Independent faith school inspectorate plan ‘abandoned’

Plans to allow Muslim schools to conduct their own inspections have been scrapped by Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls MP. Although the proposals were designed to ensure that an independent watchdog would be more ‘sensitive’ about Islamic education, Ofsted has raised concerns that this would lead to ‘increased fragmentation’. Chief inspector of Ofsted Christine Gilbert said: ‘We believe it would be difficult for an organisation to form an objective view of the quality of schools inspected if it dealt with only one type of school and therefore lacked a broad perspective,’ reported The Daily Telegraph. The move would also have applied to Christian schools, following an application for the watchdog from the Association of Muslim Schools and the Christian Schools’ Trust. But Mr Balls has backed Ms Gilbert’s comments in a parliamentary statement, according to the paper.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=84CC16DF54F0D78C88ED665C&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News