Birmingham Islamic school 'swift to address' extremist books concerns

Written by on December 16, 2019

Leaders at an Islamic private school where extremist books were found have been “swift to address” concerns the discovery raised, inspectors say.

Ofsted rated Jamia Islamia Birmingham boys’ school “inadequate” in July after finding books in the library promoting “support for an Islamic State”.

A follow-up inspection found the books had been removed but the school still did not meet all required standards.

The school said it made a “tremendous amount of progress” in a few months.

Inspectors said one book contained the words: “Don’t make the Jews and the Christians your friends.”

The Sparkbrook school, which told inspectors it had been “unaware of the existence of these texts”, has since introduced a library policy setting out what materials should and should not be included.

Ofsted inspectors raised other major concerns in the summer, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The curriculum was narrow, premises “filthy” and “damp” and the playground dirty, they reported.

But the follow-up inspection on 13 November found clear policies supporting pupils’ “understanding of British values”, and speakers from different faiths, including Hindu and Christian, had begun visiting the school.

Ofsted said pupils previously did not have access to an outside space, but now played football and socialised outside.

However, the school still did not meet all independent school standards checked.

For example, only 5% of pupils achieved grade 5 or above in GCSE maths and English while six formers had a “narrow choice of activities”.

The school said it had met a “large majority” of concerns raised.

“Ofsted also confirmed that they have no major concerns regarding our school and we are now aiming for getting at least a good judgement in our next Ofsted standard inspection,” its statement added.

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