Birmingham Islamic faith school guilty of sex discrimination

Helen Mountfield QC representing the watchdog had said segregating pupils in a mixed sex school was against the Equality Act 2010

From year five, however, boys and girls were completely segregated for all lessons, as well as break and lunchtimes and for school trips and all school clubs.

Britain's school inspectors have won the right to challenge an Islamic faith school's policy of segregating boys and girls after three appeal court judges ruled it was unlawful sex discrimination.

An Islamic faith school's policy of segregating boys from girls is unlawful sex discrimination, Court of Appeal judges have today ruled.

Ofsted's lawyers argued the segregation left girls "unprepared for life in modern Britain".

Speaking after the Court of Appeal, Ofsted Head, the policy was "discrimination and is wrong". It places these boys and girls at a disadvantage for life beyond the classroom and the workplace, and fails to prepare them for life in modern Britain.

Last year, Justice Robert Jay ruled that the Ofsted inspectors were wrong to penalize the mixed-sex school, which orders complete segregation of pupils from year five.

But in the Court of Appeal ruling, the judges rebuked the United Kingdom government and Ofsted for failing to identify the problem earlier and directed that other schools operating similarly should be given time "to put their houses in order".

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Spielman said the case had significant implications for gender equality and the ruling would be considered carefully to see how it would impact other school inspections.

She said Al-Hijrah was an Islamic voluntary aided school which admits pupils of both sexes between the ages of four and 16. As Breitbart London reported, an Ofsted inspector also identified bullying, said the playground was chaotic, teaching was poor, pupils were not safe and some staff did not know what to do in medical emergencies.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission also supported Ofsted.

The findings from Ofsted said the children were separated to the point that they used separate corridors.

He said Ofsted did not claim that separation was discrimination until 2016 and its actions were "the antithesis of proper public decision making".

There are believed to be around 20 schools across the country operating similar policies, including Christian, Jewish and Islam schools. While we may not all agree with their practices, as is made clear in the judgement* there are many other faith schools around the country that practice gender separation, none of which have been downgraded by Ofsted because of this.

"The school's policy prevents an individual girl pupil from interacting with a boy pupil only because of her sex; if she were a boy she would be permitted to interact with a boy pupil, and vice versa".

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