9 Jun '14

News Ofsted's slur on the Muslim community of Park View School | Lee Donaghy

At Park View I found a school that shared my values about education. The inspectors, somehow, found extremismMy first day at Park View School left me feeling like I'd found a second home. After teaching in two challenging London schools, Birmingham's Park View was different: in 2010 the school throbbed to the rhythm of its then school motto: Respect, Opportunity, Achievement. The pupils were exceptionally well behaved and respectful an attitude fostered by their Muslim faith and keen to take advantage of the opportunities the school provided through trips and extracurricular activities. Exam results were well above the national average, despite a cohort who entered with attainment well below. These ingredients gave me the confidence that this was a place that shared my values and my belief that education was the key for disadvantaged, marginalised young people.Four years later, the implication of the "Trojan horse" saga for the pupils is clear to them, and to our school community: accommodating their faith in our non-denominational school allowing pupils to pray at lunchtime if they wish to and wear the hijab if they choose to, or shortening the school day during the Ramadan fast is not an attempt to meet their spiritual needs as one tool to raise their achievement. Rather, it is extremism. Continue reading...

Read the full story in Guardian Education
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