An Islamic faith school’s policy of segregating boys from girls is unlawful sex discrimination, Court of Appeal judges have said in a landmark ruling.
Ofsted placed the mixed-sex Al-Hijrah school in Birmingham into special measures last June after it claimed dividing classes was discriminatory.
But a High Court ruling last year found inspectors were wrong to penalise on the basis of an “erroneous” view that segregation amounted to unlawful discrimination.
Three Court of Appeal judges have now unanimously overturned the previous ruling, finding the complete segregation of classes to be contrary to the 2010 Equality Act.
The judges ruled the segregation caused detriment and less favourable treatment for both male and female pupils by reason of their sex.
“It is common ground that the school is not the only Islamic school which operates such a policy and that a number of Jewish schools with a particular Orthodox ethos and some Christian faith schools have similar practices,” they said.
[TOP RATED COMMENT] Faith schools are a bad idea. They reflect and reinforce divisions in society.
[NEXT] A far greater concern is that the pupils are taught that unbelievers are inferior, ‘the worst of creatures’ and destined for eternity in hell fire (Q 98:6) .
Not really a good basis for community cohesion.
[NEXT] …. And will the government, and Ofsted, please stop pussy-footing around schools which are operating illegally? If they won’t reform, close them. And distribute the students around other, normal community schools. And give the closed school’s assets to one of those other, normal schools to use in the provision of normal education.
The longer we turn a blind eye and just let things slide, the more trouble we store up for the future.
[NEXT] Religion is a lifestyle choice. Brainwashing of children into any faith should be illegal until they are old enough to make an informed choice.
[NEXT] Well this is a good ruling. Now let’s move on to the prohibition of teaching of violent or antisocial texts from a book that purports to be factual statements from a real supernatural being.
[NEXT] If anyone wants to indoctrinate their children with religious claptrap it should not be done in conjunction with education. [The Independent] Read more