Dozens of Islamic schools are still operating despite Ofsted inspectors finding that the schools are “unsafe”, with children being exposed to extremist ideas as well as being unaware of British values, it has emerged. Many more schools have never been inspected at all.
There are currently 105 registered independent Islamic schools in Britain. But two years on from a government promise to crack down on extremism following the Trojan Horse scandal, 30 of those schools have still not been inspected by Ofsted. Eighteen are open despite Ofsted warning that the children are not safe.
Another five schools continue to operate despite inspectors finding that the children were not being protected from extremism and radicalisation – and thousands more are thought to be being educated in illegal schools, the Daily Mail has reported.
Aliyah Saleem, who was educated at Jamia Al Hudaa girls’ school in Nottingham between 2006 and 2011, has revealed in a blog that the curriculum at the school was extremely restricted. Pupils were not taught geography, history, art or music at all. Ms. Saleem claims she was unaware of World Wars I and II until after she left the school.
“We were taught English and science but we were not taught about evolution or sex education. I had to teach myself evolution at 20,” she said, adding: “It is obvious that for too long the Government has stood by and ignored the utterly appalling imposition of conservative religious ideologies on British school children.”
In another school, 99 pupils were found to have gone missing and be “at risk of exploitation”. In a third, children were being given books on stoning people to death.
And in extreme cases, in which the government has actually tried to close down schools, staff continue to operate the institutions while they fight the closure orders in court.
In Darul Uloom Islamic high school in Birmingham inspectors found that pupils were being given leaflets “containing highly concerning and extremist views”, such as “music, dancing and singing are acts of [the] devil and prohibited”. Five years ago a preacher was filmed at the school making racist comments about Hindus and insisting that “disbelievers are the worst creatures”.
Yet despite being officially struck off by the Department of Education (DoE), the school continues to operate.
Meanwhile, Al Burhan grammar school in Birmingham was found to have cameras in the girls’ changing area, leaving the girls feeling “vulnerable and that their dignity as teenage girls is not fully respected”. The school was allowed to keep its “outstanding” rating.
Conservative MP Philip Hollobone called the revelations “a shocking scandal”, adding: “There is no point having Ofsted inquiries and investigations if their findings and recommendations are not implemented as soon as possible.”
An Ofsted spokesman said: “Inspectors report on independent schools and it is the Department for Education’s responsibility to cancel their registration.”
A DoE spokesman said: “Extremism has no place in our society and when we find schools promoting twisted ideologies or discrimination … we will take action, including closing the school or working with the police as necessary.”
The treatment of the schools is in sharp contrast to Durham Free School, which was swiftly closed down by the DoE last year after a child referenced terrorism when asked about Muslims.