Ofsted has enough powers – it just needs to use them properly

Mar 12, 2018 by

by David Kurten, The Conservative Woman:

Ofsted has launched a new power grab. Once again it is pushing to inspect out-of-school settings such as churches, after-school clubs, Scouts and Guides. Ofsted Chief Amanda Spielman wants to extend inspections from ‘main education’ – schools which teach five or more pupils for 18 or more hours per week – to ‘supplementary education’, which could include activities as innocuous as sports clubs or Sunday Schools.

There is no question of there being a real problem in the UK with Islamists teaching in both registered and unregistered schools and madrassas. Materials have been found which promote violence towards women and ‘infidels’, and teach that women are second-class citizens, that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims, and that Sharia law takes precedence over British law. Recently an ISIS-obsessed teacher who taught at two Muslim secondary schools and gave after-school classes at a madrassa was found guilty of training more than 100 children in violence.

But this does not mean that Ofsted needs more powers. It is already able to make an unannounced inspection of suspected unregistered schools, to inspect and seize materials and to work with local authorities, the police and Crown Prosecution Service, either to force such schools to register or to close them down, powers which it has begun to use very successfully.

This is what its specialist unit was set up in January 2016 to do. Thirty-four unregistered schools have since been identified which have either reformed and registered, or shut down. Orthodox Jewish schools have been targeted, as well as madrassas.

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