London: A Muslim boarding school in the UK has been found allegedly threatening its pupils against speaking to “outsiders”. An investigation by ‘Sky News’ found that the Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury, northern England, threatens to expel students if they mix with other children.
However, in its most recent inspection report UK schools inspectorate Ofsted specifically praised the religious school for preparing its pupils to cater for the changing needs of British Muslims. It concluded: “The Islamic Institute of Education provides a good quality of education and meets its stated aims very well.”
The school is housed in Dewsbury’s Markazi Mosque compound and run by the Tablighi Jamaat sect, which imposes a strict Sharia code on students.
‘Sky News’ obtained copies of documents given to parents which state that students “socialising with outsiders…will be expelled if there is no improvement after cautioning”. The school’s ‘Pupil and Parent Handbook’ contains a Sharia section which lists “items that are prohibited in Islam…such as portable televisions, cameras, etc”.
It says boarders are also banned from wearing un-Islamic garments and using music players or mobile phones at any time, ‘The Times’ reported.
Official inspection reports spanning the past 11 years have highlighted a lack of school trips and no formal sex education. In a statement, Ofsted said independent schools were not assessed on their teaching of British values when the Institute of Islamic Education was last inspected.
A spokesperson added: “In April 2015 Ofsted introduced a new, tougher inspection framework in response to more demanding independent school standards, which include an emphasis on fundamental British values. The changes were introduced following the alleged “Trojan Horse” plot in which hardline Muslims were alleged to have tried to take control of a number of schools in the Birmingham area.
The latest findings of the boarding school run as a faith school, which is part funded by the UK government, come just days after British Prime Minister David Cameron criticised some such religious schools in a speech on extremism. He has promised a counter-extremism bill to tackle what he called “intolerant ideas which create a climate in which extremists can flourish”.