Emergency Ofsted inspection concludes that school 'requires improvement'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The sign for the Islamic Tarbiyyah Preparatory School, Ambler Street. The sign for the Islamic Tarbiyyah Preparatory School, Ambler Street.

AN Islamic school in Manningham was subject to an emergency inspection by Ofsted after a complaint that "inappropriate views" were being taught in the school.

The Islamic Tarbiyyah Preparatory School on Ambler Street received an unannounced inspection last month, but details were only made public yesterday. The Department for Education had received the complaint and ordered the inspection. Although it has not revealed the nature of the complaint, the focus of the inspection was the "spiritual, moral, social and cultural development" of pupils.

Inspectors released their report into the independent school yesterday, claiming the school "requires improvement" and suggesting an external review of governance.

However, elsewhere the school is praised for many aspects, with the report saying leaders and managers have "successfully fostered a climate where pupils benefit from the Muslim ethos and develop very positive attitudes to learning."

The school, set up in 2001, has 177 pupils aged four to 11, and all are from an Asian background. At its last Ofsted inspection in 2012 the school was deemed to be good.

Inspectors visited on May 14 and stayed for two days, observing lessons and meeting with parents and pupils.

Among the criticisms in the inspection report are claims that English and Maths "dominate" the school timetable, with "just a few short lessons available for other subjects" while "the planning for developing pupils' understanding of other cultures is not systematic." The school is also criticised for inconsistent teaching of PE and a lack of provision for IT and science.

It was found that school governors did not have a regular programme of meetings, with those they did have not having agendas. Minutes were not kept of these meetings. The schools development plan "focuses mostly on enhancing the building but not always on developing teaching or the subjects offered."

But inspectors also found the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching and the behaviour and safety of pupils was good. The report actually describes pupil behaviour as "first class," saying they "learn to show respect and tolerance for others."

The school's head, Shakil Ahmed Nawaz, said the school was working on implementing all the recommendations made in the report, including the review of governance. The school is planning on creating an expansion that will provide an ICT suite.

A DfE spokesman said: "We asked Ofsted to undertake this inspection after a complaint was received. We do not comment on specific complaints.

"We will investigate all allegations put to us. All schools are subject to a tough inspection regime and we will not hesitate to take firm and swift action if pupils are being let down or placed at risk."

Michael Jameson, Strategic Director of Children’s Services at Bradford Council, said: “This is an independent school with no link to the local authority where Ofsted have taken prompt action. If there are any concerns about the effectiveness of a governing body, it is important that quick and appropriate action is taken to help that school make rapid progress in improving the education experience and outcomes for its pupils.”

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