Today’s news review looks at reports on independent Islamic schools, and the newly launched consultation on Level 3 literacy and numeracy requirements.
On Monday 7 October, the Daily Mail published an article on four Islamic schools which are still open despite poor Ofsted ratings and concerns about the teaching of extremist beliefs.
The schools in questions are the Jamia al-Hudaa schools in Sheffield and Nottingham, Darul Uloom in Birmingham and Darul Uloom in Leicester. The article also runs testimonies from two former pupils at Jamia al-Hudaa school in Nottingham.
We are very clear that extremism has no place in our schools. All schools are now inspected against the tougher Independent Schools Standards, introduced in January 2015, and are also required to adhere to the Equalities Act.
We have received appeals from these schools against their closures. The length of the appeal process will vary from case to case and will be determined by the court.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
Extremism has no place in our society and when we find schools promoting twisted ideologies or discrimination in classrooms, we will take action, including closing the school or working with the police as necessary.
Consultation on Level 3 skills requirements
On Saturday 5 November, Caroline Dinenage announced the launch of a consultation on the literacy and numeracy skills required for Level 3 early years educator apprenticeships.
The consultation sets out ways to support the development of early years staff to make sure we have the best and brightest talent working in the sector. It will also gather views on how to ensure we have the skilled workforce required to deliver our 30 hour free childcare offer.
The story was covered in Nursery World and FE Week. The consultation has been welcomed by PACEY, the PSLA and NDNA, as well as Julie Hyde, the leader of the Save Our Early Years Campaign, who praised the minister for ‘listening to the sector’.
Early Years Minister Caroline Dinenage said:
Making sure our children learn, develop and flourish at this critical time in their lives is vital – we want to recruit and retain the very best staff for this, that’s why we are looking at the skills needed.
The findings will help inform my upcoming workforce strategy which, along with our record investment in the sector, will support nurseries, preschools and other early years providers to offer high quality, free childcare for thousands more families across the country.
Have your say on the consultation on Level 3 requirements here (closing date 28 November).