Al Risalah Secondary School

Name Al Risalah Secondary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 19 March 2019
Address 145 Upper Tooting Road, London, SW17 7TJ
Phone Number 02087676057
Type Independent
Age Range 3-16
Religious Character None
Gender Girls
Number of Pupils 310 (52% boys 48% girls)
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%

Information about this school

Al-Risalah Secondary School is an independent Muslim day school run by the Al-Risalah Education Trust. The school has a Nursery section for children aged 3 to 5. The secondary phase is for pupils aged 11 to 16. The secondary phase is located in a converted cinema, and the nursery is housed in a renovated residential building, 10 minutes’ walk from the secondary school. Pupils use a local leisure facility for physical education and enrichment. The school’s last standard inspection took place in December 2015, when the school was judged to be good. The school operates a policy of segregation by sex in the secondary school. The boys’ department is located on the opposite side of the building to the girls. Boys and girls arrive to, and depart from, the school at different times. Pupils are segregated for classes and all other activities. The policy causes the following detriment to pupils: boys and girls cannot learn and socialise together. Given this detriment, the policy constitutes direct discrimination, contrary to the Equality Act 2010. Leaders intend to de-amalgamate the departments into separate schools. They intend to do this by summer 2019. At the time of the inspection, leaders had started the formal process of de-amalgamation. A separate inspection, commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE), for the registration of the boys’ school took place at the same time as this inspection. In addition, the DfE requested that an application for a material change to the numbers in the girls’ school and Nursery be considered as part of this inspection. The school does not use alternative provision.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Leadership and management require improvement, because leaders have not ensured that all the independent standards are met. Leaders segregate pupils by sex without legal justification, which is in breach of the Equality Act 2010. The quality of teaching and learning is good. However, most-able pupils are not routinely challenged in the tasks they are set. As a result, they are not consistently making the progress of which they are capable. Teachers’ use of skilful questioning is not consistent across all subjects. In some instances, teachers do not deepen pupils’ knowledge as well as they could. The school has the following strengths The headteacher sets high expectations for staff and pupils. He has established a cohesive and effective team who shares his vision for success. As a result of good teaching, pupils’ attainment is above the national average across the range of subjects, including English and mathematics. Pupils behave well and are respectful to all. Attendance is above average. Governors’ knowledge, skills and expertise contribute effectively to school leadership. Children in the nursery make a good start to their education. Teachers plan activities that engage children’s interests and support their learning. They are well prepared for Reception year..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.