- The Washington Times - Friday, October 13, 2017

A public coeducational faith school administered in accordance with the Islamic faith was found to have violated U.K. gender discrimination laws by segregating boys and girls in certain classes and activities, The Guardian newspaper reported Friday.

The Al-Hijrah School of Birmingham, England, “a voluntary-aided mixed-sex state school,” was in violation of the 2010 Equalities Act, the Court of Appeal Civil Division ruled. The school is run by a religious group but most of its capital costs —building maintenance, etc. — are paid with taxpayer monies.

Education regulators with the Office of Stanards in Education (Ofsted) cheered the ruling, promising to look into other schools that had educational models akin to Al-Hijrah’s.

“Ofsted’s job is to make sure that all schools properly prepare children for life in modern Britain,” said Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector for the agency, The Guardian reported. “Educational institutions should never treat pupils less favourably because of their sex, or for any other reason.

The court ruling could impact some 20 other similarly coeducational “voluntary-aided” public schools that are religious in character, The Guardian said, but the judges’ ruling gives school administrators a little while to re-work their institutions to conform to the court’s interpretation of the Equalities Act.

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