Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting SB NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Colleges lift ban on face veils after controversy
11:28am Friday 13th September 2013 in News
COLLEGE bosses have changed their minds about a controversial ban which prevented Muslim students in Brierley Hill and Stourbridge from wearing veils and hajibs.
Birmingham Metropolitan College came under fire earlier this week for banning the wearing of veils, along with hoodies, caps and hats, at its campuses - including the former Stourbridge College sites in Stourbridge and Brierley Hill.
The move sparked outrage from sections of the Muslim community and human rights campaigners and was condemned as “patronising” and a “backwards step”.
But following the controversy the college has had a re-think.
A spokesman for B-Met said: “We are concerned that recent media attention is detracting from our core mission of providing high quality learning.
“As a consequence, we will modify our policies to allow individuals to wear specific items of personal clothing to reflect their cultural values.
“We have listened to the views of our students and we are confident this modification to our policies will meet the needs of all of our learners and stakeholders.
“We remain committed to ensuring students are provided with a safe and welcoming environment and the best education and training opportunities available.”
The college, which is run by Dame Christine Braddock DBE, says it will still need to be able to confirm an individual’s identity to maintain safeguarding and security, and to comply with national regulations and examination board requirements, but bosses have not specified how they will do this.
Former borough councillor Abdul Qadus earlier this week had slammed the ban on veils and head/face coverings as an “absolute disgrace” and said it breached students’ human rights.
Councillor Tim Crumpton, Dudley’s cabinet member for children’s services, however, said he personally “disagrees quite strongly with the wearing of veils” but he stressed he did not want to see people excluded from learning.
He told the News earlier this week: “I will not have us being like the Taliban - excluding young women from education.”
Comments are closed on this article.