Thu 30/10/2014

Governance

The Trust

The Governing Council of TFST appoints the majority of governors on the Local Governing Body (LGB).

The Local Governing Body (LGB)

The LGB oversees the work of the school and the Senior Management Team.

The LGB consists of TFST Appointed, Staff and Parent Governors. The Chair of the LGB is Mo Isap.

The Management Team

The management team at TIBHS is led by our Chief Executive, Mubaaruck Ibrahim and our Principal, Linda Thompson.

About the Trust 

1. What does your organisation stand for?

We are a not-for-profit Muslim faith-based organisation.  We believe that education transforms lives and we work to support school improvement and educational excellence nationally and internationally. We run a network of Muslim and non-denominational schools and academies.

We are committed to delivering outstanding education andselfless service to the community.  We work particularly in areas of deprivation to inspire young people (Muslim and non-Muslim) to raise their aspirations and achieve their potential.  We want to present a progressive, outwardly focused view of Muslim faith and culture and to improve shared understanding between people of different faiths and no faith. 

2. How qualified are you to run schools?

We have many years’ experience of running high achieving schools and of helping other schools that are in difficulty to turn their performance around.  We have a diverse, skilled and experienced Board of Trustees drawn from different professions and backgrounds - education, business, finance, law and marketing – including former Directors of Education. 

Each of our schools has a Local Governing Body made up of committed individuals with experience relevant to running successful schools.  Each of our faith schools has non-Muslim representation on its Local Governing Body.

We also have a staff team of experienced senior professionals who support our Board and our individual schools.

3. What do you do in the wider community?

We place a lot of emphasis on service to the local and wider community.  We believe that by encouraging young people to “give something back”, they develop into more confident, rounded adults with a strong sense of self-belief, including a belief that they can make a difference.  All our students get involved with local and national charities - awareness raising, volunteering and fund raising.

We also believe that our schools have a key part to play in promoting better understanding and cohesion within their local communities.  We work hard to engage with the local communities around our schools, including working closely with community groups of all faiths and none to share learning and experience of different cultures and faiths.

4. What makes your brand distinctive?

The hallmark of all of our Tauheedul Schools is:

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Outstanding academic achievement and attainment by learners of all backgrounds. 

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High-powered academic curriculum.

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A rich and challenging extra-curricular and enrichment programme.

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A culture of high expectations with ambitious targets for all our young people and staff.

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Outstanding efficiency, accountability and transparency.

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A passionate focus on character development, moral intelligence and self-discipline.

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A commitment to personal development, community service and charitable giving.

  • 5. Are students of different faiths welcome to study at your schools?

Absolutely.

Our Muslim faith-based schools welcome students from all faiths and none.  This is clear in each school’s admissions policy.  We want people from all communities to benefit from the excellent teaching and curriculum we have on offer.  We want our schools to promote inclusion and shared understanding.

We are very sensitive to the needs of non-Muslim pupils in our faith schools.  We assess all our policies and procedures to make sure young people of all faiths and none are properly catered for.  Our school meals offer a nutritionally balanced choice of menu which takes into account pupils’ different dietary and cultural needs.

And of course, we also run non-denominational community schools for those parents who prefer their children to be educated in a non-faith based environment.

6. How do your schools promote gender equality?

We believe strongly that there should be the same opportunities for excellence for all our students, parents and staff – regardless of their gender. We have Muslim and non-Muslim women working at all levels - including the most senior - in our schools and our central office to provide aspirational role models for our female pupils. 

We set personalised, challenging and aspirational targets for every pupil, regardless of gender.  Our first school, the Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School in Blackburn, is one of the highest achieving schools in the country.  It recently came top of the class in a league table of secondary schools (beating 3000 state funded schools) – a clear demonstration of our absolute commitment to enabling young women to achieve their potential.

7. How do your schools tackle other forms of discrimination?

We are against all forms of discrimination - whether that be on grounds of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, disability or age. We also oppose all forms of intolerance towards any group, however manifested - including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia and racism.  We have zero tolerance towards any form of discrimination or prejudice at our schools and we employ a diverse staff group.

Everything we do is designed to instil values of compassion and mutual respect for all people, regardless of difference.  Our curriculum and students’ everyday learning experiences are designed to tackle discrimination.  We use our community engagement and enrichment activities to support practical action that helpsour students develop tolerance and understanding.

8. Are you aligned with any political party or political movement?

No.  We are not aligned with any political party or movement (in the UK or abroad) and we do not promote any partisan political views in our schools. Where a political issue is discussed, in Citizenship or Politics lessons for example, we ensure that it is presented in a balanced way with all points of views being considered.

9. Do your schools host religious speakers?

We believe it is very important for students in all our schools to hear about and understand different world faiths.  We employ staff from all faiths and none.  We regularly invite in speakers from different faiths who we hope can inspire and touch the lives of our young people; for example, our schools have recently hosted speakers from Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Christian and Islamic faiths.

We take great care not to invite controversial speakers to address students and we do not allow any controversial groups or individuals onto our school premises. We also vet all external speakers.

10. What are your uniforms like?

All our schools have a uniform that pupils, regardless of faith, can relate to and wear with confidence.  We believe uniforms to be an important part of instilling a sense of belonging and pride and in presenting a good image of the school to the local and wider community.

Our uniforms reflect the attitude we are trying to instil in our learners.  They are smart, fit for purpose and flexible.  Secondary school uniforms in particular are designed to portray a “business like” image.

11. Recently, I read that students at one of your schools are  forced to wear hijab at home. Is this true?

Absolutely not. We support the right of girls to wear hijab, but we do not force them to wear it at home!

We strongly believe that everyone should have the freedom to practise their faith in the manner in which they feel most comfortable – and this is something we promote with our learners.  

12. Do you have a “dress code” for your staff?

No.  Staff are free to dress as they wish, although we do expect them to maintain a professional, business-like image.

13. What kinds of charities are supported with your charitable funds?

We have a strong commitment as a Trust to charitable giving.  We have three main areas of focus – UK homelessness, UK food for all and global education.  We work in partnership with well-established charities such as Crisis, Fare Share and Save the Children. 

All charities that our schools donate to are mainstream organisations which are registered with the Charity Commission.  The majority of the funds that we have donated have gone to local and national causes selected by our students.  Our students also get involved in practical projects that support their chosen charities such as setting up foodbanks and taking part in sleep outs.

14. What do you teach about traditional British values?

Students at all our schools learn to respect traditional British values such as democracy, the rule of law, mutual respect, tolerance, freedom of speech and freedom of association.  These are also universal human values and can be found in many faiths and cultures; they go hand in hand with the Islamic faith.

At our Boys’ School in Blackburn, for example, students complete a course in Citizenship – which involves learning about democratic values the British and European institutions which serve our democracy. All our schools have ‘The Big Society’ and ‘Citizenship’ as a specialism. This is reflected in students’ active engagement in volunteering, community service and charitable giving.

It is very important to us that all our students leave our schools as model active citizens of their local area and of Britain as a whole. With this in mind, we have created our own ‘award’ - the Tauheedul Baccalaureate.  All our students pursue this and it rewards fundamentally important values such as respect, selflessness, caring, giving and persistence. 

15. What do you teach pupils about living in modern day Britain?

We teach all our pupils to be proud and committed British citizens. We teach them about British institutions (such as the functions of Parliament and the separation of powers). We believe that the educational and pastoral experience our pupils receive will help them develop into self-assured, respectful, confident, happy and positive individuals.

Our pupils are growing up in a Britain that is increasingly multi-cultural.  We work hard to promote shared understanding of and respect for all cultures and faiths – to focus on the things that unite us rather than the things that divide us. 

We support our Muslim pupils to help them explore how they can apply their faith in context and how they can prosper as British Muslims through commitment and hard work.

16. Are all your teachers qualified to teach?

All of our teachers have qualified teacher status (QTS), or are working towards it. We understand the importance of high quality training to outstanding teaching and student outcomes and place a premium on professional development. All our teachers have weekly professional development sessions and their own personalised coaching plans to support them in delivering teaching excellence.

17. What subjects do you teach?

At each of our primary and secondary schools, 70% of the curriculum time is dedicated to delivering ‘English Baccalaureate’ subjects:
•         English Language (and Literature)

         Mathematics

•         Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

•         History

•         Geography

•         French, Arabic, Spanish and other Modern Foreign Languages

         Computer Science

The remaining 30% of the curriculum is different in each school, and will include subjects such as:

•         Sports

•         Religious Studies

•         Creative and Performing Arts

         Design and Technology

         Citizenship

•         Personal, Social and Health Education

18. Do you teach Islamic studies in your faith schools? 

We don’t teach an Islamic curriculum in any of our schools.  Islam is taught in Religious Studies lessons, alongside other world faiths.  The teaching of Religious Studies is structured around the curriculum developed by SACRE in all our schools.

Everything we do is designed to enable our students to live their lives according to the values of self-discipline, compassion, mutual respect for all people regardless of difference and respect for the earth itself.  These values underpin our faith as Muslims, but we believe they are universal in their appeal.

19. What do you do to support less able pupils?

Outstanding educational opportunities for all are at the heart of our mission.  Every young person has the right to achieve their full personal potential. We recognise that individual pupils or groups of pupils might have particular learning needs that need to be supported if they are to achieve their potential. 

Our educational provision is highly personalised.  Every student has a learning plan and a set of personal attainment targets.  Their progress is regularly monitored by staff.  We pay particular attention to students who are at risk of underachievement for any reason.  Where pupils struggle or are falling behind, they receive additional support and learning opportunities.