Press Release: Response to recent Ofsted inspections of faith schools
The Association of Muslim Schools reiterates its commitment, as it has done many times in the past, to support and develop institutions where children are encouraged to become well-rounded citizens of Britain who will, in the future, not only contribute to the well-being and betterment of this country but will play a significant role in fostering and promoting a better understanding between different faiths, beliefs, groups and cultures in this country and abroad.
As a national umbrella body for almost 150 schools, we are always striving to accommodate all acceptable views and interpretations of Islam and to ensure all schools and individuals are respected and have the freedom to choose. All AMS member schools must abide by the guidelines set out in our Values Policy.
In the case of one of our member schools where a female governor sat separately to her male colleagues, as stated by the school, it was made clear by the female governor that this was her choice and that this arrangement enabled her to perform her job in a manner that was comfortable to her. The Values Policy addresses this issue in its very first point.
- Promoting Gender Equality. All schools must promote gender equality to ensure that equal opportunities exist for both males and females. AMS UK will not tolerate any form of gender discrimination that contravenes the law in any of its schools. If any such case comes to our attention we will take immediate action.
The Association of Muslim Schools will support its schools in addressing areas of concern. We are confident that these schools will speedily demonstrate their obligation to their pupils and parents to provide an environment that promotes British Values and where they can practice their faith. We will provide assistance where required, to support these institutions to fulfil their obligations.
The Association of Muslim Schools is however saddened to note that these schools did not receive sufficient time to respond to the changed and onerous expectations and requirements for school inspection against Ofsted’s new Common Inspection Framework. It also notes that the new regulatory independent school standard for leadership and management introduced in January, contained no detail as to what was expected and the DfE has yet to publish any guidance for schools on this.[ENDS]