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)


28 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. 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?

  11. remigius says:

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

  12. AgentCormac says:

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

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

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. barriejohn says:

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


  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.