- Pupils at school in Stepney, east London, 'exposed to Islamic extremism'
- Inspectors discovered girls and boys were segregated in the playground
- YouTube channel created by an Islamic society was not checked by staff
- Leading state school will be put into special measures by Ofsted today
Six more independent Muslims schools are being probed after a Church of England institution was put in special measures - amid claims that pupils have been exposed to Islamic extremism.
Inspectors visiting Sir John Cass’s Foundation and Redcoat Church of England Secondary School in Stepney, east London, discovered girls and boys were being segregated in the playground.
They also found an Islamic society set up by sixth formers had posted links on its Facebook page to hardline Islamist preachers. A YouTube channel created by the society was not checked by staff.
inspection reports into six other independent faith schools in Tower Hamlets - all reported to be linked to the Muslim faith - will also be published.
And the Sir John Cass school will be criticised in an inspection report by the watchdog for failing to safeguard pupils from extremism.
The full report, which was partly leaked to a newspaper, will be published by Ofsted tomorrow alongside an advisory note to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan detailing the inspectors’ concerns.
The school, which has failed its inspection, is the first institution outside Birmingham to fail on such a safeguarding issue since the so-called Trojan Horse plot was uncovered.
There, 21 schools were inspected amid fears hardline Islamists were taking over. As a result, five of the city’s schools were placed in special measures and another told it must improve.
The latest Ofsted report which was leaked to the Independent newspaper, will show that six other independent Muslim schools facing safeguarding issues.
The revelations raise concerns over how Islamic societies, a growing feature in state schools, should be policed.
Sir John’s headmaster Haydn Evans, who was awarded a CBE this year, is said to have been ‘shell-shocked’ by the developments.
Previous Ofsted reports have ranked the school as ‘outstanding’. Despite its Church of England status, 80 per cent of pupils at the school are Bengali Muslim. Only 18 per cent of places are kept for CofE pupils.
Yesterday, Mr Evans was receiving an honorary degree from the University of East London after taking the school from one of the worst performing in Britain to outstanding status.
Last night, sources said Ofsted had over-reacted and was ‘taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut’.
Sir John’s headmaster Haydn Evans (above) is said to have been ‘shell-shocked’ by the developments
A local headteacher, who would not be named, said: ‘This is in no way “Trojan Horse mark two”.
‘This is very, very, very different to Birmingham. There are no governors wanting to take over the school and introduce hardline Islamic practices.’
Defenders of the school said that children had long been segregated in the playground – even when the school was awarded the outstanding rating.
Robert McCulloch-Graham, of Tower Hamlets, the local education authority, told
The Independent : ‘What we can say is that where any issues in our maintained schools do occur, we have a strong track record of intervening swiftly and successfully to address them.
'As is common practice, we will work with the leadership of this school to address any issues identified by Ofsted.'
Tony Mullee, chief executive of school trustee Sir John Cass’s Foundation, added: ‘We are greatly concerned by the report.
‘We remain committed to addressing the safeguarding issues and will be assessing the necessary action to return the school to an outstanding rating.’
In 2008, Ofsted estimated 93 per cent of the school’s intake was from ethnic minority groups, with two-thirds from Bangladeshi backgrounds. About 80 per cent of students were classed as bilingual.