Religious council wants more respect for Muslims

23rd February 2007 at 00:00
Schools should do more to accommodate Muslim pupils by avoiding exams during Ramadan, providing prayer rooms and respecting the religion's opposition to homosexuality, says a report by the Muslim Council of Britain.

Its recommends swimming lessons be single sex and dance lessons should not include performances in front of mixed-gender groups. "As dancing is not a normal activity for most Muslim families, Muslim pupils are likely to exhibit reluctance to taking part in it," the 72-page report says.

It says all kitchen staff should be trained to prepare halal meals.

Female pupils should be allowed to wear a headscarf and full-length loose skirt, and children should not be told to remove religious amulets.

Schools should provide some individual changing cubicles to preserve Muslim pupils' modesty, and they should not take part in communal showering after PE, the report says.

Sex education for Muslim pupils should include "Islamic moral perspectives," it says, explaining: "Girlfriend boyfriend as well as homosexual relationships are not acceptable practices according to Islamic teachings."

Headteachers said meeting all the recommendations would prove difficult.

Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "Schools are trying to create societies within their walls which are tolerant and celebratory. I just worry that the list of demands - if that is what it is - may be too much and will simply create a backlash."

* 'Towards Greater Understanding - meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in state schools',

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


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