Search

Kensal Green vicar blasts Ofsted chief’s threat to crack down on Sunday school teaching

PUBLISHED: 07:30 20 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:07 20 January 2016

Reverend Ackerman against Sunday School Registration, Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas

Reverend Ackerman against Sunday School Registration, Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas

© Adam Tiernan Thomas

A Kensal Green vicar has blasted a proposal for the government to intervene in Sunday school teaching under new powers aimed at tackling extremism.

The Rev David Ackerman, of St John the Evangelist Church, in Harrow Road, spoke to the Times ahead of a Parliamentary debate on the issue today.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of education watchdog Ofsted, alarmed religious communities and MPs at the weekend when he announced that he wants to monitor Sunday schools as part of proposed powers to inspect all “out of school education”.

Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled the plans last year to crack down on a minority of Muslim madrassas which breed extremist views.

Rev Ackerman said: “Michael Wilshaw said every Sunday school will have to be recorded by the government for the first time in history. Do people want to live in a country like that?”

Sir Michael’s comments are at odds with the Department of Education and Ofsted itself, which have insisted that the powers would not be used to regulate any institution teaching children for a short period each week, such as Sunday schools.

But in a radio interview, Sir Michael said: “We need to know if a Sunday school is being run, is it registered, is it being run properly by people that have been through proper safeguarding checks and if that is done then we are happy with that and we will only go in when we feel that there is a need to do so.”

Under the proposed new powers, which were consulted on this month, anywhere offering childcare for more than six hours a week has to be registered with Ofsted.

St John’s weekly 30 minute classes during the church service may not qualify, but the vicar has called for clarity on the issue.

Rev Ackerman said: “Mr Wilshaw stated that Ofsted will not inspect all of them, but they want to know they exist. But there are thousands and thousands of them, and what does it mean?

“If you have to register six hours, does that include a day trip to London Zoo, which we did? That’s when it gets ludicrous.”

He added: “It’s absolutely stupid, we have little children colouring in. There’s a presumption that children are being taught extremist things, which is rubbish.

“Nobody wants children to be unsafe or harmed. Does that then mean you have to inspect Sunday Schools? No, I think you have to be sensible, pragmatic and consulted properly.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kilburn Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kilburn Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kilburn Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

It was a victorious evening for campaigners in Harlesden as plans to build a block of flats on a tiny strip of land got rejected by planning chiefs.

Yesterday, 17:26

Keeping young people safe is the idea behind a fundraising campaign to keep a community hub in Queen’s Park open seven days a week.

Yesterday, 16:43

Aspiring actors and film lovers are invited to question TV star Samuel West at a question and answer session in Kensal Rise.

Yesterday, 16:04

A murder suspect who stabbed a record label boss to death with a Swiss army knife told a court it was “pure chance” he pulled out a blade and not a corkscrew.

Yesterday, 11:10

Two friends put their baking skills together to raise more than £300 for a cancer charity.

Yesterday, 10:11

A community library in Kensal Rise has received a £75,000 boost which is bringing it closer to opening after seven years of campaigning.

Yesterday, 08:37

Objectors have until the end of today to make their voices heard against a proposed development to create a freight ‘super hub’ in Cricklewood.

Yesterday, 06:58

A community hub has opened in Kingsbury where people can eat, knit or simply hang out and chat.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If you have been looking for laser hair removal, beauty salon treatments, or skin care services you may be confused and overwhelmed with so much information out there and so many clinics and salons promising miraculous results.

Louise McGowan, who started as headmistress of Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in September, speaks to education editor James Scott about life at the school.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now