UK Islamic School Caught Illegally Segregating Boys & Girls

Despite warnings from the United Kingdom’s Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted), an independent faith school continues to segregate boys from girls, according to an inspection report.

Abu Bakr Al-Ihsaan Academy, an independent Islamic school in Walsall, was found to be operating a separate provision for girls aged 11 to 16 despite being registered as a mixed school (co-ed) from ages 4 to 16, an Ofsted report published on June 24th said.

The report, from an inspection conducted on May 16th, said separating pupils by sex "amounts to a detriment" to the girls in the 11 to 16 provision because "they do not have an opportunity to interact with pupils of the opposite sex during the school day.

This operation amounts to "unlawful discrimination" because the faith school is acting in breach of its registration, with the Ofsted adding that it also amounts to a detriment to boys because they are not permitted to the 11 to 16 provision.

This would not be the first time the academy was found to be violating warnings from Ofsted. During a previous inspection in November last year, the school was found to be segregating pupils by sex. School leaders said in the inspection report that they would be "taking steps to address this" by applying for a separate and unique reference number for the 11 to 16 provision, which would lead to the formation of an all-girls school.

However, inspectors discovered last May that the school leaders did not apply for a unique and separate reference number for the provision.

A landmark decision in 2017 ruled that segregating male and female pupils in the same school amounts to unlawful discrimination. Several Islamic faith schools have been found unlawfully segregating pupils by sex since the ruling for religious reasons. 

Some Islamic authorities believe it is against Islamic rules to allow men and women to mix freely.

"It was worrying that this school is continuing to unlawfully segregate girls from boys, despite warnings from Ofsted.” Megan Manson, head of campaigns for the National Secular Society (NSS), said.

"Religious beliefs cannot excuse sex discrimination. If this school continues to put its religious dogma before the law and the welfare of its pupils, it must be shut down." Manson also added.

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.