Ofsted has received criticism from two committees of MPs this week, who have slammed its failure to highlight the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal and the 'Trojan Horse' plot in Birmingham schools, after allegations of attempted takeovers by individuals looking to impose a view of radical Islam on the students.
In the same way it is necessary to have limits on freedom of speech, we must too have limits on tolerance of intolerance. Too many independent faith schools break this threshold, perpetuate division and prevent meaningful cross-faith contact. In the interests of better long-term integration, we should gradually ban them.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, said recently that private schools should be stripped of their charitable status for failing to sponsor academies and struggling state schools in poor areas. Through my personal experience of the private education system and my current work to provide academies with cost effective extra-curricular programs, I couldn't agree with him more.
Many in the British Muslim community genuinely feel they often come 'under siege' by the right wing media, and are not helped by our political class. The protracted sensational depiction of the Birmingham 'Trojan Horse' concern, widely believed to be fake, has aggravated the situation further in the last few months.