The effect of school absenteeism on Muslim children's attaintment
He was expected to praise the joint initiative between Tower Hamlets, east London, and the London Muslim Centre.
The Improving School Attendance in Partnership has worked with Muslim families in 12 Tower Hamlets primary schools since 2002. Under the scheme the local imam stresses the importance of primary education at Friday prayers and on local radio during Ramadan, as well as making school visits.
The partnership is credited with raising primary school attendance among some pupils from below 90 per cent to 100 per cent.
Junaid Ahmed, one of the partnership's co-ordinators, said: "Including Islam in the RE syllabus will encourage parents to send their children to school too.
"Before the imam told them primary education was important many parents felt little connection with the schools they sent their children to."