This is not about Pakistan or Afghanistan. It’s about a Muslim school in Birmingham, England, in 2019. The school is still enforcing gender segregation by ordering girls not to eat their lunch until the boys have finished theirs, UK government school inspectors have told MPs.
Al-Hijrah school was instructed to end the unlawful practice by the Court of Appeal in 2017. However, Luke Tryl, director of corporate strategy at Ofsted, the government body charged with carrying out school inspections, says the West Midlands school is still contravening gender segregation rules.
Tryl also told the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee that the school continues to teach from “very discriminatory texts… encouraging violence against women.”
Ofsted rated the school as “inadequate” in 2016, according to the Birmingham Mail. Court of Appeal Judges ruled a year ago that Al-Hijrah, which is funded by the Birmingham City Council and is currently in “special measures” (meaning the school has let standards drop below an acceptable level and will be monitored for improvements over a period of time), was in contravention of the Equalities Act 2010, due to discrimination against its students.
In a letter to the school in October 2018, Ofsted accused its leaders and managers of not taking “effective action” to alleviate its special measures status.
“The Court of Appeal rightly said that schools needed a transition period where they were segregating and yet still we have not just Al-Hijrah, but we have countless other schools, mixed schools which are segregating on the basis of sex,” Mr Tryl told MPs
Tryl added that while Ofsted can highlight segregation in its inspection reports, it was the responsibility of the Department for Education to enforce equality laws.
The government’s education body reported in 2018 that British values were being “actively undermined” by Islamic extremists using schools as a means of “indoctrinating impressionable minds.”