UK: Inspectors ‘failing to spot signs of extremism’ at private Muslim schools

A watchdog set up to vet standards at private Muslim schools is failing to identify the “warning signs of extremism and radicalisation”, according to Ofsted.

The Bridge Schools Inspectorate was found to be relying “too heavily” on assurances from head teachers without making an informed judgment about schools.

In a report, Ofsted said some inspectors working for the watchdog failed to demonstrate ways to “root out extremist behaviour, views and practices”.

The conclusions will raise concerns over the regulation of Muslim schools in the wake of the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham and concerns that a series of private schools in east London were leaving children “vulnerable to extremism”.

It could ultimately lead to the closure of the inspectorate following previous concerns raised by the Department for Education over its performance.

The inspectorate was set up in 2008 to specifically check standards at 55 fee-paying schools affiliated to the Association of Muslim Schools and the Christian Schools Trust…

…“Some inspectors did not demonstrate sufficient knowledge of ways to root out extremist behaviour, views and practices,” the report said.

It ordered the watchdog to ensure that “all inspectors probe deeply into how schools prevent extremism and radicalization”…