A secretive Muslim boarding school has been rated good by the government watchdog despite significant apparent failings.
The government’s ‘British Values’ requirement for schools seems again to have failed its intended purpose, as a Muslim faith boarding school which threatened its pupils with expulsion if they mix with outsiders was rated ‘good’ by the school inspectorate. The Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, goes so far to avoid the public eye it doesn’t have a website and refuses to speak to the press.
Despite that, Sky News has seen documents from the school for parents setting out the rules of the school, which lay out a remarkably strict routine that few would recognise as having the ‘British Values’ that most schools are now required to teach. Pupils are threatened with expulsion if they mix with outsiders, are taught to shun the media, and are banned from reading newspapers.
Because the school is run on strict adherence to Sharia law, the pupils are also banned from things that are considered ‘un-Islamic’ by the extremist interpretation of that law, including televisions, radios, and cameras. Pupils are forced to wear Islamic garments and are banned from having mobile phones or devices that can play music.
The government has been expressing concern for over a decade tht the school didn’t offer sex education or trips to its pupils – but still was content to award the secretive Islamic institution a ‘good’ rating.
The contrast to a number of Christian schools who have had their reputations trashed or worse, have been arbitrarily closed by the government in the past year for failing to teach these arbitrary values is remarkable. The Durham Free School was forced to close by the Department for Education in Feburary this year as despite strong academic results and a traditional learning environment after inspectors found the primary-school aged pupils were insufficiently knowledgeable about lesbianism, sex, and Islam.
After a government report on the school which said “Leaders are failing to prepare students for life in modern Britain”, the headmaster retorted “It feels like the school has been made a scapegoat. Durham is primarily white British so knowledge of other cultures is not as prevalent. But I don’t think the children are bigoted”.
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