Words: Alastair James; pictures:
A Muslim faith school in Yorkshire has been found to have “undermined” British values, according to an Ofsted report after it found a book in the school’s library advocating for LGBTQ people to be “put to death”.
The Islamic Institute of Education in Dewsbury was found to have officially stamped the book, Islam on Homosexuality, thereby allowing it to remain in the library in the inspection in May.
The school was rated “inadequate”, which is the worst grade a school can get from the education watchdog.
“Failing to promote respect and tolerance for others”
In their report, Ofsted said, “Leaders have not ensured that all texts in the school’s library are suitable for pupils,” by having the book on site, which it said included, “inappropriate content”.
The report says the book includes “the participants of the homosexual act should be slained [sic] whether they are married or unmarried because in filth and mischief of this act surpasses adultery.” Another paragraph entitled ‘putting to death’ states “the evildoers should be put to death”.
Ofsted said they found a “difference of opinion” between leaders in the school, with the headteacher being, “clear that this book should not be in the school library”, while others argued the book was there for “research purposes”.
On the book, Ofsted also said “By permitting this book to be freely accessible to pupils, leaders are failing to promote respect and tolerance for others, a fundamental British value.”
“Continuing to work with rigour, diligence and integrity”
The inspection also found a number of other issues such as safeguarding and a host of safety issues like exposed wiring and a lack of outdoor play areas.
In a statement the Institute, as quoted by the BBC, said: “The majority of the areas for improvement identified have now been rectified, and trustees, leaders and staff at the Institute are continuing to work with rigour, diligence and integrity to ensure that all appropriate standards have been met.”
The BBC also reports that the school’s last inspection took place in February 2020, and a subsequent action plan from the school was deemed unacceptable. Ofsted said that plan hadn’t been updated.
ExaminerLive quotes The National Secular Society, which campaigns for the separation of religion and education, as saying “It is appalling that a book calling for gay people to be executed could be found in a school library,” and it’s “disturbing” that some at the school were defending the book’s availability.
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