- Inspectors slam fee-paying Redstone Educational Academy after November visit
- School's Twitter account shows boys at the front in an assembly and girls at back
- Boys and girls separated and treated differently in sport, trips and work experience
- A member of staff, who has left, told students: 'University is not for females'
- 'Inadequate' report says: 'Pupils say that they feel safe in school, but they are not'
A private Islamic secondary school in Birmingham is unlawfully segregating boys and girls and a teacher even told pupils that 'university is not for females', a stinging Ofsted report revealed today.
Inspectors who visited the fee-paying Redstone Educational Academy in November last year also found male students were given privileges and treated more favourably than their female counterparts girls when it came to sports and school trips.
The damning report with an 'inadequate' rating, which also highlighted several safety concerns, said the decision to teach boys and girls in separate classes came despite the school being told over a year ago that it is defying equality legislation.
And one group of pupils told inspectors a member of staff, who has since left, had told them: 'University is not for females.'
But headteacher Saadat Rasool has disputed Ofsted's findings and defended the segregation policy, which he said is in line with the Muslim faith of students' parents.
It came after Birmingham was engulfed by the so-called Trojan Horse scandal in around 2014, where parents at several city schools claimed that Muslim parents and governors were trying to impose
The school, in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, was also openly favouring boys by giving them first choice of work experience options and by barring girls from some sports, the report claimed.
Boys and girls take separate school trips, with the girls having to wear school uniform on those trips while the boys did not.
Headteacher, Saadat Rasool, disputed Ofsted's findings and defended the segregation practices, which he said were in line with the Muslim faith of parents.
He said the school had formally applied for permission to operate separate girls' and boys' schools on the site but its application was still under review by the Department for Education.
Mr Rasool said: 'We have operated for 12 years without issues, and we hope our application will be successful. But if it is not we will of course comply with the law.
'We provide equal and fair education for boys and girls.
'We have gathered together a team to turn the school around so that it can reach its full potential and successfully serve its pupils and meet the expectations of the parents.
'We have already started work on an action plan to make huge improvements in the education we provide.'
Overall, Ofsted rated the 152-pupil school as 'inadequate'.
The report concluded: 'Leaders are aware that segregating pupils by gender is unlawful and that they are in breach of the Equality Act 2010.
'They recently applied to open a separate girls' school on the same premises but were unsuccessful.'
The academy's listed proprietor is Redstone Educational Services Ltd, whose directors are listed as Ozak Cicek and Shabeer Majid.
Greenfields Primary School in nearby Small Heath, also led by Mr Rasool, is set to end segregation for upper year pupils today after being criticised by Ofsted on the same grounds in 2018.
Mr Rasool said: 'We have no intention of breaking the law.'
In the damning opening to their report, Ofsted inspectors ruled: 'Pupils say that they feel safe in school, but they are not. Procedures are disorganised. Leaders do not ensure pupils get the help they need.
'Boys and girls are unlawfully segregated by sex for all school activities, except for weekly assemblies.
'Boys enjoy school more than girls. This is because they are treated favourably and have more privileges. Boys have more opportunities to play sport.
'They get to choose the places to go to for work experience first. Some of the girls told us that they do not like this. They said that this was not fair and they feel disadvantaged.'
The school is also accused of barring children from sitting GCSEs if they are not guaranteed high grades in a move designed to boost their academic profile.
The Ofsted report said: 'To make sure this happens, only those pupils who are likely to gain a strong pass can complete their GCSEs in subjects such as English literature, history and Arabic.
'Pupils told us that they were unhappy about this because it limits their options for college.'
The criticism keeps coming, with the school blamed for 'providing an inadequate quality of education.'
The curriculum is narrow, lesson plans disorganised, and pupils are not challenged or helped sufficiently, the report added.
From Year 9 there are no artistic opportunities in the school day, and all pupils study the same subjects to GCSE.
The report continued: 'At the beginning of Year 11, pupils take tests in some subjects. If they do not pass the test, they are removed from the course.
'The removal of pupils from examination courses suggests that leaders are trying to make the GCSE examination results look better, without considering what is in pupils' best interests.'
And while all pupils take Islamic studies, they learn little about other faiths, including about festivals celebrated by other religions common in the local area.
The school is also found to be ineffective in safeguarding pupils. The report stated: 'They are not keeping pupils safe and are not actively promoting their wellbeing. Leaders' work is disorganised and sloppy..'