Al-Furqaan Preparatory School

Name Al-Furqaan Preparatory School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 19 June 2018
Address Drill Hall House, Bath Street, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, WF13 2JR
Phone Number 01924453661
Type Independent
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 154 (46% boys 54% girls)
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%

Information about this school

Al-Furqaan Preparatory School is a small independent school for children between the ages of three and 11. It also has a 27-place nursery on site. The school is not registered as having a religious character but has an Islamic ethos. The school is registered for 142 pupils. At the time of the inspection, there were 147 pupils on roll. School leaders had not informed the Department for Education of this change in numbers of pupils. The school serves the local community of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire. The school does not use alternative provision for any of its pupils. Currently, pupils are segregated by sex in Year 5 and Year 6 for lessons in mathematics and English lessons in the mornings. Until recently, pupils were segregated by sex for all lessons but not at other times in the school day. Leaders plan that pupils will be fully integrated by September 2018 and segregation by sex will cease. This policy of segregating pupils by sex causes detriment to pupils as they are denied the opportunity to be educated alongside others of the opposite sex. In 2017, the Court of Appeal affirmed that strict segregation by sex in schools is a direct discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010. Following this judgement, the Secretary of State for Education has stated that schools that segregate by sex should be given time to cease the practice. Therefore, the school’s policy on segregation has not been taken into account in this inspection when determining the judgements. We intend to write to the Secretary of State and to suggest that he commission a further inspection of the school in or after September 2018. Following September 2018, Ofsted will take any ongoing breach of the Equality Act 2010 arising from segregation into account in relation to key inspection judgements made.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement School leaders have failed to ensure that the independent school standards are met. Currently, boys and girls are educated separately in Years 5 and 6 for mathematics and English. Leaders accept that this is unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and plan to amalgamate the classes in September 2018. Trustees and leaders are not as effective as they should be at monitoring the quality of teaching and learning. As a result, improvement in the quality of teaching and learning since the previous inspection has been too slow. Pupils make better progress in mathematics and writing than in reading. Leaders have put in place a range of strategies to develop pupils’ reading skills. However, improvement remains stubbornly slow and is reflected in outcomes for pupils. Teachers’ planned work does not always meet the needs of pupils as accurately as it should. Often, the most able pupils are not given work that stretches and challenges them. This slows their progress overall. Pupils’ attendance is too low. Leaders monitor pupils’ attendance termly. Some pupils’ persistent absences remain unquestioned for too long. The curriculum meets current requirements. However, pupils’ progress in some subject areas is slower than it should be. This is because planned learning does not use pupils’ previous learning as a starting point. Leaders and governors have not put in place an effective accessibility plan. Therefore, it was not possible to establish how the school intends to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 going forward. The school has the following strengths Leaders’ and governors’ development plan recognises that more needs to be done to improve reading across the school. Children in early years get off to a good start due to the strong teaching they receive. Pupils say that they feel happy and safe when they come to school. Their behaviour is often exemplary. The new leadership team is enthusiastic to bring about change and improvement. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school must take action to meet the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and associated requirements. The details are listed in the full report.