Many more children are hidden from the authorities in unregistered schools across England than previously thought, Ofsted’s chief inspector has said.
Sir Michael Wilshaw said a crackdown had found more than 100 suspected illegal schools. The majority were Islamic or Jewish, Oftsed said.
Seven warning notices have been issued to schools in London, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Luton, and Stoke-on-Trent.
Any school offering 20 hours of lessons a week must be registered.
Unregistered schools are those that operate outside the supervision of the Department for Education, local authorities or Ofsted inspections.
They are often run by faith groups, and there are concerns about the safety of pupils in their charge. It is understood most of the schools were Islamic or Jewish.
In a letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Sir Michael said his team of seven experienced inspectors, working closely with DfE officials, had identified more than 100 suspected unregistered schools across the country.
“The evidence they have gathered so far during so far during this short period firmly reinforces my belief that there are many more children hidden away from the view of the authorities in unregistered schools across the country than previously thought,” he said.
During the inspectors visits, which took place last month, 350 children had been found on the premises of these schools, Sir Michael said.
He said such schools provided a sub-standard education, placed children at risk and undermined the government’s effort to ensure all schools promote British values.
He pledged swift and decisive action against those who are operating illegal schools, and thereby putting children at risk of harm.
This included the risk of exposure to extremism and radicalisation, he said.
And the inspectors were “deeply alarmed ” by what they had found.
Sir Michael said health-and-safety risks had included:
serious fire hazards such as obstructed exits
unsafe and unhygienic premises
staff and volunteers who had not been …read more
Source:: BBC UK