Last year Ofsted inspectors went to Olive primary school in Blackburn to investigate rumours that a teaching assistant had allegedly discussed stoning for gay people, condemned music and clapping as satanic and allegedly said that ties could turn into serpents on judgment day.
Besides the Olive primary, other schools within Tauheedul Education, an Islamic trust, were also eventually visited by Ofsted, but no evidence of hardline views or extremism was found, though suspicions remained.
One year on, Olive primary and three other schools run by the trust have produced stunning results, all classed as outstanding in every category: quality of teaching, leadership and management, achievement of pupils, and behaviour and safety. They were also praised for promoting British values, with children learning about resilience and tolerance.
One reportedly sends its youngest pupils into a Jewish school several times a week, encourages children to support the English football team and dress up as British kings and queens, and has put on a performance of The Three Little Pigs. Another has strong links with a church school, and pupils take part in “exchanges” to celebrate Christmas and Eid.