Ofsted downgrades East End Islamic school where pupils didn't even know Prime Minister's name
PUBLISHED: 11:52 10 January 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 10 January 2017
An independent Islamic school in London's East End which has been downgraded by Ofsted has this-week hit back following its poor inspection which found pupils didn't even know the name of the Prime Minister.
The all-boys Darul Hadis Latifiah in Bethnal Green has been declared “inadequate” by the school watchdog which said its pupils were not prepared for life in modern Britain and many didn’t even know who Theresa May was.
School governors also need to do more to help the government’s ‘Prevent’ counter-terrorism strategy, Ofted’s report says.
The ‘Prevent’ programme was launched by the Home Office last year following the flight of four Muslim teenage girls at Bethnal Green Academy, a mile away, who skipped the country and headed for Syria to join Isis in February, 2015. It was aimed at safeguarding all youngsters from terrorism or joining groups like Isis.
Now Darul Hadis Latifiah Secondary is preparing a formal complaint to Ofsted about the way October’s inspection was carried out at the school in Cornwall Avenue, next to Bethnal Green public library.
“The report is excessively negative,” school secretary Badrul Islam said in a statement. “We accept there were failings on safeguarding leading to an overall ‘inadequate’ judgement, but it doesn’t give an accurate picture of attainment and progress, nor the overall quality of teaching and performance.”
The school insists it is taking measures to protect its youngsters against radicalism.
“We continuously strive to guard against dangers posed by extremism whether mis-interpreting Islam or misguided reactions to world politics and military conflicts,” the statement claims.
“Our students are taught about the fundamental British values and how they are expected to behave as British citizens.
“They mix with students from other schools, although the majority are Bangladeshi or other Asian minorities because this is the population in Tower Hamlets—the school is hardly responsible for this.”
An Ofsted inspector also noted a closed-circuit television camera in the communal area of the toilets. There was no record of how and when the decision was made.
The school insists the camera was not in the toilets, but in the communal washing area used to perform ritual ablutions before prayers “to ensure students do not create too much mess when using water”. The camera was removed when inspectors raised concerns.
The school, which was visited in October after its previous inspection in 2013, is disputing the Ofsted judgement that it hasn’t carried out its duty “with enough diligence to prevent pupils being drawn into situations which put them at risk of harm”.
The governing body is duty bound to re-examine procedures “in response to this disappointing inspection report”—but changes had already been made and the school pledged to “continue to strive for further improvement”.