[Your comments are very interesting and having worked many years in both Lambeth and Southwark, both areas of high EAL student intake, I am pleased to see that the UK Government is introducing such a project. It is badly needed and, you are correct, this has been the case for decades as far as I can see.
One of the problems in the UK seems to be that many view the Islamic community as outsiders, this mainly down to ignorance of Islamic culture and lifestyle on their behalf,I may add.
How does the setting up of Islamic schools fit into the essential task of racial integration, though?
It's fairly obvious that certain areas of the UK are not culturally integrated properly.
Do members of the Islamic community, in your opinion, give full consideration to this issue? If so, how is integration imparted through teaching in a religiously segregated school?
Also, are all the Islamic schools fee-paying? If this is the case, entrance to these schools would be denied to a vast number of Muslim students, particularly refugees or immigrants who have arrived in the past,say, 10 years. How many Somali or Kosovar students would be found in the Islamic schools?
I ask these questions because I am genuinely interested in the whole discussion of separate Islamic schools and the positives and negatives that go with them( I'm not a Muslim, nor English).
I am aware that certain Islamic schools attain consistently excellent standards in state exams etc.
You must be careful,though-you speak in very general terms about the low expectation and assumptions of teachers towards bilingual students, I assume you mean within the boroughs you mention in your posting. I think you will find out there a great many non-bilingual teachers who work very hard to plan accordingly when the majority of students are bilingual. Strategies for adapting teaching styles in this regard are frequently discussed. This is my experience of a large number of teachers in the above-mentioned boroughs, though I accept that I have met other teachers who, shamefully, do not take the issue of instructing and teaching bilingual students as seriously as is required in the circumstances.
Anyway, I hope I cause no offence with some of my remarks, that wasn't the point. I'll view your response with interest.[/b]