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Parents speak out

Parents speak to the Muslim Association of Britain about the controversial OFSTED inspection.

By Khalil Charles

Parents at the Olive Tree primary school in Luton have accused OFSTED inspectors of having a pre-planned agenda to fail the school.  This follows a draft report in which OFSTED classified the school in Bury Park, Luton as “inadequate”. Investigators released a draft report in which it claimed that the school does not prepare children ‘for life in modern Britain.’ Inspectors were forced to abandon a visit to the school on the second day after children as young as nine were asked questions about homosexuality.  

One of the parents told the Muslim Association of Britain that the two inspectors seem to have visited the school with a pre-prepared agenda. He noted that Olive Tree have had many inspections before - all of which have been successful. On the first day of the inspection, pupils were asked about their attitude towards homosexuals - this led to complaints by parents who eventually asked the OFSTED team to leave after a standoff, which lasted more than 20 minutes.

The school has had two successful inspections in the past five years. In 2012 published report revealed, “Olive Tree Primary is successful in being guided by its aims. Pupils say they feel safe in a secure Islamic environment and enjoy coming to school. The quality of education they receive is satisfactory overall with strengths in the well taught Islamic studies curriculum and Arabic.”

Parents also suspected that the attitude of the inspectors came in the wake of the Trojan horse affair in Birmingham. In a confrontation with the school’s deputy head, the OFSTED inspectors admitted that they did not asked schools about their intolerance towards Muslims but they were under instructions to ask schools about tolerance of gays and lesbians.

The school has strongly rejected claims that its library contained books of an extremist nature although the inspector’s claim that they found books relating to the stoning of women.  One parent told us, “I and I alone will make the decision about what my child learns and the manner in which it is taught.”

The official OFSTED report is expected to be released shortly.

MAB would like to hear your comments: Were the parents right to stand up to the inspectors? Can interviewing children in this way be justified?