Church of England school taken aback by Ofsted rating amid extremism row

Richard Adams and Sally Weale:

The head teacher of the Church of England school in east London at the centre of a fresh controversy over alleged Islamic extremism, has expressed surprise at the Ofsted inspection findings that sent his school into special measures.

The Sir John Cass Foundation and Red Coat Church of England secondary, and a group of independent Muslim faith schools in Tower Hamlets, will be criticised by Ofsted over safeguarding concerns, following snap visits by the schools inspectorate in the wake of the “Trojan horse” affair in Birmingham.

The only maintained school involved, Sir John Cass, in Stepney, is to be downgraded from outstanding to Ofsted’s lowest rating of inadequate, primarily over Facebook activity by sixth formers linked to extremist material, and existing segregation between boys and girls in school areas.

Haydn Evans, the school’s headteacher since 1995, said: “We are surprised by the outcome of the Ofsted inspection, as we have always taken safeguarding very seriously. The teaching and results of this school remain good, which they have been since 1999, and my priority now is to address the issues that have been identified and work closely with the local authority and the diocese to return the school as quickly as possible to an outstanding school.”