Pupils at Islamic school spoke out against segregation, High Court told


Pupils at an Islamic faith school have spoken out against the segregation of boys and girls, the High Court has been told by a schools inspector.

The inspector was giving evidence in a legal battle over a controversial Ofsted report on School X, which cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The inspector told Mr Justice Jay, sitting in London, that a number of pupils had told him they felt segregation "was having a negative effect on being prepared for life in modern Britain".

The inspector said: "One young woman referred to it as 'dumb'."

The inspector said boys had also mentioned segregation as "having a negative impact in terms of preparing them for life".

But not all pupils had agreed with that view, he said.

The inspector was giving evidence at the beginning of a challenge brought by School X's interim executive board over findings in the Ofsted report that it was an "inadequate school" and required special measures. The report criticises its policy for the segregation of boys from girls.

The board is disputing the report's findings and applying for a judicial review to have it quashed.

The judge was told the Islamic voluntary-aided school admitted pupils of both sexes between the ages of four and 16.

From Year 5 girls and boys are completely segregated for all lessons, break and lunchtimes, as well as for school clubs and trips.

The school cannot for the time being be named after a judge at an earlier hearing said identifying it would be likely "to generate a media storm and tensions and fears for parents and the local community".

The judge said if the school's legal challenge failed the interim order could be lifted and the report published.