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Ethics – ‘Underground schools’

April 2018

Children are being indoctrinated and exposed to danger by religious extremists in ‘underground schools’, a report from Ofsted has suggested. The education regulator claimed it had identified more than 350 illegal schools operating outside state schools or registered private schools.

According to reports in the Times, Ofsted has issued safeguarding alerts — concerns of abuse or neglect — regarding 50 of them since 2014. However, despite the findings, the Department for Education has been unable to carry out prosecutions.

Ofsted said it has also taken books from illegal schools, which claim homosexuality is an ‘abomination’, punishing your wife is ‘lawful’, and blames rapes on the way women dress.

Five extremist books relating to Islam, such as Dos and do nots of Islam and The Islam way of life were obtained by the Times. It found the author of one of those books was the extremist Muslim preacher, who has been banned from Britain, Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. The Times report also cited the case of an Islamic school in Birmingham, which was allowing children to read a book that claimed all gay people should be murdered.

However, Muslim schools were not the only ones subject to Ofsted concern. Earlier in February, the BBC filmed what appeared to be a staff member at a Jewish school striking a pupil over the head.