Sexism, poor hygiene and, disturbingly, a CCTV camera in the toilet area at the independent Darul Hadis Latifiah school for boys in Bethnal Green has led to its downgrading by education watchdog Ofsted.
According to the BBC, Ofsted inspectors pupils were not being:
Prepared for life in modern Britain.
In addition to the camera, Inspectors found “grimy” facilities and “inappropriate” literature.
The school, for boys aged 11 to 20, said it was “preparing a formal complaint” in response to the inspection which it branded:
It also claimed said the camera only viewed the “washing area”.
But Ofsted reported the camera was found “in the communal area of the toilets” and displayed images in “plain view” of the reception area.
Changing rooms and showers were labelled “grimy and disgusting” after mouse droppings and sharp metal were found on the floor.
During a two-and-a-half day inspection in October a book was found in the school library that:
Promoted inappropriate views of how girls and women should behave.
School leaders said they were “unaware” of the book’s presence, but claimed the book referred to the belief women should “dress modestly”.
Ofsted concluded that “there are too few opportunities to learn about women in modern society” at the school.
Very few pupils were able to name “the new British Prime Minister or were aware of the first female presidential candidate in the elections taking place in the United States of America” during the inspection.
Respect for women was taught, but was limited “to the roles of motherhood and families” during Islamic studies, the report added.
Some pupils told the inspector that if they asked questions about sex and relationships they would get a detention.
Inspectors concluded the government’s flagship counter-terrorism strategy was not being implemented at the school.
Failing to identify any risks to pupils in line with the government’s “Prevent strategy” left pupils “exposed to being drawn into situations which put them at risk of harm”, Ofsted concluded.
Badrul Islam, secretary to the school’s governing board, said the school did “not accept most of the findings”.
We know our whole mission is to prepare our pupils for life in British society as good British Muslims.
In a statement issued today, the school, set up to benefit pupils “both in this world and in Akhirah (the afterlife)” insists that it does prepare its pupils to be model British citizens, but, in line with other single-sex faith schools discourages social interaction with females.
We are currently preparing a formal complaint to Ofsted about the way the inspection was conducted and judgements were made. While we accept that there were a few failings affecting the judgement on safeguarding leading to an overall ‘inadequate’ judgement, we have good reason to believe that the report is excessively negative and does not give an accurate picture of our students’ attainment and progress. Nor does it give an accurate picture of the overall quality of teaching, and of parents’ views of the school’s performance.
When parents place their children in our single-sex school, they do not expect the school to plan opportunities for their sons to socialise with girls. One of their motives is to safeguard their children from what they see as the dangers of teenage culture in our society dominated by permissiveness. Parents in other faith schools hold the same views and share the opinion that teenagers work best in single-sex schools. We are not aware that Ofsted inspectors have made the same judgement about other single-sex schools.
As for the camera, the school says it has now been removed. It was only put there to watch pupils:
Perform their ritual ablutions (wudu) before prayers.