Disfunctional Muslim school leads to growing tensions in Government over education policy

CONSERVATIVE Education Minister Elizabeth Truss has rejected Liberal Democrat calls for tighter controls on the burgeoning number free schools in England, many of them set up by faith groups.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the schools should employ only qualified teachers and adhere to the national curriculum so that parents could be sure their children were receiving a high standard of education.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Clegg became involved a row over free schools at the weekend just after it was revealed that more than 60 parents had asked Derby City Council about moving their children out of the Muslim Al-Madinah free school prior to the publication of a damning Ofsted report about the school which said that it was failing in all areas and was “dysfunctional”.

Enquiries were made by 67 parents, with 33 making formal applications to put their children elsewhere.

The school said it accepted the findings and would use them to move on.

Last Thursday, Dr Stuart Wilson, the acting head teacher, said there were serious problems at the school and accepted some of the lessons were not meeting necessary standards.

The Ofsted report said teachers at Al-Madinah were inexperienced and had not been provided with proper training and that the school required special measures.

The Ofsted inspection had been due to take place by the end of the year but was prioritised following initial allegations that female teachers were obliged to wear hijabs and boys and girls were segregated.

David Cameron told BBC Radio Derby last Thursday that the Al-Madinah situation should not be used as a stick with which to beat the whole free school movement.

This was followed by Truss’s attack on some Lib Dems who did not back free schools. She said the “whole point” of the schools:

Is they have these freedoms… that’s what’s helping them outperform maintained schools. You shouldn’t kill off the goose that’s laid the golden egg.

Truss noted that independent schools “operate well” without being made to hire qualified teachers and have done so “for hundreds of years”.

The Minister for Faith and Communities Baroness Warsi has also launched a robust defence of faith and free schools.

Asked if the Al-Madinah situation disappointed her she said:

You will always have occasions, whether they are in the private sector, whether in the state sector, or whether they are a free school, where some schools will not be up to the standard we would like them to be.

The Baroness, who was the first Muslim woman to serve as a minister in the UK, spoke during her visit to the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby yesterday.

Up to 412 pupils, aged four to 16, could find themselves without school places if Schools Minister Lord Nash decides that Al-Madinah, which opened in September 2012, should lose its public funding, which he has threatened if improvements are not made.

Al-Madinah’s governing body is answerable only to the Government and Ofsted, with funding coming directly from the Department for Education.

The baroness insisted:

What free schools do, and we’ve seen this up and down the country, in some of the most deprived communities, is they have been an opportunity for an excellent education which is aspirational and pushes children to want more for themselves.

In May, the Department for Education announced the approval of 102 new free schools due to open from September 2014. This includes 25 new religious schools, as well as one Steiner school. The British Humanist Association (BHA) expressed regret at the continuing increase in the number of  “faith” schools.

The 25 new schools include 15 schools formally designated with a religious character and ten schools with a “faith ethos”.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn (Warsi report)


30 Responses to “Disfunctional Muslim school leads to growing tensions in Government over education policy”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Greenman and Robin should be all in favour of “free schools”:

    (I looked up the meaning of the name Wunderlich and it means “odd”!)

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  3. The Woggler says:

    If schools like Muslim Al-Madinah are churning out good, mindless, ill-educated, superstitious reliobots, surely that’s a sign of success. Isn’t that what faith schools are for?

  4. Broga says:

    Al-Madinah has no hope of meeting standards acceptable to educated parents. It is trapped in a mire of superstition that will clog and drag down every attempt to raise educational standards. They don’t want educated pupils who can analyse, think and be objective. They want religious zombies indoctrinated into magic and mythology so that they regard that as fact. The extraordinary aspect of this debacle is that this cess pit of so called education is state funded.

    Some time ago I heard a Muslim parent saying she was happy with the school as she wanted her son raised as a muslim. Parents who want their children educated are clearly unhappy. Warsi is not to be taken seriously. You can safely ignore her meanderings and that will be to your advantage. She is Dave’s token Muslim woman.

  5. 1859 says:

    ‘Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the schools should employ only qualified teachers and adhere to the national curriculum so that parents could be sure their children were receiving a high standard of education.’

    Isn’t this what schools are supposed to do anyway, or did I miss the real (hidden) purpose behind ‘free’ schools?

    It seems the word ‘free’ is quite blinding. These schools are ‘free’ to teach whatever faith they want? They are ‘free’ to introduce whatever ‘bias’ they want? They are ‘free’ to surreptitiously push any ‘ethos’ they want? When the UK is covered with a multitude of different ‘ethos’ schools, let’s hope there will still be space for secular thinking?

    How about setting up a ‘free’ school for secular parents and their kids?

  6. Dess says:

    Free schools are about as divisive as it gets. Religious money will pour in. Society will become more divided with children not knowing or experiencing the “other” throughout these most formative years. After all the education we gleaned from Northern Ireland we are about to totally segregate here. Ah, the future bodes well eh!?

  7. JohnMWhite says:

    *Dysfunctional. Sorry to be a pedant but with a story about education, well, you can see that it’s worth pointing out.

    @Dess – indeed, that’s a big concern. The lessons of Northern Ireland and Central Scotland simply haven’t been heeded. All Cameron and co can see is that their posh education never did them any harm, the odd buggering notwithstanding. To them, to be part of this selective and exclusive form of education is aspirational and empowering, because their parents were rich and ambitious and would send their kids to places that would make them rich and ambitious too. In reality, these free and faith schools are largely just places for parents to select the environment that will teach their kids to hate the right people, whether it be Catholics or Protestants, homosexuals or apostates, Jews or Muslims.

    I went to a faith school because my parents firmly believed a non-Catholic education would be a bad thing. The black eyes and the bruised ribs and the biological lies we were told meant nothing when the alternative was losing one’s soul. Men had fought and died for the right of Catholic parents to make sure their kids never had to mix with Proddies, and no Catholic parent wanted to throw that right away. It’d be a tremendous sin. These free schools simply play to the mentality of conservatives that their children are their property, and the children are the ones who owe the parents loyalty. The children are meant to become what the parents plan for them, believe the things the parents want them to believe, and never is their agency or well-being anywhere near as important as idolising their parents and their parents’ gods. Another generation is going to grow up short-changed because of the bigotry and ego of their parents, and I doubt they’ll ever forgive them.

  8. barriejohn says:

    1859: How about setting up a ‘free’ school for secular parents and their kids?

    Gove has said that he is open to atheist “free schools”, and Richard Dawkins has expressed an interest, but that’s beside the point. My view is that ALL children should attend a LOCAL state school with an unashamedly secular curriculum, and that religious indoctrination should remain firmly outside the classroom. American atheists tend to get a bit hot under the collar at this suggestion, but I think they have a more jaundiced view of state education than we do in Europe, and I feel that we missed a golden opportunity to establish an educational system which would have been the envy of the world when comprehensive education was introduced. Ironically, Rab Butler stated in a TV interview that the only reason that private education was not banished in the 1944 Education Act was that they thought that, in the face of what was being introduced, it would now “wither on the vine”. What a wasted opportunity! Typical bollocks from the Torygraph here:

  9. barriejohn says:

    PS Has anyone else been following the series “Educating Yorkshire” on Channel 4? It’s truly inspirational, like the previous series about a school in Essex. You can watch here:

    The Hatemail has been very quiet about this one, as they got their fingers very badly burned when criticizing the previous series. Not having a bloody clue what education is about they obviously expected the blue rinse brigade to come out in force with: “Oh, how dreadful! There’s no discipline; education is going down the drown; the pupils and teachers are a disgrace!”. To their obvious amazement, literally thousands of comments heaped praise upon the dedicated and hard-working staff. Up yours, Dacre!

  10. It’s Muslim school. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Most jobs have a dress code. If you do not like it, you need not apply. You will never be happy with what Muslims do, you don’t even appreciate the act that non Muslims were invited to work in a Muslim school. The dress code is hijab, no one is forcing you to work there take it or leave it. It’s a non story yet again. More propaganda that all you middle class moaners fall for every single time. For example, I once had a job in a cafe. The manager didn’t want me to wear wrist bands from several festivals I had been to, we disagreed and I stood my ground and quit. That is the EXACT same situation as this, why didn’t my story get in the DM? Because it doesn’t fit with this(and many other) newspapers agenda of keeping us in a society of fear and hate. You people fall for it over and over again.

    No other school / free school has been inspected with this rigour – the reality is because of the headscarf issue the school has been subject to a witch hunt! Not sure if Mr Williamson is aware there are schools under Derby City council in special measures also ? Maybe he does not read the local press? The truth is most MP’s send their kids to private schools so it does not matter about state schools for them”

    How can it be called a failed school when it has only been opened a year, when it has been open 5 years and students have completed their GCSE’s that’s when you can pass judgement. Maybe our local MP should look at some at schools under the LEA and the **** results they are producing before he goes asking for closures.

    About the scarf issue – it is a Muslim school so what is a the biggy – I was made to wear a tie and a skirt (when boys could wear trousers) because it was school policy??? I do not recall any local MP trying to close our school down???”

    “I cant see any thing about the cost to the tax payer of these so called free schools and if any of them do close where to the children go and how much it will cost. if they have to bring in trained teachers this is going to put more money on there budget and pay off the other staff. at a time when the government are saying there is no money to spare for fire fighters – teachers etc they rush head long into opening more of these schools it should stop now before more money is wasted”

    There is no requirement for teaching staff to hold appropriate qualifications or have the necessary experience; there is no requirement to follow the national curriculum, which does work towards recognised qualifications, and there is limited governance over general operational standards.
    Everyone has a right to practice their religion regardless of who funds the education. As a Muslim I am in agreement that the lady’s dressing fails to meet the Islamic requirement. It is within her right to leave or follow the rules and continue teaching but to make this a media debacle is pointless. By the way if you are a non Muslim please do not comment on things you don’t know cause your argument will not carry any weight. I don’t understand what’s so hard to understand about the dress code for a Muslim woman. All they want to do is prevent perverted men staring them up and down. western woman sometimes were minimal clothing so they can grab the attention of men wherever they go, Muslim woman are just doing the opposite because they don’t feel the need to be prostituted. when will this propaganda stop!?

    You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands. British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion. Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend state schools deemed to be “sink schools”? In education, there should be a choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a “school hijacker” by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are different. Muslim schools, in spite of meager resources, have excelled to a further extent this year, with couple of schools achieving 100% A-C grades for five or more GCSEs. They beat well resourced state and independent schools in Birmingham and Hackney. Muslim schools are doing better because a majority of the teachers are Muslim. The pupils are not exposed to the pressures of racism, multiculturalism and bullying.

    There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.
    London School of Islamics Trust

  11. barriejohn says:

    “I stood my ground and quit.” Brilliant!

    I got as far as “agenda of keeping us in a society of fear and hate” and gave up. Muslims would know all about that, wouldn’t they?

  12. remigius says:

    I admire your stamina, barriejohn. I got as far as Iftik.

  13. AgentCormac says:

    Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society…

    Which begs the question, why do muslims bother living here, Iftikhar?

  14. AgentCormac says:

    To help things along a little, Iftikhar, allow me to suggest an answer to my own question. Could it, by any chance, have anything to do with benefits?

  15. Broga says:

    @Ahmad: You don’t expect us to read that semi literate nonsense you spewed out do you? After a few sentences I quit as it was clearly the usual boring, pointless drivel from a Muslim trying and spectacularly failing to make a point.

    I found the first few sentences inadvertently funny as your agenda was so obvious and you addressed the drivel you were cobbling together so seriously. If you are an example of a Muslim education then these schools have major and, I guess, insurmountable problems.

  16. Matt+Westwood says:

    “There is no requirement for teaching staff to hold appropriate qualifications or have the necessary experience; there is no requirement to follow the national curriculum, which does work towards recognised qualifications, … ”

    and in a different paragraph:

    “How can it be called a failed school when it has only been opened a year, when it has been open 5 years and students have completed their GCSE’s that’s when you can pass judgement.”

    You just said, this school doesn’t feel the need to work towards recognised qualifications.

    Nope, we ain’t employing no people what have been “eddicated” by youse boyz … besides, where I work the staff is 50% Indian, and they *despise* your arses.

  17. Broga says:

    @Matt+Westwood: I think it is a tribute to the atheist contributors to this site that Ahmad feels able to unload his offensive preaching on to us. He is a stranger to freedom of thought and mature educational functioning as his faith occludes objective appraisal and intellectual detachment.

    He comes here with his brain already crippled by the superstition into which he has been indoctrinated. The indoctrination has been successful as he has bought the whole ridiculous package. Rendered incapable of taking part in a debate involving reason and open mindedness he becomes a joke figure. He unloads his nonsense on to us in the expectation that we will be taken in.

    His mind is set, his agenda fixed and he has lost any capacity to think fresh thoughts or to be excited by new ideas. He is tedious and the classic bore who has no interest in what anyone else says. Our role is to pay attention and be persuaded. He does us a service by demonstrating the paucity of thought and destructive ideas that come from the devout. We have seen it all many times. All we can extend to Ahmad is pity for his faith induced plight.

  18. Matt+Westwood says:

    Look at it like this: it takes 2 minutes max for me to bang up one of my wisecracks onto this site — I do it while I wait for my code to build.

    Contrast this with: how much of this loser’s life did he waste typing that paragraph after paragraph of self-contradictory balderdash?

  19. Angela_K says:

    That diatribe from Amhad is pretty much the same as he has posted in the comments section of the Independent, Guardian and other Newspapers. Amhad is in the same mould as Bob Hutton: they are right because they unquestionably follow their preposterous belief systems and anyone who disagrees is wrong. Their minds are so rotted by religion they border on the psychotic, unable to debate, listen to opposing views or even understand the scientific method, they bore us with their mindless drivel in their vain attempt to infect us with their disease.

  20. Barry Duke says:

    I concluded a long time ago that Ahmad was dropped on his head from a very great height when he was a baby. If you visit this link you will see he still bears the bruise.

    However, that may be from years of banging his head on the floor in submission to his idiotic Allah.

    Incidentally, he has this to say in the BBC report:

    “There should be a positive correlation between school and home life. But for Muslim children it is not a positive correlation. For example, we teach our children that pigs and dogs are unclean animals, but the English love dogs and eat bacon and are going to teach them that.”

    Which is clear admission that Muslim kids are taught crap.

    And referring to the furore over a teddy bear called Mohammed, he said of Gillian Gibbons, the English teacher who got into deep shit for allowing kids in her class in the Sudan to call the bear Mo:

    “She was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if she was Muslim she would not have allowed the children to name the teddy bear. How many schools in England give a teddy bear the name Jesus?”

    What really beggars belief is that BBC actually published this posturing buffoon’s comments.

  21. JohnMWhite says:

    I suspect this will be another cowardly drive-by post by somebody who likes to feel important and pious by showering atheists in screeds of rationalisation for why their religion should allow them to do whatever they want to the minds (and bodies) of children. I do not expect any kind of engagement or rational discourse. At best, probably one or two more posts whining about people daring to push back against Iftikhar’s nonsense. The racism card might even be played. Watch this space.

  22. barriejohn says:

    “a non-Muslim teacher is not in a position to provide any kind of Islamic guidance to very young children…”


  23. barriejohn says:

    “Muslim youths are being searched in the streets and hundreds are in prison without trial. At least she (Mrs Gibbons) was given a fair trial and a lenient punishment…”

    You couldn’t make it up – but he does.

  24. Nelmonster says:

    Dear Mr Iftikhar,
    Both me and my wife have gone through your comments.
    We both find them deeply offensive and unconcionable.
    If you are an example of a ‘moderate’ muslim then I weep for you.
    Short of giving a full critique of your massively objectionable views, you have fully cemented my view of the muslim standpoint.
    I would, and will fight tooth and nail to prevent your disgusting views becoming any more widespread.
    Misogyny, victim statements, non-integration, the list goes on and on.
    You are a disgrace to the human race.

  25. 1859 says:

    @ Iftikhar: There could not be a more convincing example of someone totally incarcerated in the mindset of their own culture. Behind the ranting you can almost hear him/her screaming to be let out, to be released from the idiocy he’s swallowed. I think Broga and Nelmonster put it better than most – great posts.

  26. AgentCormac

    Posted October 22, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society…

    Which begs the question, why do muslims bother living here, Iftikhar?

    It is easy to say” Go back to where you came from”, but do not forget that British Muslims are actually born and educated here. They are in the unenviable position of trying to combine two different worlds. That is no easy. We do not want to change you lot but we would like to see our children getting balanced Islamic education along with National Curriculum. We would like our children to learn and be well versed in standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time we would like our children to learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. Bilingualism is an asset but British schooling regards it as a problem.

    We live in a shrunken world and millions of people are on the move; one of our biggest challenges is how we learn to live in proximity to difference – different skin colours, different beliefs and different way of life. According to a study by COMPAS, Muslims born and educated were given the impression of outsiders. The perception among Muslims is that they are unwelcome in Britain is undermining efforts to help them integrate into wider society. Most of them say that they have experienced race discrimination and religious prejudice. Muslims and Islam is promoted a fundamentalist and separatist by the western elite, which have negative impact on community and social cohesion. The number of racist incidents occurring in London Borough of Redbridge’s schools have reached their highest levels since record begin.

    A City or a locality, where Muslims are in majority is a ghetto. There is a tendency for people of similar backgrounds to live together in neighbourhoods. The term”ghettoisation” is inappropriate. The original ghettos in Europe during the middle ages were set up by law to confine the Jewish population to one area of a city. According to a research by an Australian academic that Muslim communities in Britain are being increasingly ghettoized in a trend that set back hopes of assimilation by years. Britain has now eight cities in the top 100 most ghettoized cities. The people from the Pakistani community in Bradford and Oldham and Leicester had trebled during the decade. A report by an academic Dr Alan Carling, that Bradford risks becoming a front line in the global clash between the West and Islam. But Islam and Muslims do not clash with the concepts of pluralism, secularism and globalisation. The native flight from Bradford’s inner-city wards showed clear evidence of an increase in segregation in the city since 1991. Native parents are avoiding sending their children in state schools where Muslims and other minorities are in majority. The dominance of Pakistani Muslims in the city has meant that Bradford has become bi-cultural.

    Immigrants are the creators of Britain new wealth, otherwise, inner cities deprived areas could not get new lease of life. The native Brits regard such areas as ghettoes. Integration is not religious and cultural, it is economic and Muslims are well integrated into British society and at the same time they are proud of their Islamic, linguistic and cultural identities, inspite of discrimination they have been facing in all walks of life. According to UN, 80% of British Muslims feel discriminated. They are less burden on social services. Immigrants made up 8.7% of the population, but accounted for 10.2% of all collected income tax

    It is often quoted by the Western media that Muslim schools ghettoizes the children, and even lead to their radicalisation if they are not integrated. There is no evidence that faith schools lead to a “ghettoized education system. In British schools, pupils are encouraged to focus too much on their similarities rather than their differences. The integrationist approach merely results in Muslims feeling that their faith, language and culture is not respected.

    A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children out numbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of institutional racism. My statement regarding Muslim schools where there is no place for non-Muslim child or a teacher is based on educational process and not on racism. Muslim children need Muslim teachers during their developmental periods. For higher studies and research, Muslim teacher is not a priority.
    London School of Islamics Trust

  27. barriejohn says:

    “we would like to see our children getting balanced Islamic education”

    There’s no such thing! I couldn’t be bothered to read the rest of that whining drivel.

  28. Angela_K says:

    I actually managed to read through Ahmad’s bullshit and am now in need of large Gin. Ahmad is a cut and paste spammer, he trawls the Internet and spams his perverted thoughts into the Press and anywhere else that criticises his fascist ideology. Only a fool such as Ahmad would ignore the overwhelming facts that Muslims like their own Ghettos to the point of intimidating non-Muslims to leave and as we have seen recently, beating people up. He is rather silent about that.