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Girls been forced to sit at the back of the class

(195 Posts)
Wannabestepfordwife Mon 23-Sep-13 16:39:39

Apologies that I can't link but has anyone else seen recent stories on the Al-Madinah school in derby.

Not only are female staff required to wear a headscarf regardless of religion and having their contracts changed to reflect this.

But female students are being forced to sit at the back of the class and have to give up their place in the dinner queue for male pupils.

Now I'm not what you would call an active feminist but I'm absolutely disgusted by this. A free and equal education for everyone regardless of sex, creed, race is one of the best things about this country IMO.

Does anyone know what powers the government have over free schools or can they basically do what they want?

BangOn Mon 23-Sep-13 16:49:43

i would imagine they're legally bound to uphold anti-discrimination legislation like everyone else.

MrsDibble Mon 23-Sep-13 19:20:23

I would have thought this was always illegal.

SunshineSuperNova Mon 23-Sep-13 19:22:37

That's hideous, and IIRC convenes the Equalities Act. I think they could probably get away with the headscarves, but the other things? No. <disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer>

Trifle Mon 23-Sep-13 19:27:27

It's a Muslim school so no doubt the girls are forced to take a back seat in their home life anyway. I'm appalled that this country actually allows such a school to exist in the first place. Nothing will be done about it as we wouldn't want to offend the Muslims now would we, you know human rights and all that shit.

msrisotto Mon 23-Sep-13 19:29:52

How awful

DameFanny Mon 23-Sep-13 19:30:34

Link here -

Pixel Mon 23-Sep-13 19:50:14

Makes me think we ought to ban the veil now, or this is only going to get worse. Our 'tolerance' isn't really helping those girls is it?

SunshineSuperNova Mon 23-Sep-13 19:52:58

More information here

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 23-Sep-13 19:55:42

With the teachers and the head covering it would be acceptable if they knew on interview but changing their contracts and firing them if they refuse to comply is wrong.

It absolutely breaks my heart these girls are being brought up to think they are second class and less deserving then boys but its even worse their parents seem to support this

SilverApples Mon 23-Sep-13 19:56:29

Are they permitted to use corporal punishment?
There have been a number of imans cautioned over the years for using a bamboo cane in Qu'ran schools (after school religious classes)

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 23-Sep-13 19:59:55

Time to get rid of ALL religious schools. Surely some British law is being broken here, utterly disgusting.

edam Mon 23-Sep-13 20:02:06

I saw a comment from the Dept for Education on story about this saying it was a matter for the school. Appalling attitude - this is a school funded by public money. (And even if it wasn't, extremism and discrimination have no place in education.)

edam Mon 23-Sep-13 20:03:25

Ofsted should make an un-announced visit PDQ.

Quangle Mon 23-Sep-13 20:05:15

Can this really be true? How can this possibly happen using taxpayers' money? Or anyone's money for that matter.

We have so much to be proud of in our culture - freedom, enlightenment, equality - yet we sit round and watch the practices of the most oppressive societies on earth embed themselves in our institutions.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 23-Sep-13 20:17:57

'Free schools' were always a disaster waiting to happen. A school might start with good intentions but if a bunch of people with more extreme views muscle into the governorships, then the school is screwed.

Is it legal for female staff to be made to sign a different contract to men? I would have thought it would only be legal for the school to institute the headcovering as part of a dress code if it applied to all staff regardless of their sex. If you want your female teachers to cover their heads then make the men do it too. (I somehow doubt the people running this school would jump at this proposition!)

If it's true that girls are being made to sit at the back, that's surely got to be illegal. If they come up with some rationale for why they want to separate boys and girls, well, let them do it right and left so that there is no inferiority implied.

Meglet Mon 23-Sep-13 20:25:39

I was reading about this yesterday with a angry face.

Pixel Mon 23-Sep-13 20:26:42

I'm surprised they allow mixed classes at all then, unless they want to be sure to reinforce the inferiority of the girls.

TheCrackFox Mon 23-Sep-13 20:37:38

We will be seeing a whole lot more of this because of Free Schools. The dept of Education would not have such a laissez fair attitude to this if it was all black children forced to sit at the back of the class. Yet again women/girls are treated like second class citizens and no one gives a shit because religion gets to play too trumps. So glad my tax money is supporting this.

givemeaboost Mon 23-Sep-13 20:40:08

shocking and I fear just the tip of the iceberg of things to come sad
I worry that the government is not doing enough in terms of national security-they are looking at outside threats mainly, when really I feel they need to start at grassroots with heavily/solely muslim populated schools/nurserys etc.
these are definitely things that need supervison and relation by the government as extremism is easily spread in areas with high populations of muslim people and I imagen they start teaching young.

In terms of the headscarfs, I would think that IS illegal-the part about it written into the contact anyhow. I don't have a problem with headscaves, just the black full body veil, that should be outlawed in many cicumstances school/uni/court/driving lessons/interviews etc
It does not represent anything other than female suppression IMO and the sight of it is utterly depressing, I just think, "poor women".

kiriwawa Mon 23-Sep-13 20:44:11

Actually I'm kind of glad this has happened so early on - not glad for the children/teachers obviously - it's appalling the way they're being treated. But glad that free schools are being exposed for the fucking idiotic thoughtless disaster they are. I'm hoping the government will do a swift U-turn - this is exactly the kind of PR they don't need

edam Mon 23-Sep-13 20:44:16

Agree it was utterly predictable that free schools would lead to this kind of hateful discriminatory crap. And agree it would be taken far more seriously if it were racial discrimination. The government would crack down PDQ if they were making black kids sit at the back.

MrsDibble Mon 23-Sep-13 20:44:48

I do agree that this is terrible and highlights the problem with free schools as people have said.

Having looked at the article, it does appear that it is being investigated. This suggests it's not going to be tolerated if true.

The attitude to the pupils shocks me more than requiring the teachers to cover their heads, although it strikes me that this is probably unlawful too.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 23-Sep-13 20:49:06

If the school shows its true colours from the outset, if may not get approval - see here.

But once a school has been established, it may change (as seems to be the case here). Hopefully this will be a wakeup call to the government and they'll realise that they have to retain responsibility for what goes on in schools.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 23-Sep-13 20:51:52

It's good they are investigating but I fear the girls maybe conditioned now to think their rightful place is at the back

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