February 9, 2014
A troubled free school is to stop teaching pupils of secondary school age from September. Schools Minister Lord Nash, the man responsible for free schools and academies, announced that the Al-Madinah free school in Derby would close its secondary school because of the poor quality of teaching.
In a letter to Barry Day, the new chairman of the trust which runs the school, he said: “I am particularly concerned at the poor quality of secondary teaching and the lack of breadth in the secondary curriculum. I have come to the conclusion that it would simply not be in the interests of parents or pupils at the secondary school to continue to fund provision which has failed them in the manner now apparent.”
The Al-Madinah school opened in September 2012 but there were later claims that it was imposing strict Islamic practices such as forcing women to wear headscarves.
Ofsted [the education standards watchdog] judged that Al-Madinah is completely dysfunctional and ordered a temporary closure on health and safety grounds as adequate checks on staff had not been carried out.