The Abu Bakr Trust, an Islamic schools trust operating three schools and a nursery in Walsall, West Midlands, is allegedly facing an investigation by the Charity Commission after staff reportedly used social media to promote anti-gay views.
While one of the schools was found to be inadequate in the last inspection, another was praised by Ofsted for promoting equality and British values.
However, just months after the inspection, the trust reportedly posted on Facebook that accepting homosexuality was part of a “fallen culture” and shared a video saying “when homosexuality is praised and elevated you know the culture has fallen”. The video also called for prayer for “protection against LGBTQ” which it described as “evil deeds”.
The trust has also shared a video of a Taliban cleric discussing women’s rights following the group’s takeover of Afghanistan, stating that “every country is independent”.
The posts seemed to undermine the positive findings of the Ofsted inspection, which apparently thought that students at Abu Bakr girls’ school “talk confidently about tolerance, acceptance and respect” and that the work in pupils’ books clearly shows that fundamental British values are being actively promoted.
The disclosure comes at the same time as an online petition to Parliament to “remove LGBT content from the relationships education curriculum” from primary schools surpassed 20,000 signatures.
The Henry Jackson Society, which identified the concerns at Abu Bakr, is worried about a campaign against inclusive teaching in Birmingham, where protests have occurred outside schools in recent years.
Charlotte Littlewood, a research fellow at the think tank that compiled the research, said that “the efforts of hate preachers, activists, community organisations and even schools to oppose teaching on inclusion and equality in the UK should be a major concern for the DfE”.
The Department of Education has the power to order Ofsted to launch an investigation into independent schools and said that any form of discrimination was unlawful.
Meanwhile, the Charity Commission has launched a compliance case against the Abu Bakr Trust regarding social media activity and is currently assessing information to inform its next steps.