Inquiry launched into running of Islamic faith schools in Luton

Rabia Girls' School, Portland Road, Luton. PNL-140624-113646001

Rabia Girls' School, Portland Road, Luton. PNL-140624-113646001

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An inquiry has been opened into the running of a charity which operates two Islamic faith schools in Luton, it has emerged.

At the end of March the Charities Commission wrote to Rabia Educational Trust, asking trustees to provide evidence of their compliance with an action plan that was laid down last September.

The trust, which runs both Rabia Girls’ and Boys’ Schools in Bury Park, failed to respond on time and when it got around to contacting the commission it “did not address all the actions required as set out in the action plan”.

As such the Charities Commission has now opened a statutory inquiry into Rabia Educational Trust

It will investigate the administration, governance and management of the charity by trustees, the financial controls and management of the charity and the conduct of trustees.

Rabia’s chiefs will also be probed on whether they “have and continue to comply with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law”.

The announcement comes a month after Ofsted published a highly critical inspection report in which Rabia Girls’ and Boys’ School was slammed for segregating its male and female staff.

Inspectors from the schools watchdog ‘expressed concern’ when holding discussions with teachers, as a screen was placed between male and female staff to keep them apart.

During the unannounced inspection Ofsted also found that male and female staff are kept separate during training sessions across the Luton school’s two sites – when training takes place on one site it is broadcast to the other.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission called the practice ‘totally unacceptable’.

In a letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said that the protocol “clearly does not conform to the spirit of the equalities legislation”