Code of conduct drawn up for UK madrasas

Code of conduct drawn up for UK madrasas

Under code to be announced next month by Michael Gove, Islamic schools would ensure teachers were vetted by police.

A voluntary code of conduct to regulate teaching in madrasas in Britain is due to be announced next month by the education secretary, Michael Gove.

Over the past decade, ministers from all parties have expressed unease at the inability to regulate teaching in the schools, which offer supplementary education outside of mainstream schooling. But they have held back partly due to the amount of regulation that would be required.

The plans have emerged as an Ofsted inquiry continues into claims of an attempt by Islamist extremists to take over as many as 21 schools in Birmingham, a charge that is strongly rejected by many in Birmingham. Gove has appointed Peter Clarke, the former head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command, to lead a Department for Education inquiry, one of four investigations being carried out.

The Labour MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, Khalid Mahmood, has argued for at least six years that stricter regulations are needed to protect children in privately run madrasas.

The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board already promotes good governance in mosques and imam training institutions through a process of voluntary self-regulation, and the charity claims to have over 600 members.

There are as many as 2,000 madrasas known to local authorities in the UK and whose staff have undergone all the checks required to teach children in a safe and secure environment.The proposed code would require madrasas to ensure that teachers are vetted by police, and that students are not subjected to corporal punishment. The schools would agree to adopt a syllabus that prevents fundamentalist teaching.

  • theguardian.com, 

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