Ofsted head, Amanda Spielman, to be questioned for supporting hijab ban
Categories: Latest News
Wednesday February 14 2018
It has emerged that Ms. Amanda Spielman, the Chief Inspector of Ofsted, is to be questioned by MPs about her vocal support for a ban on hijabs in schools, after heavy criticism from community leaders.
The Parliamentary education select committee will question Ms. Spielman’s comments in regards to the hijab ban that was briefly enforced in a school in Newham that prevented girls under the age of eight from wearing the headpiece.
The hijab ban was introduced by St Stephen’s school in Newham under the oversight of Ms. Neena Lall, the headteacher. However, it was quickly revoked in response to complaints from parents of children affected and other community members.
Ms Lall has said: “I can see that here at St Stephen’s we made a huge error in judgement and that is why we decided to reverse the ban”, “[to parents] I can see how important this issue is to you and I am sorry that we didn’t recognise that and I am sorry that we didn’t communicate with you more”.
Ms Lall, has also recently accused the Sunday Times of “twisting” her words and misleading the public by framing the ban as a response to the school’s concern of the children not feeling British.
She has since said that “they are not my words, it was twisted by the press and it was misinterpreted”.
The revelations will come as a blow to Ms. Spielman who has publicly voiced her support for the hijab ban and has met campaigners calling for the complete ban of the hijab in schools, including the co-director of the Social action and Research Foundation, Amina Lone.
Ms. Spielman has said: “I want to put on the record my full support for Neena Lall, the headteacher of St Stephen’s school in Newham, and her leadership time”.
Ms. Spielman’s obsessive focus on the hijab has been noted and heavily criticised by multiple organisations, including the Runnymede Trust, who raise concerns that her stance may promote the introduction of discriminatory policies against Muslim children.