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UK Islamic school guilty of ‘gender discrimination’

Updated October 14, 2017

LONDON: An Islamic school in Britain was found guilty on Friday of gender discrimination for segregating boys and girls in lessons, on breaks, and making them walk down separate corridors, in a ruling that will affect other schools with separation policies.

Three appeal judges ruled the Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham in central England was discriminating against pupils contrary to the Equality Act, overturning a High Court ruling last year, but added that girl students were not more disadvantaged than boys.

Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector of education watchdog Ofsted, welcomed the ruling, saying it was her organisation’s duty to ensure children were properly prepared for the future and it was discrimination to keep them apart.

“It places these boys and girls at a disadvantage for life beyond the classroom and the workplace, and fails to prepare them for life in modern Britain,” Spielman said in a statement. “Educational institutions should never treat pupils less favourably because of their sex, or for any other reason.”

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2017