Charity criticised for segregating male and female staff faces second commission inquiry

The Rabia Educational Trust, which runs an Islamic school in Luton, Bedfordshire, has failed to comply with instructions from the Charity Commission

An Islamic educational charity that was criticised for segregating male and female staff is facing a second inquiry by the Charity Commission. 

The commission said it had opened a fresh inquiry into the Rabia Educational Trust, which operates the Rabia School in Luton, Bedfordshire, after it breached operating conditions imposed by the Department for Education. 

It also failed to comply with actions set by the commission, the regulator said. 

A previous investigation into the charity in 2016 found it was mismanaged and poorly administrated by its trustees.

It had also been criticised by Ofsted for segregating male and female staff.

Trustees were required to make improvements that included compliance with the regulatory requirements of Ofsted, and the Department for Education.

The commission said that although some progress has been made, trustees have persistently failed in the requirement to meet the Independent Schools Standards. 

In May 2020 the charity and its chair were convicted for breaching operating conditions imposed by the education secretary. 

Ofsted inspectors found evidence that the school was admitting new pupils despite being prohibited from doing so due to successive safeguarding and welfare failings.

As a result of this, and the failure to comply with regulatory advice and guidance, a new inquiry was opened last month.

It will examine the trustees’ compliance with their legal duties in the administration, governance and management of the charity, and whether it can be placed on a firmer footing for the future. 

The regulator said it could extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerged.

The charity did not respond to a request for comment.

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