Ofsted inspectors will talk to primary school girls who wear hijabs over concerns that it could be interpreted as “sexualisation of young girls”.
It comes after chief inspector Amanda Spielman met Muslim women and secular campaigners calling for the hijab to be banned in primary schools, the Sunday Times reported.
Ms Spielman said: “While respecting parents’ choice to bring up their children according to their cultural norms, creating an environment where primary school children are expected to wear the hijab could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls.
"In seeking to address these concerns, and in line with our current practice in terms of assessing whether the school promotes equality for their children, inspectors will talk to girls who wear such garments to ascertain why they do so in the school.”
The inspectorate also urged people with concerns about breaches of equality law to make a complaint.
Last month, Ofsted won a landmark High Court appeal which ruled that an Islamic school’s policy of segregating boys and girls was unlawful.
Ms Spielman said: "We would urge any parent or member of the public who has a concern about fundamentalist groups influencing school policy, or breaching equality law to make a complaint to the school. If schools do not act on these complaints they can be made to Ofsted directly.”