The training, education, development and raising of standards arm of Lancashire Council of Mosques is the Consortium of Lancashire Madrasahs (CLM). The inaugural meeting of the LCM’s Consortium of Lancashire Madrasahs took place on the 1st of February 2016, at Bangor Community Centre, Blackburn. The original concept of the formation of this forum was presented and discussed on the 17th of December 2015.
The establishment of Consortium of Lancashire Madrasahs is to provide a united and progressive platform to raise standards of Madrasahs across Lancashire from a systems and delivery perspective.
The Consortium of Lancashire Madrasahs, a self-regulated set up with the advisory support of key safeguarding public and private sector organisations, is hopefully a way forward Insha Allah in addressing any gaps, sharing good practice, raising standards and more importantly in ensuring an uniform approach is undertaken, to meet and enhance standards, across Lancashire Madrasahs.
Maulana Rafiq Sufi Sb - Chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques and Chair of Consortium of Lancashire Madrasahs
Madrasahs feature strongly in the lives of most British Muslim children. Research undertaken shows that British Muslim children attend Madrasahs for most of their young lives for up to two hours on evenings after school and weekends. Most Madrasahs are registered charities and often run through mosques, to ensure accountability and key child protection policies and health and safety policies are in place and policies are accompanied by relevant information, procedures and monitoring of effective implementation.
They are community-based organisations which embody the cultural and religious backgrounds of the families who attend them. The Madrasahs sector is a significant feature of many British communities and is strongly valued by Muslim families. Before the establishment of Consortium of Lancashire Madrasahs, there was no single body which regulated Madrasahs activities, although many are attached to mosques.
Consortium of Lancashire Madrasahs will aim to bring Madrasahs into a single system of self-regulation, via their Madrasahs Inspection Standard Framework, to ensure that minimum safeguarding and other standards are met and best practice is shared. It would also help to ensure greater interaction between Madrasahs and increase their ability to network with other organisations.
Recent research concluded that Madrasahs are changing as new practices and a new generation of teachers are entering the sector. As a large sector, it is understandable that standards vary. The research suggested that the vast majority of Madrasahs are striving to provide their pupils with the highest-quality service. There are a number of organisations and initiatives which are working hard to improve the quality of Madrasahs across Lancashire and in UK.
It is clear from an IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy Research into Madrasahs stated that any central government initiatives which target Madrasahs for addressing specific problems may further isolate the Muslim community and the independence of Madrasahs was seen as extremely important.
Madrasahs are community-based organisations which embody the cultural and religious backgrounds of the families who attend them, but want safeguarding and other relevant standards met. Therefore this Madrasahs Inspection Standard Framework, devised by the Consortium of Lancashire Madrasahs (CLM), a self-regulated set up with the advisory support of key safeguarding public and private sector organisations, is hopefully a way forward in addressing any gaps, sharing good practice, raising standards and more importantly ensuring an uniform approach is undertaken, to meet and enhance standards (Insha-Allah).
• Ensure legal and regulative requirements are met.
• Enhance and improve the quality of learning and education a Madrasah is providing through clear and fair approaches to behaviour management and discipline.
• Help parents/carers understand the safeguarding responsibilities of their child/ren’s Madrasah.
• Roles and responsibilities for staff are clear in respect of safeguarding children and adults at risk and confident on what they can and cannot do.
• Behaviour and conduct of staff is adhered in a way that there is no compromise in their duty of care towards service users.
• All staff follow good practice ethos, policies and procedures and are supported effectively in their work.
• Building and enhancing good relationships with statutory services in particular the Local Safeguarding Boards for children and adults, the local council and their key staff, local police, schools and other service providers.
• Protects organisational reputation and builds a positive culture within the Madrasah and in turn creates confidence for parents/guardians/service users.
• Develops staff via recognised training and briefing sessions etc, to raise professional and safeguarding standards.
• Enhances governance and transparent safeguarding structures.
• Self-regulation creates trust, support and confidence within the relevant communities.