The BHA reports a bit of good news:
Ofsted has today withdrawn and committed to update a briefing for inspectors on ‘faith’ schools that endorsed gender segregation in lessons, as well as restrictions on the teaching of art and music. The British Humanist Association (BHA) criticised the guidance on Thursday after the Times brought it to light, pointing out that it contradicted negative findings from Ofsted and the Education Funding Agency into the practices of schools in Birmingham and of the Al-Madinah School in Derby last year, as well as the stated policy of the Department for Education. The BHA wrote to Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw about the briefing and has welcomed the decision.
It quotes from their statement, which is written in the most impenetrable officialese…I mean, check it out:
In line with the advice provided to the Secretary of State for Education, HM Chief Inspector is considering any lessons for Ofsted following its recent inspections of 21 schools in Birmingham.
You can read this statement on the Parliament website.
As part of this undertaking, he has given instructions for a number of documents under the headings of Subsidiary guidance to support the inspection of maintained schools and academies and Briefings and information for use during inspections of maintained schools and academies to be temporarily taken down while their content is reviewed.
This guidance, updated where necessary, will be re-published shortly.
That third paragraph is a real doozy. Anyway, if the BHA tells me that’s what it means, I’ll take their word for it.
BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal commented, ‘We welcome the news that Ofsted is revising its briefing for inspectors on “faith” schools. It is vital that every young person receives a broad and balanced education free from discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic – regardless of the type of school they are educated in. That Ofsted previously hosted a briefing that was discriminatory on some of these grounds was concerning and we are pleased that it has taken prompt action to rectify this issue.’
Good. Now don’t do it again, Ofsted. Pull your socks up.