgently need to happen.’
‘It is rare for schools to go to court to challenge a report but sometimes the stakes are high,’ she said.
The school has both female and male pupils but segregates the sexes for all lessons from the age of 5 to 16. It had mounted a legal challenge to an Ofsted report that said that its segregation policy was a breach of the Equality Act which is due to conclude shortly
‘I am deeply concerned about the idea that total segregation of children within a mixed school is acceptable,’ Spielman said.
Ms Spielman, who previously attended an all-girls school, said that she believed the case would set an important legal precedent.
Ofsted has spent more than £66,000 on legal fees in the case and Birmingham city council helped fund Al-Hijrah’s legal costs.
If Ofsted win the case faith schools across the country could be sued by parents if judges decide segregating pupils for religious reasons is illegal, lawyers have claimed.
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