Religious extremists ‘perverting education’

At a the Church of England conference, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman is expected to say that religious extremists are using schools to narrow children's horizons and ‘pervert education’.

Spielman warned that Ofsted inspectors are increasingly coming into contact with such extremists and has warned head teachers to confront those who foster extremist behaviour and plan to use schools to ‘indoctrinate impressionable minds’.

The Ofsted head is expected to say: “Rather than adopting a passive liberalism that says anything goes, for fear of causing offence, schools leaders should be promoting a muscular liberalism. That sort of liberalism holds no truck for ideologies that seek to close minds or narrow opportunity. Occasionally that will mean taking uncomfortable decisions or having tough conversations. It means not assuming that the most conservative voices in a particular faith speak for everyone.

“Ofsted inspectors are increasingly brought into contact with those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education. Under the pretext of religious belief, they use education institutions, legal and illegal, to narrow young people's horizons, to isolate and segregate, and in the worst cases to indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology. Freedom of belief in the private sphere is paramount, but in our schools it is our responsibility to tackle those who actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law.”

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