An Islamic school has come under criticism recently for its segregation policy. The school segregates girls and boys in the classroom, during breaks and in all aspects of school life.
The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) wrote a very critical report about the segregation, following an inspection. They believe that the segregation doesn’t prepare the children for life when they leave school.
OFSTED stated that the segregation was failing the students, despite a recent improvement in their test results.
Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has released a statement on the issue: “I do not believe that segregating children without an educational reason is in their best educational interests”.
Another issue highlighted was poor safeguarding of pupils and the discovery of offensive literature in the school library. The literature reportedly included derogatory comments about violence towards women. An example was a book stating that “a wife is not allowed to refuse sex to her husband”.
The school believe that the report was biased and ignorant to diversity in education. They were also confused as to why the issue hadn’t been brought up at previous inspections. They wanted to prevent report being issued, due to fears of unfair upset to their local community.
At court, the judge didn’t fully agree with either side. He stated that OFSTED were not being biased and had a right to question the school’s leadership. However, he did also state that the segregation was not necessarily discriminatory.
The judge said that he found “no evidence in this case that segregation in a mixed school, still less segregation in an Islamic school, has a greater impact on female pupils”.
The school has not been successful in squashing OFSTED’s report that it needed ‘special measures’. This is due to the main issue being the offensive literature that was allowed to be displayed in the school.
It is assumed that the institution will remain a place that segregates boys and girls, at least for now.