Ofsted inspector sanctioned after Zakaria visit

AN INSPECTOR was disciplined for not speaking to children at a Muslim school in Batley due to Eid.

Ofsted admitted the worker had made a mistake during an unannounced visit to the private Zakaria Muslim Girls’ High last October.

They were brought in to check the 147-pupil school on Carlinghow Hill was meeting new safeguarding rules.

In particular there were concerns about policies towards radicalisation and female genital mutilation.

The investigation was carried out at the request of the Department for Education.

An inspector said he could speak only to senior managers at the independent school, including the headteacher.

His report said: “It was not possible to talk to students during this visit as they and the staff were celebrating the festival of Eid.”

The school was established in 1982 and costs up to £1,300 a year for day pupils.

It was initially found to have met Government requirements for safeguarding children - but could now be subject to further monitoring.

A spokeswoman for Ofsted said the school was inspected again in December last year.

She added: “We can confirm an inspector failed to speak with students during an inspection of Zakaria Muslim Girls’ High School in October 2015.

“This was a mistake and we have taken appropriate action regarding the inspector.

“We carried out another inspection of the school in December 2015 and we are in discussion with the Department for Education about further monitoring of this school.”

The school is run by those from the Deobandi sect, who are said to teach a conservative version of Islam.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “As soon as concerns were raised we launched urgent investigations and while these are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.

“Extremism has no place in our society and it is vital all schools are providing a high quality, broad and balanced curriculum.”

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