Islamic Midlands boarding school slammed by Ofsted

A private Midlands boarding school has been slammed by inspectors for putting its pupils at risk and not giving them a proper education. Ofsted judged the fee-paying school to be “inadequate” and said improvements had to be made.

Inspectors visited the boys-only Madinatul Uloom Al-Islamiya Islamic College last year and has now published its report. All areas were judged to be ‘inadequate’.

The fee-paying school in Kidderminster has both day pupils as well as boarders . At the time of the inspection last October it had 219 pupils aged between 11 and 28. Of these, 190 were boarders, with 154 of these being under the age of 18.

Ofsted published its report into the Worcestershire school earlier this month. It concluded it was inadequate in all areas and warned: “There are serious failures, which mean that children and young people are not protected, or their welfare is not promoted or safeguarded. “

It also found that although children told them they were happy and felt supported, this was not reflected in school records and measurable progress. But when it came to safeguarding, staff were letting the children down.

Inspectors found an example of the school taking over a week to discover essential safeguarding information over a pupil, which was not then dealt with as required. The state of the school’s boarding houses was also found to be inadequate.

Ofsted said: “They have made a start, but there is a continuing journey of improvement to bring all areas up to a good standard. There are areas where there are cracks in plaster work, dents in walls, rotten woodwork, and rusty radiators.

“Carpets also need replacing in many areas of the boarding houses. The school has a plan to address these works. Leaders are making a significant financial commitment to improve the environment for children.”

Staff were praised for the way they interacted with children, especially the ones who board. The children were judged to be friendly and respectful.

The activities pupils enjoyed were commended – these included football, cricket and martial arts. But Madinatul was criticised for not having enough activities outside school, which limited children’s opportunities to socially develop in different environments.

islamic midlands boarding school slammed by ofsted

Boys at the Islamic school were judged to be at risk of not being safeguarded and also not receiving a proper education

Lessons pupils received were also judged to be below the standard required. Inspectors found that the Islamic-dominated curriculum “lacks quality, both in its construction and in its delivery” which “hinders pupils’ progress”. It was also found that many teachers at the school “do not have the subject knowledge they need to teach their subject well”.

Ofsted inspectors said the most serious failings of the school were in how safe the pupils were. The report said: “Significant failures in safeguarding practice have left children at risk of harm and there is a poor safeguarding culture in the school. As a result, how well children and young people are helped and protected is inadequate.”

There was also a failure to check on how safe the pupils would be at home. The report said: “Leaders are too willing to believe children and parents without corroborating what they tell them. This lack of professional curiosity and over-optimism does not safeguard children.

“On one occasion, a member of staff took a group of children on a trip who did not have parental permission to do so. The other staff on duty did not appear to notice that this had happened and this was not raised as a concern until some time later.”

The teachers and school managers were also found not to respond effectively when there are concerns about children’s mental health or emotional wellbeing.

WorcestershireLive has approached Madinatul Uloom Al-Islamiya School for a comment.

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