'Safeguarding concerns' at independent school as inspectors deliver 'inadequate' rating - The Coventry Observer

7th Aug, 2022

'Safeguarding concerns' at independent school as inspectors deliver 'inadequate' rating

John Carlon 12th Mar, 2020

AN INDEPENDENT school in Solihull has received an ‘inadequate’ rating by watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors say pupils at Al-Furqan independent Islamic secondary school are ‘unhappy’ as they ‘miss out on opportunities’.

At the school, pupils study the ‘same curriculum’ regardless of age, and staff do not have ‘high enough’ expectations of pupils.

The small school, at a converted cottage in Warwick Road, charges parents £6000 per year in fees,

As the Observer reported in December, Al-Furqan closed its doors to Ofsted last year, on the day of a scheduled Ofsted inspection, blaming a broken boiler.

The inspectors returned to Al-Furqan in January – where they found ‘inadequate’ education, a ‘poorly designed’ curriculum and lack of support for children with special needs.

Ofsted also said safeguarding was not effective, with scant records of missing pupils.

They discovered Al-Furqan had not informed Solihull Council about the school’s pupils dropping out.

‘Almost half’ of pupils were regularly absent, inspectors found. The total school roll is just 11 pupils.

The report adds: “Leaders were unaware of [missing pupils]… and leaders do not record the reasons why pupils are not in school.”

Al-Furqan was also slammed for not providing any extra-curricular activities.

Pupils were even barred from attending a science fair, according to the report: “Last year, some pupils got fed up of the lack of opportunity and asked if they could go to a science fair. Their request was refused.”

Al-Furqan also fails to give students a ‘rich set of experiences’.

The report stated: “Pupils are not taught about how to lead healthy lifestyles. Leaders do not have any plans in place to teach pupils about the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

“There are limited opportunities for pupils to learn about other faiths and cultures.”

Three years ago, we reported how the school’s principal was ordered to pay thousands of pounds in unpaid wages by a tribunal.

The principal, Amjad Ahmed, has been approached for comment.

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