One of the core roles of AMS UK is to represent the views and interests of Muslim schools to the Department for Education, statutory bodies and the private sector where appropriate. The sphere of education attracts a broad coalition of partners across the public, private and community spectrum.
In this respect, AMS UK seeks to ensure Muslim schools play a dynamic role in nurturing talent, building stronger communities and contributing to economic well-being for all through partnership and advocacy activities.
An important aspect of this role involves participation in consultation forums on education policy and the dissemination of information from such activities to our member schools. AMS UK also makes written submission, where appropriate to consultations on education policy changes, particularly those that may impact on Muslim schools and the provision of values-based, faith-sensitive education.
AMS UK has participated in many discussions on the subject of Islamic education and Muslim schools via television, radio and print media to not only demonstrate the positive impact of Muslim schools but to also counter the inaccurate and sometimes negative portrayal of Muslim schools across different media.
AMS UK provides a range of training sessions (INSET) for teaching and non-teaching staff throughout the year, which is offered at subsidised rates for its members. Training is mostly delivered through our regional hubs to reflect needs of schools and the teaching staff. Consistent themes of our training are aimed at:
These training events also provide important opportunities for our network of schools to share effective strategies and best practice for improving educational provision and standards
AMS UK provides a subsidised offer to member schools for them to access a unique School Improvement Programme (SIP) based on need and development trajectory. This programme provides a bespoke level of support from experienced school improvement consultants and/or school leaders from other AMS UK member schools
AMS UK fully funds an inspection support programme (ISP) to members looking for an impartial critique into their regulatory compliance, quality of teaching and learning and other aspects of school inspection about which they may have concerns or seek to develop further.
This is run in collaboration with the University of Gloucestershire. It is a tailored support programme for experienced teachers who are looking to gain QTS status through the Assessment Only route (AO). The programme also provides a subsidy towards fees and training for in-school mentors to support trainees
At management level, school leaders from member schools can also benefit from the NPQH subsidy scheme which provides funding towards fees to gain the NPQH qualification with the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).
AMS UK provides information and support to its members through organizing conferences, disseminating information and facilitating networking opportunities between members. Examples of this include:
This event provides an opportunity for schools to come together to celebrate and receive recognition for their achievements and success stories. With guest speakers from the global Islamic education movement providing inspirational talks, attendees also have opportunities to participate in a range of workshops.
Each regional hub (South, Midlands and North) arranges a specific day-long networking event with a bespoke menu of INSET sessions based on members’ needs. This event is attended by a cross-section of staff from Muslim schools, who hope to not only acquire knowledge and new contacts but also to identify ways to collaborate in order to strengthen the regional base.
This annual event focuses on leadership development within Muslim schools and provides a vital platform for school leaders to network and share best practice. Attendees at this event include head teachers, deputy heads, assistant head teachers, chairs of governing bodies and trustees.
“I have successfully completed my NPQH Alhamdulillah. I very much appreciate the financial support I received from AMS in order to undertake this journey. It would not have been possible for me to have done so without your support, from the application process all the way to completion. The qualification has given me the tools I need to become a more effective leader of my school and has had a positive effect on staff and pupils alike. Once again, please convey my gratitude to all at AMS for their help and support.”
The track record of AMS UK has provided an opportunity for it to be involved in key aspects of school governance; accountability and standards:
AMS UK provides advice and training to member schools on effective governance and accountability which is aimed at school trustees, governors and school leaders.
AMS UK is contracted by the DfE to conduct inspections of state funded Muslim schools in respect of their religious designation under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005. The inspection focuses on the quality of educational provision in respect of the distinctive religious (Islamic) character and ethos within Muslim schools particularly curriculum, quality of teaching and learning and pupil development. Inspections are carried out on a 5 year cycle by trained and experienced inspectors.
AMS UK, alongside the Christian Schools’ Trust (CST), is a promoter of the Bridge Schools Inspectorate (BSI). As an independent inspectorate BSI is approved by the DfE to inspect schools affiliated to the Christian Schools’ Trust and AMS UK throughout England. The majority of independent Muslim schools are registered for inspections with the Bridge Schools Inspectorate. Others, including all state funded Muslim schools, are inspected by Ofsted.
“I feel that I have benefitted tremendously from the mentoring service provided through AMS for the QTS programme. For trainee teacher, this type of assistance will provide more confidence especially for these who are doing assessment based route QTS”
Mohamed Zubaír Mufaffer