Dewsbury School Denies Claims Over Strict Culture Rules

25 July 2015, 06:14 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Markazi Mosque Dewsbury

The Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury is denying claims it's been threatening to expel pupils who socialise with children from other cultures.

The boarding school was praised by the education watchdog Ofsted, despite its pupils being taught not to speak to the media and being banned from watching TV, listening to the radio or reading newspapers.

Last week David Cameron criticised some faith schools in a speech on extremism, saying that improving integration was part of the "the struggle of our generation".

The Prime Minister promised a counter-extremism bill in the autumn to tackle what he called "intolerant ideas which create a climate in which extremists can flourish".

In its most recent inspection report Ofsted specifically praised the Dewsbury school for preparing its pupils to cater for the changing needs of British Muslims.

"The Islamic Institute of Education provides a good quality of education and meets its stated aims very well," it said.

The school is housed in Dewsbury's Markazi Mosque compound and run by the Tablighi Jamaat sect, which imposes a strict Sharia code on students.

The school's Pupil and Parent Handbook contains a Sharia section which lists "Items that are prohibited in Islam... such as portable televisions, cameras, etc".

It says boarders are also banned from wearing un-Islamic garments and using music players or mobile phones at any time.

Official inspection reports spanning the past 11 years have highlighted a lack of school trips and no formal sex education.

In a statement, Ofsted said independent schools were not assessed on their teaching of British values when the Institute of Islamic Education was last inspected.

A spokesman said:
"In April 2015 Ofsted introduced a new, tougher inspection framework in response to more demanding independent school standards, which include an emphasis on fundamental British values."

The changes were introduced following the alleged Trojan Horse plot in which hardline Muslims were alleged to have tried to take control of a number of schools in the Birmingham area.

Legislation introduced last year states schools must actively promote "fundamental British values" and prepare pupils for "the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in British society."