Ofsted has come under fire by Government committee for trying to protect girls rights.

For Britain supports the actions and reports carried out by Ofsted with regards to the line of investigation taken with “all” schools, regardless of faith or those of a secular nature. Ofsted is committed to protecting children and ensuring they receive a balanced education in line with the modern values of Great Britain today.

We can empathise with those at Ofsted who feel like they are being attacked for highlighting wrong doing by certain communities. It is something we are accused of often. But highlighting abhorrent practices is never wrong and we will continue to call out those who reject values of decent British citizens.

Equalities Select Committee

Committee chairman Robert Halfon and Labour MP Ian Mearns raised concerns from Islamic pressure groups “that Ofsted is now delivering an anti-faith agenda”. The chairman also raised the issue of ‘questioning the wearing of the hijab’, and proposals that faith schools be inspected under the latest Education Inspection Framework. Also the inspection of unregistered faith classes and Sunday schools“.

For Britain is disappointed that the Government Equalities Select Committee embarked on this line of questioning. There is clear evidence from Ofsted that certain faith schools refuse to change their policies.

The Chairman also told MPs that Ofsted had been accused of “the repeated calling out of faith schools who have not met the standards, while at the same time apparently turning a blind eye to a quarter of state schools which are allegedly failing to deliver religious education, as required by law”.

Defection tactics

Again we see the usual tactics of trying to deflect criminal wrong doing by suggesting others also act inappropriately. It is good to see that Ofsted made it clear they treat all schools equally and are not focused on faith schools. The report viewing tools on the Ofsted website clearly show the same standards are used across all schools.

When Mr Tryl of Ofstead addressed the Equalities Select Committee, he stated that Ofsted inspectors are trying to stop discrimination. However inspectors feel “isolated” because ministers won’t support Ofsted’s findings.

Mr Tryl explained that his inspectors are going out and having to make some quite difficult judgements. Judgements that would potentially clash with religious freedoms.

He stated that Al-Hijrah school was imposing a “very strict gender segregation”. Which included “denying the female students to have their lunch until after the boys have had theirs”, along with “very discriminatory texts encouraging violence against women“.

The school has previously been criticised over its extreme policies of censoring textbooks that showed pictures of women’s knees. The policy mandates references to homosexuality to be blacked out and a photo of Hollywood actors be covered up.

The Equalities Act, does it mean anything?

For Britain stands beside Ofsted in welcoming the Court of Appeal’s ruling that gender segregation throughout the school was in breech of the Equalities Act 2010. The school has still not removed its segregation policy since the case ending in 2017.

Al-Hijra School Birmingham

Whilst Ofsted inspectors can shine a spotlight on these issues of segregation in their reviews, enforcement action falls to officers at the Department of Education. Which is clearly not happening. For Britain questions if the Equalities Act has any meaning when the Government chooses to ignore it when dealing with certain communities.

Mr Tryl informed MPs: “The Court of Appeal rightly said that schools needed a transition period where they were segregating and yet still we have not just Al-Hijrah but we have countless other schools, mixed schools which are segregating on the basis of sex.”

Mr Tryl went on to explain that many other Muslim schools were refusing to teach about sexual orientation issues.  That these findings had been recorded in reports that were sent to the Government. He explains that it is his inspectors that go out and highlight these issues for which they take a lot of unfair criticism over and then see no enforcement action take place after all their hard work.

For Britain supports all rights in line with British values

For Britain has made it clear that intolerant views must never be indulged. We support the right for ALL religious groups to teach their faith to children in their community. However we will not tolerate abhorrent teachings that go against the values we in Great Britain hold dear.

As stated in our Manifesto, For Britain will protect the rights of faith schools to teach their faith so long as criminal values are not taught. Ofsted has highlighted shocking findings in it’s reports. The current Government is choosing to not only ignore these finding but berate Ofsted for highlighting them. This needs to change and clearly the Labour and Conservative Parties are not the right choice to do this.