Ofsted Backs Anti-Hijab Head

East London school receives Ofsed's backing amid hijab row

Ofsted chief, Amanda Spielman, has given her backing to St Stephen’s Primary School in East Ham following its unsuccessful bid to ban the hihab for anyone under the age of eight. St Stephen’s also came under fire for encouraging parents and students not to fast whilst at school.

The headteacher Neena Lall had to back down on the hijab ban after a petition was signed by 19,000 people. But Spielman used a speech to a Church of England schools conference to describe the school as “outstanding”, and to urge the Government to do more to support schools who make “tough decisions”.

“I want to be absolutely clear, Ofsted will always back heads who take tough decisions in the interests of their pupils,” Ms Spielman was quoted as saying in the London Evening Standard today.

In the same speech the Guardian quoted Spielman as saying: “School leaders must have the right to set school uniform policies in a way that they see fit, in order to promote cohesion.”