Ofsted inspections of churches
The Counter-Extremism Strategy says that out-of-school institutions teaching children would have to register so that they can be inspected.
David Cameron referred particularly to madrassas when he announced the new approach, but said it will apply to an institution “whatever its religion” and added “if you are teaching intolerance, we will shut you down”.
The Government consulted on giving Ofsted legal power to investigate any setting in England that provides instruction to children for more than 6 to 8 hours in any week. The consultation closed on Monday 11 January 2016.
Following strong opposition, it appears the Government has dropped the plans to interfere with church youth groups but will press on with some other out-of-school stettings.
‘Don’t close my Sunday School!’ – Poppy’s story
A child may exceed 6 hours’ attendance every week, or just for some weeks of the year. Registration is triggered in both cases. This results in all activities being subject to potential inspection.
The Welsh Government has also held a consultation on a similar scheme for Wales, which closed on 5 April 2016. Our Wales briefing (PDF) and a Wales Joint Statement (English PDF/Cymraeg PDF) provide more information.
By CARE, Christian Concern, Evangelical Alliance, Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and The Christian Institute.