Series of failings uncovered at religious independent schools after Ofsted steps in

Nearly four in five religious independent schools formerly inspected by the discredited Bridge Schools Inspectorate (BSI) have been rated as inadequate or requires improvement by Ofsted.

The education watchdog has today released the findings of its inspections into 22 independent schools previously under BSI.

Ofsted stepped in to inspect the schools after BSI lost its approved inspectorate rating following issues with judgements and suitability of inspectors.

Nine schools were rated as inadequate and eight requires improvement – meaning more than 2,000 pupils are being educated in schools judged not good enough by Ofsted.

Just one school – Manchester Islamic High School for Girls – was rated outstanding.

Of the 22 schools, 14 failed to meet at least one of the independent school standards and 11 did not meet the standards in four or more areas, Ofsted said.

Leadership and management was judged as failing in 12 schools and eight did not meet statutory requirements for safeguarding.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, chief inspector of schools, said four schools did not promote fundamental British values – equating to 700 pupils “not prepared for life in modern Britain”.

“This is deeply worrying given our national focus on this work over the past year,” he wrote.

“Equally worrying is that efforts to promote and embed these important values within the curriculum were undermined by the failure of leaders to model good practice, for example through the work of governors.”

He has written to education secretary Nicky Morgan today to recommended Ofsted officials now work with the Department for Education (DfE) to prioritise the inspection of the remaining BSI schools by August 2018.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “All independent schools must comply with the Independent School Standards, and where there are concerns a school is failing to meet these standards, we will take swift action. In the light of Ofsted’s findings, we will review the prioritisation of inspections of the remaining Bridge Inspectorate schools.”


The full list of schools inspected:

Al-Ameen Primary School, Birmingham, INADEQUATE

Al-Aqsa School, Leicester, REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Al-Khair School, Croydon, GOOD

Bethany School, Sheffield, GOOD

Bury Park Educational Institute (Al-Hikmah Secondary School), Luton, REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Covenant Christain School, Stockport, INADEQUATE

Coventry Muslim School, Coventry, REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Darul Uloom Islamic High School, Birmingham, INADEQUATE

Emmanuel Christian School, Leicester, REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Ghausia Girls’ High School, Lancashire, INADEQUATE

Islamic Preparatory School Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Jameah Academy, Leicester, REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Jubilee House Christian School, Nottinghamshire, INADEQUATE

Leicester Islamic Academy, Leicester, INADEQUATE

Madni Institute, Slough, REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Manchester Islamic High School for Girls, Manchester, OUTSTANDING

Manchester Muslim Preparatory School, Manchester, GOOD

Palfrey Girls’ School, Walsall, INADEQUATE

Palm Tree School, Blackburn, GOOD

Springfield Christian Schoo, Lewisham, INADEQUATE

The Cornerstone School, Surrey, INADEQUATE

The King’s School, Hampshire, REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT



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  1. As an undergraduate student of mine said a few weeks ago during one of my seminars on ‘Education: policy politics and practice’.

    “you let Churches be involved in running schools in England? But Why? How does being religious help you run a school and teach children any better than not being religious?”