[by Dean Smith] It amazes me how intolerant secularists become when they speak of tolerance.
In June 2014, the English government increased the reach of the UK Office of Standards in Education, Children Services and Skills (Ofsted) enabling it to enforce supposed “British values” in the school system.
An article in The Telegraph gave Christians a first-hand look of how this will work. Ofsted regulators recently visited a small independent Christian school in Home Counties which was described in Ofsted’s report as a “successful Christian school.”
The agency — which initially reviewed educational standards — now has authority to give spiritual, moral and cultural oversight to schools.
At the Christian school in question, Ofsted enforcers were quite concerned by its Christian culture and demanded it “invite a leader from another religion, such as [Muslim] Imam, to lead assemblies.”
If the school failed to comply, Ofsted regulators threatened to downgrade the school’s standing from “good” to “adequate” because it was not promoting “tolerance” of other religions. They further threatened to close down the school if after further visits, it hadn’t made the recommended changes.
The Christian Institute (CI) is stepping in to represent the school and is challenging Ofsted’s intolerance. Speaking on behalf of the CI, Simon Calvert said:
“The new regulations are requiring Ofsted inspection teams to behave in ways which do not respect the religious ethos of faith schools. The new requirements are infringing on the rights of children, parents, teachers and schools to hold and practise their religious beliefs.”
The Christian schools were not alone. Ofsted regulators also visited Jewish schools as well.
Ofsted interrogated students at Jewish schools
The regulators recently swooped in on three Jewish schools and after they were finished, teachers and students were traumatized. It was so bad, the National Association of Orthodox Schools (NAJOS) wrote a letter of complaint about the intimidating tactics of the regulators who visited the schools unannounced.
According to NAJOS, students said they “felt bullied” during interrogation sessions with the regulators. At one Orthodox primary school for girls, students aged 9 to 11 were asked if they:
- had boyfriends;
- knew any gays;
- were aware that men could marry men;
- knew how babies were made;
- had smartphones; and
- what their opinion was about Facebook.
According to a Jewish News article, one 11-year-old girl described the interrogation this way:
“They made us feel threatened about our religion. They asked ‘Do you have friends from other religions?’ They asked this many times until we answered what they wanted us to say. We felt very bullied.”
NAJOS added that since there are only a handful of Jewish schools in Britain, the organization felt Ofsted was putting inordinate attention on Jewish faith schools.
Part of the reason for the recent regulations was due to a problem in Birmingham, England, where Muslim extremists allegedly tried to take control of a few public schools. There were allegations extremists were not only forcing non-Muslim teachers out of the schools, but were becoming openly and aggressively anti-christian and enforcing Muslim standards on all students, Muslim or not. The episode was known as the Trojan Horse because of the way extremists had infiltrated the schools.
- Christian school ‘downgraded for failing to invite an imam to lead assembly’: London Telegraph
- Ofsted denies ‘bullying and traumatising’ Jewish kids: Jewish News
- Christian school told to have Muslim Imam lead assemblies: WND.com