Islamic school that kicked out inspectors over gay questions threatens to sue Ofsted

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

A school that condemned Ofsted for quizzing students about their views on gay people is now seeking legal action against the inspectorate.

Olive Tree Primary, an Islamic school in Luton, claims it has been depicted as a “hotbed of extremism” in a soon to be published report.

Ofsted has declined to comment on the draft report, which it says was given to the school “in confidence”.

Earlier this month it was revealed Ofsted had been forced to abandon its inspection of Olive Tree after parents complained to headteacher Abdul Qadeer Baksh that officials were asking students for their views on gay people.

Mr Baksh said the education watchdog had not informed him about the questions prior to them being asked.

The children were asked if they knew what the word gay meant and also for their views on gay people.

Ofsted defended the questioning and said: “As part of any school inspection, inspectors will ask pupils about the effectiveness of the school’s actions to prevent and tackle discriminatory and derogatory language.”

Olive Tree Primary remains furious with the inspectorate.

The school’s Chair of Governors, Farasat Latif, said on Thursday: “Some of the questions to the children were completely inappropriate.

“They were asking nine and 10-year-old children about their views on homosexuality, gay marriage and terrorism.

“We challenge the entire report. We’ve said to Ofsted in a letter this morning that unless they do a re-inspection we will seek a judicial review.”

Ofsted said it would not comment until the final report is published in the next few weeks.

The Department for Education said it takes action if there are any concerns that a school is not meeting the independent schools standards.

It added it would also not comment on the case until Ofsted’s findings are made public.