Out-of-school Education: Islam

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 13 February (HL1377), whether they assess whether extremist ideology is being taught in madrasas; and if so, how.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Madrasas are generally considered to be out-of-school settings and, as indicated in the answer provided by my predecessor, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, on 13 February 2020, out-of-school settings are not captured by a single dedicated regulatory framework. Therefore, they are not subject to assessment regarding their teachings by the department or Ofsted.

However, as explained previously, the department is taking forward a package of measures to enhance safeguarding in out-of-school settings – safeguarding children from all forms of harm, including extremism. This includes a £3 million pilot scheme as previously outlined by my predecessor in his response on 16 January 2020. The pilot scheme will be used to inform development of best practice on how to identify and intervene in out-of-school settings of concern.

If the department became aware of a setting where extremist activity was taking place resulting in children being at risk of harm, we would work closely with relevant agencies, such as the local authority and police, to take action.

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