Islamic school's sex segregation unlawful: United Kingdom court


A Muslim faith school in Britain was found guilty Friday of sex discrimination for segregating boys and girls in lessons and on breaks, and making them walk down separate corridors, in a ruling that will affect other schools with separation policies.

Appeal judges said that, as a direct effect of the school's policy, "each pupil suffers less favourable treatment by reason of their sex".

"The High Court was wrong to approach the question of whether there had been less favourable treatment by reason of sex by looking at each sex as a group".

Lady Justice Gloster, in a dissenting judgment, found that the evidence before the Court did demonstrate a greater practical harm for girls than for boys and that this evidence, together with matters of which the Court could take judicial notice, established that the segregation was also particularly discriminatory against girls through reinforcing male and female stereotyped roles.

Judges agreed with Ofsted's lawyers who had argued that the segregation at the Birmingham City Council-maintained school left girls "unprepared for life in modern Britain".

The three appeal judges heard boys and girls, aged four to 16, attend the school, in Bordesley Green.

Ofsted will now be able to give schools that separate children based on their gender a lower rating.

"The relevant central government authorities should not pivot in the way they have gone about this without recognising the real difficulties those affected will face as a outcome".

Rebecca Hilsenrath, head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: "Socialisation is a core part of a good quality education, just as much as formal learning, and without it we're harming children's life chances from the start".

The ruling will have an impact on other faith schools that follow similar policies in Britain.

Speaking after the Court of Appeal, Ofsted Head, the policy was "discrimination and is wrong".

"This case involves issues of real public interest, and has significant implications for gender equality, Ofsted, government, and the wider education sector". As Breitbart London reported, an Ofsted inspector also identified bullying, said the playground was chaotic, teaching was poor, pupils were not safe and some staff did not know what to do in medical emergencies.