A Muslim girls’ school in Stoke-on-Trent has been rated “inadequate” by Ofsted after inspectors discovered that pupils were not provided with toilet paper due to “cultural reasons”.
Staff at the fee-paying Park Avenue Girls’ High School said that toilet paper was available from the school office, but because most of the students were Asian, they preferred to wash rather than wipe.
The school, which was visited by inspectors October, and was rated “inadequate”, with the report identifying a “range of concerns”, including safeguarding problems and the discovery of “sectarian material” on the premises.
The Ofsted report stated: “At the time of the inspection, it was not the school’s common practice to provide soap for pupils’ hand-washing, toilet roll in the toilets or suitable drinking water”.
But headteacher, Abdul Ghafoor Salloo, defended the policy, insisting the school catered for the cultural needs of the pupils.
He said: “The children they do use the toilets and traditionally, because we are Asian, we wash, not only wipe. There are facilities for pupils to clean themselves.”
But despite the various problems inspectors noted that the relationships between staff and pupils were strong and this had a positive impact on pupils’ behaviour.
They added: “Pupils’ behaviour is good. They follow instructions willingly and are well behaved at all times while on the school premises.”
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