Majority of parents oppose hijab ban

16th April 2004 at 01:00
One in four parents believes girls should be banned from wearing religious headscarves in schools, despite fears the move would raise tensions in Muslim communities.

A TES poll of 736 parents in England and Wales found that a clear majority (70 per cent) favoured letting pupils continue to wear head coverings such as the hijab. However, 25 per cent said they would like to ban the wearing of religious headscarves in lessons.

Opposition was highest among fathers, northern parents and high- income families. Nearly a third of these groups favoured a ban.

The poll follows an outcry over bans in France and planned for some areas of Germany. The minority support for a UK ban prompted concern from the Muslim Teachers Association and the Runnymede Trust, a race relations think-tank. Rob Berkeley, the trust's senior policy analyst, said opposition to hijabs was likely to be greater where racial tensions were high and could be linked to rising levels of Islamaphobia.

Last month, governors at Icknield High School in Luton decided to lift a ban on Muslim girls wearing the hijab after being warned by local authority advisers that the move could break the Race Relations Act.

The Government said schools risked breaching race relations and human rights law by banning headscarves.

The poll also revealed that parents want state-funded faith schools to end their practice of selecting pupils according to their religions.

The TES poll, conducted by FDS International, was based on telephone interviews with a representative sample of 736 parents of school-aged children

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now