UnNews:Dewsbury Islamic school wins Ofstead award

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Dewsbury Islamic school wins Ofstead award

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18 May 2016

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Ticking box... Zakaria Muslim Girls' High School is the first UK education centre, under the government's chain-academy initiave, to receive the coveted "Probably Terrorist School" grading from Ofstead.

DEWSBURY, England -- Zakaria Muslim Girls' High School in Dewsbury has been officially graded as the UK's first 'Probably a Terrorist School' by education watchdog Ofstead. Dewsbury's recognition for their approach to David Cameron's chain-academy initiative, has been considered long overdue, as the town is home to one of the 7/7 bombers and still holds the record for the UK's youngest convicted terrorist.

Since 2014, Dewsbury has been overshadowed by Birmingham, their high-achieving Park View school and the media attention it garnered from the launch of Operation Trojan Horse — when the school told female pupils they must cooperate with their husband's demands for sex, but they can't have sex education. In Dewesbury, hopes had been on the rise since 2015, when Park View (now called Rockwood Academy) was reformed and downgraded to 'outstanding'.

In July 2015, Dewsbury's Islamic Institute felt cheated when it was awarded a 'good' by Ofstead for “providing a good quality of education and meeting its stated aims very well." Conducting the inspection from the car park — due to a cultural celebration — the education body praised the school's Pupil and Parent Handbook, as it listed cultural faux-pas that could negatively affect integration into the British community.

Taboos included watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers and taking selfies, as well as socialising with other pupils, using social media, speaking to the media or speaking to anybody else. Dewsbury's Islamic Tarbiyah Academy, which teaches primary school children in the evening, was also in the running after Sky News revealed it was handing the kids leaflets, claiming Jews are engaged in a conspiracy to take over the world, and that adopting British customs is forbidden.

In the end, it was Zakaria Muslim Girls' High School that became the first to be formally graded, after an initial inspection conducted from the headmaster's office — as inspectors were not allowed inside due to a cultural celebration — resulted in a 'good', despite the pops and whistles of small arms fire.

Backed by the population of Dewsbury, Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake raised concerns about credit not being placed where credit is due, because of the regulator's light touch inspecting local academies. Ofsted's National Director of Education, Sean Harford admitted: "The inspector did not challenge the school when they stated they were celebrating with random gunfire, and 'for his own safety' prohibited him from meeting the pupils. He also did not challenge them two weeks ago when they said they left the daily visitors' list on the bus, or last Tuesday, when they claimed the dog had eaten it."

Harford agreed with the shortfall and outlined a road map to tackle the issue: ”I concede that not talking to children or teachers or going into the school at all, just because the senior cleric said it is not allowed, is perhaps not the best way to make an accurate assessment of what goes on behind closed doors. Going forward, Zakaria Muslim Girls' High School has been officially re-graded to 'Probably Terrorists', pending the ongoing process to approve a way to pose the question of intent, without causing offence.”

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