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Muslim girls should not be forced to wear a hijab at school simply because of pressures at home, head of Ofsted says

Muslim girls should not be forced to wear headscarves in schools just because they are facing pressures from their families, the head of Ofsted has suggested. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of Ofsted, made the comments as she was grilled by MPs about Muslim primary school children being questioned about hijabs during inspections. It follows a recommendation by the schools watchdog in 2017 that officials should ask girls who wear garments such as hijabs “why they do so in school”. Read more

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Schools must help promote ‘British values’, says Ofsted chief

Chief inspector of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, delivered a speech at the Policy Exchange in London last night. Entitled ‘The Ties that Bind’, her speech discussed the promotion of so-called British values, the encouragement of cohesion and integration and why schools must be the forums for understanding and spreading these ideals. “The current meaning of the term ‘British values’ was first defined in the 2011 Prevent Strategy,” Spielman said. “The role of schools in promoting them was formalised in Department for Education guidance in 2014, to help both independent and state schools understand their responsibilities. This guidance set out the duty of all schools in England, state and independent, to actively promote the four British values of: democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” Read more