Segregation at Islamic faith school is 'unlawful sex discrimination'

14 October, 2017, 02:31 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Islamic faith school’s segregation is sex discrimination court rules			
				 
   by Chris Faulder 
  Published

Britain's school inspectors have won the right to challenge an Islamic faith school's policy of segregating boys and girls after three appeal court judges ruled it was unlawful sex discrimination. The decision could have huge ramifications across the country.

However, the High Court upheld the regulator's findings.

The school believes that total separation of the sexes from year five onward is necessary for religious reasons.

Lady Justice Gloster, in a dissenting judgment, found that the evidence before the Court did demonstrate a greater practical harm for girls than for boys and that this evidence, together with matters of which the Court could take judicial notice, established that the segregation was also particularly discriminatory against girls through reinforcing male and female stereotyped roles.

It has complete segregation of boys and girls from nine to 16 for all lessons, breaks, school clubs and trips.

The findings from Ofsted said the children were separated to the point that they used separate corridors.

Ofsted grades schools based on a number of criteria that include the students achievements and the overall teaching standards, but also the environment in which children are educated.

Segregation at Islamic faith school is 'unlawful sex discrimination'

Books in the library advocated husbands beating their wives and forced sex, the report said.

State schools which similarly segregate pupils could now be found in breach of equality laws if they do not alter their policies.

Speaking after the Court of Appeal ruling Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools, said educational institutions should never treat pupils less favourably due to their sex.

"The relevant central government authorities should not pivot in the way they have gone about this without recognising the real difficulties those affected will face as a effect".

"Educational institutions should never treat pupils less favorably due to their sex, or for any other reason", she said.

It is understood that there are around 20 mixed-sex state schools in England which may be operating strict segregation policies, and they are likely to now be given time to make changes to these.

Speaking after the Court of Appeal, Ofsted Head, the policy was "discrimination and is wrong".

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