Faith school in Ofsted 'sex discrimination' row can be named

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Image caption The school taught boys and girls separately

Appeal Court judges have lifted a ban on the naming of an Islamic faith school at the centre of a legal battle over alleged sex discrimination.

Last November, High Court judge Mr Justice Jay ruled an Ofsted ruling that segregating boys and girls was unlawful discrimination was "erroneous".

He ruled the Ofsted report could be published but the school, Birmingham's Al-Hijrah, should not be named in it.

Lawyers applied for the school's anonymity to be lifted.

In November, the High Court ruled that Al-Hijrah school had not breached equality legislation by teaching boys and girls separately.

But Mr Justice Jay, sitting in London, rejected claims that the Ofsted inspectors had been biased.


He allowed Ofsted to publish the rest of its inspection report placing anonymised "School X" into special measures, after inspectors found books in the school library that gave tacit approval to domestic violence.

The judge gave both Ofsted and the school leave to appeal.

The school sought to block publication of the Ofsted report, with the backing of its local education authority.

The issues raised by the case will be analysed by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

On the eve of the two-day hearing, Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, applied for the school's anonymity to be lifted so it could be fully identified during the appeal.

Sir Terence Etherton, Master of the Rolls, sitting with Lady Justice Gloster and Lord Justice Beatson, said: "We have reached the clear decision on this application that we consider anonymity should be raised so that [the press and media] will be able to name the school."

Full reasons would be given later, said the court.

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