‘Twisted’ Muslim school needs cash to appeal closure order
The Jamia al-Hudaa Residential College in Nottingham is trying to raise £200,000 to fight a decision by the Department of Education to close its boarding facilities.
According to this report, the school will remain open while an appeal takes place.
The school’s principal Raza Ul Haq, above, said:
We feel that we are fulfilling all the standards. We are a charity and we made the decision to appeal after consulting our community.
We are always fundraising and the mood in the school is that we are going to work hard to overcome this.
The independent fee-paying girls’ school in Berkeley Avenue, Mapperley Park, was told by the Department for Education that it was no longer allowed to admit new pupils and must close its boarding allocation over fears of “extremism” and “twisted ideologies” in the classroom.
The school which has 252 pupils on roll, with 171 of those named as boarders, started the appeal process on Wednesday.
The school’s Just Giving page has raised nearly £1,000 on top of the £40,000 staff say they have already received. The page says of the school:
It is a place that’s dear to a lot of people’s hearts where they have been given the opportunity to study at this beautiful place.
The majority of the pupils pay up to £3,500 a year to study at the school.
Although it is an independent school the Government ordered Ofsted to inspect the school, which is part of the Madni Trust – a registered charity at the same address.
Concerns were first raised in April 2015 when the school was judged to be inadequate. At that time, 15 of the independent school standards and 10 of the national minimum standards for boarding schools were not met. A follow-up unannounced inspection has revealed that standards had still not been met.
Her Majesty’s Inspector Deirdre Duignan released a report following the visit in April. She said:
Inspectors found that the school does not promote balanced views. Pupils can access books in the library that have been written by controversial authors, for example by one who is not allowed to enter this country.
Leaders were not able to say how these books supported the school’s curriculum, or how pupils who accessed such books would be helped to understand a different point of view.
Staff do not have a clear understanding of the specific risks that girls at this school may be vulnerable to, for example female genital mutilation. Some members of staff have gaps in their employment history that have not been checked.
Inspectors also found that training for staff is not up to date, there were “widespread” problems with bullying,
Former pupil Aliyah Saleem, above, was expelled from the school in 2006 for having a disposable camera and recently spoke out about the school.
The 27-year-old, now living in London, said:
The school has the right to appeal. In my view they have shown that they are incompetent and do not offer a balanced education. I hope that the Department for Education ensures the protection of pupils.
The school said that cameras are banned and that Saleem was “sent home”.
The Department for Education said that the length of an appeal process varies from case to case.
In reference to the school a spokesman added:
Extremism has no place in our society and when we find schools promoting twisted ideologies or discrimination in classrooms, we will take action, up to and including closing the school or working with the police as necessary.
Hat tip: Gill Kerry