Ofsted says no extremism in Tower Hamlets primary school

A Tower Hamlets school suspected of Islamic extremism has been cleared of concerns in a no-notice Ofsted inspection on Tuesday.

Marner Primary School has passed the recent inspection by Ofsted who said in today’s report: “The school’s safeguarding arrangements meet requirements.”

The snap inspection occurred after government suggestions that schools in the borough were falling under the influence of Islamic extremists.

Despite fears that children at Marner Primary were being exposed to unsuitable views, the Ofsted report states that: “The curriculum is broad, balanced and successful in promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, including British values.”

Tower Hamlets has recently been in the spotlight due to a Sunday Times investigation of a second ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal, following events in Birmingham earlier this year. The Midlands scandal suggested that radical Muslims were controlling several school governing bodies, subjecting pupils to extreme views.

In order to crack down on schools under suspicion of poor child safety and discipline, Ofsted has conducted emergency inspections in 40 schools across England. The no-notice inspections, which override the half-day notice period, are designed to catch out offending schools.

Although government concerns of extremism led to the inspection, Marner Primary School’s report revealed that pupils: “learn about different faiths in religious education lessons and speak with respect for the religious beliefs of others.”

Tower Hamlets council have displayed an image of unity with local schools since allegations were made. In a press release following the inspection, a council spokesperson said: “Tower Hamlets council has some of the best urban schools in the world.”

“The model we have adopted is based on early intervention and where problems have arisen in terms of performance or standards we have acted swiftly to address any concerns.”

East London Lines, 8 October 2014