Al-Madinah free school stops secondary classes
A Muslim free school that was branded ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘inadequate’ by inspectors is to end secondary education.
The Government stepped in after a damning Ofsted report warned Al-Madinah in Derby, which teaches around 400 children aged 4-16, was in ‘chaos’.
Inspectors said the school was ‘reliant on the goodwill of an interim principal to prevent it totally collapsing’.
Although primary education will continue, Schools Minister Lord Nash said: “I have come to the conclusion 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.”
Al-Madinah opened in September 2012 and is described as having ‘a Muslim ethos’.
The school has faced claims it discriminated against women, made staff cover their hair even if they are not Muslim and split up boys and girls in classrooms.
During its inspection in October 2013, Ofsted found pupils' achievement was inadequate because the expectations of staff were too low.
A follow-up inspection in December found there was still ‘no sign of improvement’.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said the Government had acted ‘swiftly and decisively’ after identifying failures like those at Al-Madinah.
“Based on the current situation, we believe the new board... needs to focus efforts on the primary school in order to bring about the level of improvement required,” he said.
“The board has accepted our decision to close the secondary school and we have offered our full support in helping pupils to find alternative places before the start of the next academic year.”