C of E school ‘extremist fears’

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Published: Thursday 20th November 2014 by The News Editor

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A previously “outstanding” Church of England school has reportedly failed an Ofsted inspection over concerns about a sixth-form Islamic society and potential extremism.

An inspection report by the schools watchdog due to be published this week will place Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat Church of England School in Tower Hamlets, London, into special measures, according to the Independent,.

It is believed the school did not monitor online activities of the society, which included a Facebook page with links to radical preachers and a YouTube channel, thus failing on safeguarding duties, the paper reported.

It follows investigations into so-called Trojan Horse allegations that schools in Birmingham were subject to a takeover plot by hardline Muslim groups.

The Stepney-based school was rated outstanding in its previous Ofsted inspection and the latest report comes as part of inspections into six other independent Muslim schools in the Tower Hamlets area.

Robert McCulloch-Graham, Tower Hamlets Council’s director of education, did not address the report in particular, but said the local authority would work to make improvements where necessary.

He told the paper: “What we can say is that where any issues in our maintained schools do occur, we have a strong record of intervening swiftly and successfully to address them. As is common practice, we will work with the leadership of this school to address any issues identified by Ofsted.

“We are working closely with Ofsted and the Department for Education after their recent inspections and we will, of course, act on the findings of the reports.”

In 2008, Ofsted estimated 93% of the school’s intake was from ethnic minority groups, with two-thirds from Bangladeshi backgrounds. About 80% of students were classed as bilingual.

Published: Thursday 20th November 2014 by The News Editor

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