Religious extremists are ‘indoctrinating’ pupils and undermining British values, according to the government’s Ofsted Chief Inspector.
Amanda Spielman said: “Ofsted inspectors are increasingly brought into contact with those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education. Under the pretext of religious belief, they use education institutions, legal and illegal, to narrow young people’s horizons, to isolate and segregate, and in the worst cases to indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology.
“Freedom of belief in the private sphere is paramount, but in our schools it is our responsibility to tackle those who actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law.
“Rather than adopting a passive liberalism, that says ‘anything goes’ for fear of causing offence, school leaders should be promoting a muscular liberalism.
“It means not assuming that the most conservative voices in a particular faith speak for everyone — imagine if people thought the Christian Institute were the sole voice of Anglicanism. And it means schools must not be afraid to call out practices, whatever their justification, that limit young people’s experiences and learning.”
It comes after 2 schools in Bradford have made the wearing of the hijab compulsory for girls. And a school in East London was forced to back down due to a backlash from hardliners after it called for girls under-8 to not wear the Islamic headscarf.
The government needs to have the bottle to step in and get a grip of extremists in the education system.