UK
17/10/2013 05:06 BST | Updated 16/12/2013 05:12 GMT

Muslim Free School 'Inadequate In Every Category,' Damning Ofsted Report Reveals

A controversial Muslim free school has been ranked as inadequate in every category in a damning Ofsted report.

The devastating official report, leaked online, slams the Al-Madinah Islamic school in Derby for being "in chaos," amid accusations of introducing strict religious practices.

muslim free school

The Al-Madinah school in Derby, a Muslim free school which must take "swift action" to address concerns over the way it is run

An inspection at the school , which is run by the Al-Madinah Education Trust, was brought forward after fears were raised over questionable teaching standards and allegations it has discriminated against female staff.

The leaked report says teachers are inexperienced, have not been provided with proper training and that the school requires special measures.

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The school has insisted it is "fully committed" to doing what is in the best interests of pupils and the community.

Pupils are given the same work "regardless of their different abilities" and the governing body is "ineffective", according to the report

The inspection was due to take place by the end of the year but was prioritised following allegations that female teachers were obliged to wear hijabs - which claims a "strong Muslim ethos" - were forced to wear hijabs even if they were not Muslim.

Pupils were segregated, the Ofsted report said, revealing that boys and girls eat lunch in separate sittings – although it puts this down to the small size of the canteen.

Older boys and girls are seated on either side of classrooms although younger children sit together.

The Department for Education had earlier warned the school faced closure unless discrimination against female staff and pupils stopped.

The school has since written to pupils and staff telling them there is no requirement to cover their hair.

Education Minister Lord Nash laid out 17 issues for the school to consider, which included proof that the school's curriculum was broad and balanced.

The Schools Minister said that the school had "manifestly breached" its conditions, and can expect to be closed down if it does not make immediate changes.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said the report exposed the government's free school programme as a "dangerous free-for-all," the BBC reported.

He said: "Pupils have been failed on every possible measure and parents will want to know how David Cameron and Michael Gove have allowed this to happen."

He added: "Far from an isolated incident, the failings at this school reveal the systemic threat to education standards under this government.

"David Cameron and Michael Gove can no longer ignore this issue - it is a crisis entirely of their own making."

The report gives the school the lowest ranking - "inadequate" - in every area, prompting the chief inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw to call for it to be placed in special measures.