An Islamic faith school branded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted has this afternoon (June 9) hit back at the education watchdog.
Following a visit last month, inspectors said senior leaders at Olive Tree Primary school ‘have not ensured that the school’s educational resources present balanced views of the world’. The school has criticised their report as being ‘half-baked’ and ‘highly politicised’.
Inspectors had been to Olive Tree last month in a visit that was cut short after parents and staff complained about children being asked questions about homosexuality. Ofsted published a report into their findings today which stated that the school’s library had books which promoted ‘fundamentalist views which do not support the pupils’ development for life in modern Britain’.
In a statement issued this afternoon, the school said: “Olive Tree Primary School completely rejects the report from OFSTED. It is a half-baked, highly politicised report, replete with factual inaccuracies, and based upon an inspection that was abandoned half way through.
“The inspectors come into our school looking for evidence that we promote extremism and intolerance, quizzing nine year old children about their attitudes to homosexuality, gay marriage and terrorism. They found no evidence. We gave ample evidence of how our school prepares children to participate as active members of British society citing assemblies on topics as diverse as tolerance, love for humanity, living in a multi-faith society, law and order, and being British and Muslim,
“Our school policy is clear and this is promoted in our ethos that as British Muslims we are positive citizens, who engage peacefully with the mainstream and must abide by the laws of the society and hence cannot discriminate, abuse, harm and denigrate other groups in society. We have had visits from the Church and Gudwara, and our children have raised money for Dr Barnado’s children’s charity. Our library has a selection books on all faiths, as well as various children’s fiction and non-fiction, for example Roald Dahl, George Orwell and Ann Frank.
“As for the book that contained ‘stoning and lashing’: There is a 400 page book in the staff library, that has a paragraph containing the statement of the Prophet Muhammad regarding the punishment for adultery in an Islamic state. “The book was providing information about a point of law in an Islamic state, and not promoting its application. We do not teach or promote this view in our school.
“The inspectors have wrongly concluded that merely having a book in the staff library, inaccessible to children, that mentions that stoning is a punishment for a particular crime, implies that we are promoting this view.
“The Bible states stoning to death for 18 different crimes and burning to death for a number of crimes. Would OFSTED object to the presence of the Bible on the basis that the Bible contains literature that promotes extreme views about punishments such as stoning, physical beating, burning alive and execution within Biblical law and do not comply with British law.
“The inspection and the subsequent report was not about education, it was about a right extremist; Michael Gove, whipping up racist hysteria and OFSTED dancing to his poisonous tune. Many Muslims are left feeling alienated and victimised.”