Select committee chair says there is a particular problem with Muslim schools

The Commons children, schools and families select committee will grill the schools secretary, Ed Balls, at a meeting on January 9 about the government’s plans to allow local authorities to open as many faith schools as they want. Members are concerned the plans will damage social cohesion and widen existing divisions.

The committee’s chairman, Barry Sheerman, said: “I am getting reports from people in local government who find it difficult to know what is going on in some faith schools – particularly Muslim schools.”

But Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, warned that the debate over Muslim faith schools risked fuelling Islamophobia. “They need to be very careful how they handle this sensitive issue,” she said.

Guardian, 2 January 2008

See also “MPs’ fears on cash for Muslim schools” in the Daily Express, 2 January 2008.