Al Hikmah Boys School on High Street, was judged to be good in the quality of its education, behaviour and personal development but inspectors gave it an overall requires improvement because of the issues with leadership.
The school set up as a separate entity from the Bury Park Educational Institute which provided for boys and girls, in March 2020, but inspectors found governance continued to operate across the boys' and girls' schools.
The inspectors noted: "As a result, governors and trustees have not established strong enough systems for ensuring the quality of the provision at this school. Trustees and governors do not demonstrate the skills and knowledge they need to carry out their roles effectively. As a result, they have not ensured that all of the independent school standards have been met consistently over time."
But inspectors also had praise for the school, saying: "The school’s vision is to give boys the knowledge and skills they need to become good Muslims. The school sees it as equally important that boys are taught to be useful and effective members of modern British society. Leaders and staff share this view and it influences every aspect of the school’s work. Leaders and staff have high expectations of how pupils should behave. They make these expectations clear, and pupils respond very well to them. Pupils enjoy coming to school and feel safe there. Pupils told inspectors that the school ‘is like a family’ and that they have no concerns about bullying."
Islamic studies and the study of national curriculum subjects are taught with the two parts closely connected and woven together. Links between the two are made wherever possible and meaningful. The religious side of the curriculum includes study of Islam, the Qur’an, Arabic and Hadith. The secular arm of the curriculum includes English, mathematics, history, science, physical education, computing, business studies, Arabic and physical education. Personal, social, health and economic education is taught across both parts of the curriculum.
"Teaching staff have strong knowledge of the subjects that they teach", said inspectors. "This means that they are able to provide appropriate challenge for pupils and to answer pupils’ questions effectively. Pupils are given frequent opportunities to revisit and practise what they have been taught previously".
Pupils are given a 'flight path' when they start at the school to assess their strengths and weaknesses and this is used as a guide throughout their school career and receive extra tuition if they struggle.
The school told Luton Today: "We are really pleased that the Ofsted inspection was able to see the consistently good measures in the quality of education, the positive behaviour and attitudes to learning, and the strong focus on pupil's personal development.
"Inspectors acknowledged the decisive actions taken by leaders to improve the school and we welcome the opportunity this inspection has given us to make improvements in the leadership and management moving forward. We will continue to strive to provide the students with the best possible school experience."