Islamic faith school slammed for limiting girls to ‘knitting and sewing’

Rabia Girls' School, Portland Road, Luton.
Rabia Girls' School, Portland Road, Luton.

Gender inequalities still persist at an Islamic faith school which limits girls’ technology curriculum to knitting and sewing, according to Ofsted.

In June our sister paper the Luton News reported that Rabia Girls’ and Boys’ School had been panned by inspectors for “patchy” teaching and a curriculum which “only scrapes the surface of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain”.

Concerns were also raised over the differing subjects provided for the 269 pupils at the girls’ school, in Portland Road, and the boys’ school, in Dunstable Road.

A follow-up visit has found that the independent school, which charges £2,000 in annual fees for its pupils, has not fully addressed the problems.

A report published on Monday reads: “Boys have more time to study the national curriculum subjects.

“Older girls do not have the same opportunities to study science in a practical way because they do not have the same access to laboratory facilities that the boys have.”

It adds: “Opportunities for girls to develop a range of skills in physical education are limited because of the available outside space on their site. “Boys visit a local sports centre with greater facilities and they have the opportunity to learn how to swim.”

Inspectors also found that the school’s newly introduced design and technology curriculum “limits girls to activities related to knitting and sewing”.

Significant weaknesses in the school’s teaching still remain, the report added.

Following the prior inspection school spokesperson Saqib Amin claimed the report was “strongly politically and media led...especially with the recent fallout of the alleged Trojan Horse inquiry in Birmingham”.

Headteacher Mirza Akbar was unavailable for comment when contacted by the Herald & Post this week.