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Closed Wolverhampton Islamic school was still operating says Ofsted

By Thomas Parkes | Wolverhampton | Education | Published:

An inadequate school in Wolverhampton which claimed to be closed was still operating, the education watchdog has said.

The Islamic Preparatory School was based at the Wolverhampton Central Mosque in Waterloo Road

The Islamic Preparatory School was found to be still taking on pupils by Ofsted – despite confirming to the Department for Education it was shut.

But Rashid Raja, head of the independent school, said 11 pupils only received four hours of tuition from Monday to Thursday.

And, as the school was providing tuition, it did not need to be registered with the Department for Education (DfE) – and should not be inspected.

Mr Raja also sent off evidence the school had officially closed on September 23 and had said a departmental mix-up had occurred.

But inspector Ann Pritchard, who was denied access to the site, saw pupils entering the building two days later – with a tutor confirming it was offering 16 hours of education, rather than four.

The Ofsted report said: "During the inspection pupils were observed entering and leaving the school building.

“A tutor from the school confirmed that 11 pupils receive 16 hours of education at the school each week.

“Therefore, it is likely that the pupils receive the majority of their education at this school.

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“From the available evidence during this inspection, it would appear that the school is still operating.

"This contradicts the information sent to the DfE by the proprietor.”

The fire exit at the rear of the school was also found to be blocked by two large vehicles.

Mr Raja said the school had been closed down, as he told the DfE, and so there was nothing to inspect.

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He said: “We’ve closed the school down and the inspector turned up and they have not communicated between themselves.

“It was closed down so there was nothing to inspect.

“We informed the inspector that it was closed and there was tuition taking place. Now they have reported that as if there was something untoward going on when there wasn’t.

“There is nothing there any more and all of this is because of previous issues between us and them – we do not have a friendly relationship with Ofsted.”

The school was run by the Wolverhampton Mosque Trust and was situated on the same site as Wolverhampton Central Mosque in Waterloo Road.

The inspection was carried out on September 25, with the Ofsted website confirming the school has since closed as of October 15.

It was previously rated as inadequate during an inspection in February this year.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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