UK Muslim schools segregate male, female staff; watchdog writes to education ministry

UK Muslim schools segregate male, female staff

London: The UK’s schools watchdog has written to the education ministry for gender-based segregation at some independent Islamic faith schools.

According to reports, teachers and other staff at some independent Islamic faith schools in the UK are facing gender-based segregation.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, reportedly said his inspectors found one independent religious school using dividing screens across the room to segregate men and women.

In his letter to UK education secretary Nicky Morgan sent on Wednesday, Wilshaw wrote, “I am writing again to report that Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) continue to find that staff are being segregated because of their gender in Muslim independent schools.”

It adds that officials who inspected Rabia Girls’ and Boys’ School in Luton, east England, expressed their concern after the school insisted on “segregating men and women through the use of a dividing screen across the middle of the room” at the initial meeting.

“This meeting was not carried out in a religious setting but in a classroom. HMI also gathered evidence that male and female staff are segregated during whole school staff training sessions.”

The letter further adds, “male staff sit in one room and the session is simultaneously broadcast to female staff in another part of the school.”

The inspection was carried out earlier this month following the Department for Education’s (DfE) request for Ofsted to carry out an emergency follow-up inspection of the school already assessed as “inadequate”.

Ofsted was so concerned about the behaviour in the school that they told the owner that the “school would remain in the inadequate category despite improvements being made elsewhere”.

The private school was set up in 1996 to provide an Islamic education for young Muslims in Luton.

(With Agency Inputs)


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