The hijab / headscarf is worn by individuals for different reasons which can include a display of culture, a sign of faith, or a symbol of empowerment, resistance and pride.
The statements by the Chief Inspector of Schools, Amanda Spielman, supporting the banning of the hijab / headscarf in primary schools risks demonising the Muslim community in general and Muslim women in particular.
We find the decision to single out Muslim children unacceptable, and insist that no schoolchild should be targeted for action on the basis of their race, religion or background.
The demonization of the hijab / headscarf has contributed to rising anti-Muslim hate crime, of which women constitute the majority of victims.
Amanda Spielman’s statements and guidance to inspectors can only risk reinforcing an anti-Muslim political culture in our society, in which Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism become institutionalised in schools and across the public sector. We call on the Chief Inspector of Schools to rescind any instruction to inspectors to question young girls about their dress or make judgements about schools on the basis of whether pupils wear the hijab / headscarf.
SUPPORTED BY STAND UP TO RACISM
(All individual signatories listed are in personal capacity unless listed as organisations)
Initial signatories include:
Louise Regan NEU (NUT section) PresidentKiri Tunks, NEU (NUT section) Senior Vice PresidentAmanda Martin, NEU (NUT section) Vice President ElectSally Hunt UCU General SecretaryJoanna de Groot UCU PresidentDave Muritu UCU Vice-chair Equality Committee, NECTalha Ahmad, Muslim Council of Britain Afzal Khan, MP, Labour, Manchester GortonMaz Saleem, Anti racist campaigner / daughter of late Haji Mohammed SaleemNaila Naidoo, Director, Newham Muslim Women's AssociationMohammed Kozbar, chairman Finsbury Park MosqueCllr Rakhia Ismail, Labour, IslingtonCllr Mas Patel, Labour, NewhamCllr Salim Patel, Labour, NewhamCllr Idris Ibrahim, Labour, NewhamCllr Zuber Gulamussen, Labour, NewhamCllr Firoza Nekiwala, Labour, NewhamCllr Heather Fletcher, Labour, Salford, Co Chair of Jewish-Muslim ForumCanon Steven Saxby - St Barnabas Church, WalthamstowNahella Ashaf, spokesperson for Stand Up To racism
Jerry Glazier NEU (NUT section) executive memberRobin Head NEU (NUT section) executive memberJess Edwards NEU (NUT section) executive memberDave Harvey, NEU (NUT section) executive memberStefan Simms NEU (NUT section) executive member Alex Kenny NEU (NUT section) executive memberAnne Lemon NEU (NUT section) executive memberGraham White NEU (NUT section) executive member Simon Murch NEU (NUT executive memberAnnette Pryce NEU (NUT section) LBGT+ seat, executive memberMandy Hudson NEU (NUT section) Disabled Teachers seat holder, executive memberPaulina Blackstock NEU (NUT section) BME teachers seat holder, executive memberHazel Danson NEU (NUT section) executive memberNick Wigmore NEU (NUT section) executive member Joseph Wyglendacz NEU (NUT section executiveDawn Taylor NEU (NUT section executive memberJane Nellist NEU (NUT section) executive member Kauser Jan, assistant head teacher, Leeds, NEU (NUT Section) Nita Sanghera UCU Black Members Rep, NECSean Vernell UCU Vice-chair Further Education Committee, NECElane Heffernan UCU Chair Disabled Members Committee, NECRhiannon Lockley, UCU NECElaine White, UCU NECMargot Hill, UCU NECLesley Kane, UCU NECRichard McEwan, UCU FE National NegotiatorLaura Miles, UCU Trustee
Michael Gavan, London Region Officer, NEU (NUT Section)Louise Cuffaro, Secretary, Newham Teacher's Asociation (NEU)Tasneem Khonat, President, Newham Teacher's Association (NEU)Zillay Khan, Vice President, Newham Teachers Association (NEU)Iain Hale, Secretary, Newham Teachers Association (NEU)Rob Ferguson, Editor & Press Officer, Newham Teachers Association (NEU)Miriam Scharf, International Officer, Newham Teachers Association (NEU)Carolyn McGrath, Officer (Secondary), Newham Teacher's Association (NEU)Rob Behan, Officer, Newham Teacher's Association (NEU) Sue Phillips, Officer, Newham Teacher's Association (NEU)Liam O’Hanrahan, Newham Teacher's Association (NEU)Carel Buxton, School governor, Newham.Richiard Hodbin, Rep Park Primary, Newham NEU (NUT Section)Charlotte Murray, Newham NEU (NUT section)Venda Premkumar, rep, Redbridge Teachers' AssociationPaul Topley, teacher, NEU (NUT Section), Waltham ForestEd Harlow. Haringey NEU (NUT section) Branch SecretarySheila Williams, primary school headteacher (retd.), DurhamJessica Christie, President Lancaster and Morecambe NEU (NUT section)Anjum Peerbacos, senior teacher, Barnet.Eleanor Woyen, teacher & parent, NEU (NUT Section), HullJill Adams, vice-president, Rotherham NEU (NUT Section)Audrey Glover, Officer, Lancaster Morecambe and District NEU (NUT Section)Colin Vetters, teacher, NEU (NUT Section), DumfriesDawn Stonall, teaching assistant, Unison, Lancashire
Umit Yildiz, UCU, Edge Hill UniversityIoanna Ioannou, UCU, UCLMark Abel, UCU Branch Chair Brighton UniversitySafia Flissi UCU Branch Secretary South and City Birmingham CollegeNaina Kent, UCU Black Members Standing Committee, Hackney ACE
Fahmida Ismail, parent, St Stephen's Primary, NewhamReedvan Iqbal, parent, St Stephen's Primary, NewhamSalema Khatun, parent, Avenue Primary, NewhamShebbida Ali, parent, Avenue Primary, NewhamShamsun Nessa, parent, Avenue Primary, NewhamAziza Umerji, parent, Avenue Primary, NewhamHanifa Patel, parent, Avenue Primary, NewhamAysha Bakhi, parent, Hallsville Primary, NewhamCatherine Apps, NewhamLucy Cox, parent & school governor, Brent NEU (NUT Section)
Jahanara Hossain, parent, LondonJames Cartwright, teacher, CarlisleShoohada, parent, BoltonMuhammad Subhani, parent, LondonAlliyah Brown, parent, LondonJohanna Feeble, parent, Enfield.Chahrazad El hanjire, parent, LondonCátia Freitas, parent, Elmbridge.
Naima Omar, Stand Up To Racism, NewhamSasha Simic, USDAW Shop Steward, Central Books, LondonLyndon Campbell, PCS, BirminghamMark Dunk, Unite, LewishamJoanne Ashwood, SGI UK Buddhism, DarlingtonAlison Ud-din, Stand Up To Racism, LancasterRuth Catlow, Director, Community Arts organisation, Southend
Vaseem Ahmed, LondonYacoub Hossain, LondonAnila Mushtaq, LondonSalim Bhatoo, HaringeyFrank Pierow, PrestonYousef Qandeel, EalingSara Mallah, HillingdonBrian Thorpe, CarlisleMarie Allen, MansfieldJessica Mae French, Lancaster
Mohd Aftab Qureshi, Frankfurt