Illegal schools: Ministers promise crackdown

From BBC - March 14, 2018

Ministers are promising new measures to crack down on illegal schools, including new powers for Ofsted to seize evidence and question witnesses.

A new legal obligation for schools to register will be created "as soon as possible" under the proposals.

The move follows concerns some ultra orthodox Jewish and Muslim children are being denied a basic education.

Ofsted currently struggles to gather evidence to prosecute people running illegal schools.

Both the current Chief Inspector of Schools, Amanda Spielman, and her predecessor Michael Wilshaw, have told the BBC they needed stronger powers.

A recent BBC investigation highlighted frustration about the lack of legal powers and loopholes in the law.

Should a school be in a place like this?

Abuse concerns over unregistered schools

Ofsted told the BBC, its inspector had to watch while children were ushered out the back door by adults who disappeared.

By the end of January this year a specialist team of inspectors had uncovered 176 places it said were operating as schools but were not registered.

While many have been identified as Jewish or Muslim, 43% are providing an alternative to mainstream school for excluded children.

Hours of education


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