Economics

The Islamic faith has a unique, holistic view of the economic system model to be adopted, and applies moral filters to the earning and spending of wealth. It has a wealth distribution policy which takes into consideration the needs of the poor, elderly, children, women and fulfilment of basic welfare needs of its citizens (food, shelter, clothing, education, health).

Muslim economists view money as something to be earned, which is one of the many reasons that both gambling and loaning at interest (riba, usury) are prohibited.

Muslim scholars regard interest as being prohibited because it penalizes the poor for their lack of money and rewards the rich for their abundance of money, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. On the other hand, investment in business is highly encouraged because it involves some risk to the investor, which makes it a fair return. Investment also promotes the circulation of wealth and the growth of new businesses.

Applying this principle in the modern world is a major challenge, yet today there are over five hundred financial institutions offering Islamic finance in over eighty different countries. These institutions generate income through shareholding, leasing, lease purchasing, and rent sharing. Interest-free banking is an experiment in Islamic modernization. The fact that Islamic banks are now worth a trillion dollars attests to their modern viability. In fact, many western economists maintain that interest-free economies can be extremely beneficial.

Additionally, many economists have noted that during the recent financial crisis Islamic investments and banks were largely unaffected, since they did not deal with interest based financing such as mortgages or risky speculation.

However, unfortunately many Muslim countries do not operate any type of an Islamic economic system model and have not yet adopted it partially or fully, so its broader, wider benefits can be known to the people at large.

SCIENCE AND NATURE

SCIENCE AND NATURE

There are numerous verses in the Qur’an that reference scientific phenomena, including discussions of astronomy, geography, biology, and other aspects of nature and the universe. The Qur’an includes, for instance, a detailed description of the different stages that the embryo goes through in the womb, as well as descriptions of the creation of the earth and of the interaction between fresh and salt water.

These repeated Qur’anic references to nature and injunctions to seek knowledge helped create a fruitful environment for science in Islamic history when during the “Golden Age of Islam” in the Middle Ages, Muslims were in the forefront of such fields as mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, and medicine. Unfortunately, the economic and political decline of the Muslim world in later centuries brought about a decline in scientific and technological endeavour until recent decades.

Today, many Muslims worldwide work in science-based professions such as medicine, dentistry, and various fields of engineering, and many are leaders in their fields.

There are hundreds of verses throughout the Qur’an that describe the wonders of creation and nature and call upon humankind to reflect on them as signs of the Creator. Humans are described as stewards over this earth, entrusted with its oversight. There are also numerous Qur’anic as well as prophetic injunctions to avoid waste, excess, and harm to other forms of creation. A prophetic saying forbids wasting water, even when washing in a river. Living a balanced, moderate lifestyle is an important Islamic principle advocated by most Muslim scholars that applies to all aspects of life, including care of the earth and all of creation.

Islam Overview

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT ISLAM

Islam is the name of a holistic way of life (religion), just as Christianity and Judaism are names of other religions. The Arabic word “Islam” is based on the root “slm,” which means peace or surrender to the One Creator (God or Allah (swt)). Combining both translations results in the combined meaning “the state of peace through following the Creator’s guidance.”

A follower of Islam is called a Muslim, or “one who is in a state of peace by following the Creator’s guidance.”

While the term Arab has been used in the past to refer to members of a Semitic ethnic group from the Arabian Peninsula, today the word “Arab” refers to people from Arabic-speaking countries, most of which are in the Middle East and North Africa. The term Arabian was historically used to describe an inhabitant of the Arabian Peninsula. Today “Arabian” is used as an adjective to describe a non-human noun (e.g., Arabian coffee); it should not be used to refer to people.

Islam’s primary message, as understood by the overwhelming majority of Muslims, is the continuation of the Abrahamic monotheistic tradition’s belief in One Creator. The three major dimensions of Islam include beliefs, ritual practices, and the effort to improve one’s character and actions. There are six major beliefs in Islam and five central practices that are referred to as the Five Pillars.

The last dimension of Islam focuses on the cultivation of excellent moral character to better oneself and the world around oneself. It teaches a set of values that promote life, liberty, equality and justice. Some of these values include:

- Respect for the earth and all creatures
- Care and compassion for those less fortunate
- The importance of seeking knowledge
- Honesty and truthfulness in word and deed
- Striving continuously to improve oneself and the world

The six major beliefs in Islam, as understood by the majority of Sunni Muslims, are:

- belief in One Creator;
- belief in angels;
- belief in the Creator’s Prophets/Messengers;
- belief in the Creator’s revelations in the form of holy scriptures sent to the messengers;
- belief in an Afterlife that follows the Day of Judgement on which people will be held accountable for their actions and compensated accordingly in the afterlife; and
- belief in the Creator’s Divine Will and His knowledge of what happens in the world.

Muslims practice their faith in many different ways, but the major practices for both Orthodox Sunni and Shi’a Muslims are known as the Five Pillars, which include:

- the profession of faith, namely that there is only One Creator and that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the final Messenger of the Creator;
- the five daily prayers;
- required annual tax for the poor in the amount of 2.5% of one’s excess wealth;
- fasting during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan; and
- making a pilgrimage to Makkah once in a lifetime, if one is mentally, physically, and financially able to do so.

The primary sources of knowledge about Islam are based upon four :-

  1. The Qur’an, which Muslims believe is the divinely revealed speech of the Creator, and
  2. The Sunnah, which refers to the example or precedent of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh (i.e., what he said, did, approved, disapproved, caused, ordered, or allowed to happen). Much of what is known about the Sunnah is from the collection of sayings or reports known as hadith, or prophetic tradition. The hadith describe actions of the Prophet Muhammad or actions that his companions attributed to his teachings. Hadith also elaborate and provide context to the Qur’an.

In addition to these primary sources, Muslims have also traditionally relied on the following:

3. Scholarly Consensus (Ijma), that is, the agreement of the companions of the prophet (pbuh) or knowledgeable scholars upon a particular issue; and

4. Analogical Reasoning (Qiyas, Ijtihad) which means applying principles or laws derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah to similar situations not explicitly addressed by them. The lived experience of Islam, which naturally varies widely not only in different cultures but also with different individuals, also impacts and determines a Muslim’s understanding and practice of Islam.

RSE Actions Checklist

Steps 2 Action

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Below are some suggestions of steps that can be taken, to help resist or have some say in, if and how, RSE will be taught in your school. Also provided are some suggestions for how to protect your child as much as possible from the teachings regarding RSE that are already in schools and in society at large.

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01

  Start with Yourself

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Reflect on your priorities: keeping on top of your child’s upbringing, schooling as well as what children are exposed to in society is a full time job! In many families both parents work – discuss with your spouse how you can ensure the protection and Islamic upbringing of your child. If one parent can stay at home then that is the best outcome; if not – can one parent work part-time etc. Sit with your spouse and discuss your priorities. For single parents it is harder; think about support you can access to help you.

Educate yourself: about your Islamic duty as a parent; about RSE ins schools; RSE from an Islamic perspective.

Manage your anxieties towards educating your child in RSE topics. It is completely normal to feel fear, embarrassment, nauseous etc. at the thought of talking to your child about RSE matters. Think about how your parents talked (or not) to you about RSE matters and what you would do the same or most likely differently. Talk these things through with a friend or confident who you trust. Read relevant articles on this site to help you.

02

  Your Family

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Create a positive & loving family environment as this will help your child feel safe and secure and come to you as the first port of call in both religious and RSE matters. Examples of activities that can help foster connection and communication include:

  • Family meals
  • Family activities & outings
  • Family meetings where each member can voice any concerns, hopes, opinions etc.

Build a strong relationship with your child: build a relationship through doing fun activities, talking over meals, walks etc, find out about them; what they like, are interested in etc. This will help you have more influence over your child than what they learn at school or in society. It will also make it easier to talk with them about RSE topics when the time is appropriate.

  • Spend 121 time together
  • Do fun activities together
  • Make time to listen & talk
  • Tell them that you are available to talk about anything – not to be worried or embarrassed regardless of what they want to talk to you about. 

Educate your child first: remember you are your child’s primary educator so teach them:

  • In Islamic teachings & values
  • In general knowledge
  • In RSE topics from an Islamic perspective

Consider Home Education as an alternative to school – especially in the early years which are the most influential and formative for your child.

03

  Your Faith Community

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Build relationships with Muslim families & children.

  • Establish strong friendships between your child and other muslim children with similar values. These friendships should be fostered throughout their lives as peers have a great effect on each other, especially during adolescence. 
  • Build identity: by spending time with other Muslim families as it will help strengthen your child’s identity and help them hold firmly to their values when they encounter opposing views. This is important when your child at school sees other children with same-sex parents; children exploring gender identity and engaging in causal sexual relationships.

Build a sense of community and organise activities e.g. residential camps; outings and fun activities with other Muslim families.

Form support groups with other parents to discuss about RSE and how to teach your children RSE from an Islamic perspective.

Organise workshops or invite guest speakers to talk about different areas related to RSE in general and from an Islamic perspective.

04

  Your School

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Build relationships with your child’s teacher; the head teacher and governors. Find out who will teach RE/RSE and talk to them about your concerns and religious values.

Join the PTA (parents & teachers association) and consider becoming a parent governor. The more involved you become the more likely you are to have an influence on school policy regarding RE/RSE.

Volunteer e.g. reading support; help out with arts week, interfaith events. It is important to become involved with the school in a positive way, so that way the school are more likely to listen to you when you voice your concerns.

Help out at events e.g. cake sales; summer fairs; fundraising events.

Write to your school expressing your concerns about RE/RSE & ask to be informed and involved at all stages of policy development.

Ask to see the resources the school proposes to use for RSE; ask how, when and where RE/RSE will be taught. You need to be informed and updated about RE/RSE in your school at each stage as your child progresses through the year groups.

Offer to make RE/RSE resources the school can use. Schools will either have to make their own resources or buy them in; if you make your own you are helping the school out and ensuring you have some control over the resources being used.

Exercise your right to withdraw your child from SRE/RSE. Explain your reasons to the school and to your child so that they understand.

Group together with other parents who share the same concerns, as a collective voice will more likely be listened to.

Consider sending your child to a faith school, ideally Islamic but otherwise Church of England or Catholic schools that share similar values. However check out their views on RE/RSE and how they will teach it first.

Donate some Islamic children books (e.g. on hijab, marriage, morals etc) to the school. There are numerous books teaching children about lifestyles at odds with Islam; but donating Islamic books to your child’s school you can help provide another viewpoint (see Resources section for some ideas).

05

  Your Local Community

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Connect with parents, local groups and faith groups who share the same concerns about the compulsory introduction of RE/RSE:

  • Hold meetings to raise awareness and discuss a way forward about what you can do. Utilise people’s experiences and skill sets to devise and action a plan.
  • Invite guest speakers who can provide relevant information and experience

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  Your Larger Community 

Write to your MP and/or the Education Secretary expressing your concerns and asking for the right to withdraw your child from all aspects of RE/RSE that contradict your religious beliefs and morals.

Sign Petitions: sign the petition on this site to give parent’s the right to withdraw their child from RE/RSE; sign other relevant petitions.

Engage in debate: talk to people you meet to help create awareness about RE/RSE and hear other people’s opinions. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand as well as allow others to hear your views. 

Keep updated about developments and changes in legislation surrounding RE/RSE and in RSE issues/topics that may be introduced into the curriculum.

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  Your Global Community

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Think big! The compulsory introduction of comprehensive sexuality education is a global movement and effects everyone.

  • If you have family or friends outside the UK, speak to them and encourage them to look into what is being taught in their own child’s school with regards to sexuality education and to find out  what rights they have as parents to withdraw their child from this. 
  • Inform friends & family outside the UK about the global CSE agenda.
  • Use platforms such as social media and other forms of media to help create awareness and provide information about solutions. Produce high quality Islamic resources such as story books, videos, workshops etc that the Muslim community can use to help teach RE/RSE topics from an Islamic perspective.

RSE Influences

Who or What is Behind it?


There are widespread concerns that the mandatory introduction of RE/RSE into all schools across England, from September 2020, and Wales from 2022, will be used by sex education organisations and LGBTQ+ activists to promote their controversial beliefs to the youngest of children.

There is an international move, backed by international bodies such as the United Nations and by organisations such as the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, to get compulsory sexuality education into all schools worldwide. Their agenda is not to educate children in the biological aspects of reproduction but to teach children that they are sexual beings and have the right on act on their sexual urges with who, what and when they like. There is a concerted effort to undermine parental and religious authority by making school teachers the primary educator of children in all matters of sexuality education, as it has been redefined.

The philosophy behind this new compulsory sex education agenda can be traced back to the sexual revolution, which had its heyday in the 1960s, and is influenced by various social and political movements. Ideologies from Marxism, radical feminism and gender theory have all contributed to this new sexual ideology. They have intertwined with the thought of various protagonists, the most notable being Alfred Kinsey, who is seen as the master architect of sexuality education as it is now being taught.

The beliefs and practices of this new sexual agenda are already finding their way into mainstream society and have already begun seeping surreptitiously into schools and universities. The compulsory introduction of sexuality education into all schools worldwide is just part of a larger attempt to change the social and gender norms of society and turn people away from traditional institutions such as marriage and religion.

Reference: Stop RSE Forum

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

Whilst RSE refers to the new sexuality education movement in schools across the UK, there is a larger global movement that this is part of known as CSE or Comprehensive Sexuality Education.


Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a sexual rights based initiative that aims to implement its teachings into all schools worldwide.

The hearts and minds of children are extremely susceptible to whatever they hear, see, learn and experience. So much so that whatever information they are exposed to and absorb can have a lasting influence on their development into adult life. Sexual activists are becoming increasingly vociferous regarding the sexual rights of individuals and one of the most concerning developments of their agenda is their obsessive focus on the sexual rights of children. There are numerous protagonists asserting that children are sexual from birth or ‘from the womb to the tomb’. Due to this, they argue that children have the ‘right’ to experience sexual pleasure. To inform children of their sexual rights, these activists believe that children from a very young age have the right to a comprehensive education in sexuality.

In order to make CSE a global reality, the agenda has the backing of organisations from within the United Nations and European Union. The International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) is then main NGO behind it’s global implementation. Click on the relevant icon below to view their learning objectives and plans for teaching CSE in schools.

Reference: Stop RSE Forum

RE/RSE Curriculum

What an RE/RSE Curriculum May Look Like …

The main sex education organisations in the UK provide consultation to the government on all matters regarding sexual health and sex education. They are influential and are heavily funded by government and other institutions such as the banks and universities. 

When the government publish their finalised guidelines for RE/RSE, it will only refer to the legal minimum that schools are required to teach. Schools are strongly encouraged to exceed the guidelines and offer a more comprehensive relationship & sex education for children. This view is supported by the various sex education organisations who also offer support, guidance and resources to schools and are directly influenced by international documents such as the International Technical Guidance on comprehensive sexuality education.

The table below is an example of a curriculum some of the UK sex education organisations would like to see in schools.

ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Relationships  My Family   Diverse families   FriendshipsHaving friends which are similar/different   Bullying   Married and non-married parentsWhat is love and how do people show it.   Can people of the same sex love each other   Different families and diverse relationships & couples   What does gay & lesbian mean   Bullying   Challenging gender roles in relationships   Showing respect for different gender identities      Healthy & Unhealthy relationships   Changing relationships with family & friends   Marriage & civil partnerships   Legal age for sex & for marriage   Choosing a partner – boyfriends & girlfriends   Knowing when you are ready for sex & intimacy with boyfriend/girlfriend   Gender stereotypes in relationships   Understanding being LGBT and LGBT relationships   Understanding transvestitism and trans-sexualism   Appropriate touch between peers  What to expect in a sexual relationship and how to make it more enjoyable   Coping with peer pressure   Understanding and preventing homophobia   Important relationships and what to want from friends, family and sexual partner   Communication and managing conflict in relationships   When to become a parent and understanding responsibilities   Coping with break up, divorce   Being a single parent   Challenging bullying & prejudice    Communication in relationships – listening; expressing sexual desires; contraception   Psychological impact of breaking up & support available   Coming out as LGBT to family & friends   Talking to sexual partners, family & friends about having HIV or STDs   What should children be taught in RSE   Challenges of parenting   Gender, power & relationships
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Body  How girls & boys bodies differ   Different body part namesMy changing body   Differences between  boys/girls bodies   Understand the difference between gender & biological sex  Understanding puberty   Gender stereotypes   Changing bodies   Wet dreams   Masturbation   Explain how gender identity can differ from biological sexWhat is a normal body   Understanding hormones   Understanding sexual excitement   Erections, orgasms and how to have one   Penile & vaginal  secretions   Menstruation & menopause    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Reproduction  Where do babies come from   How are other children similar or different to meHaving a baby needs a male & female x Eggs & sperm How animals have babies and look after themUnderstanding sex & sexual intercourse   Sperm & Eggs   Pregnancy & contraception   How do same-sex families have children   How does the baby grow & how is it born   Looking after a baby    Understanding safer sex and carrying/using condoms   STDs & HIV   Pregnancy and prevention   Forms of sex that don’t risk pregnancy or infection   Contraception – different types, who’s responsibility   Impact of drugs & alcohol    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Feelings & Attitudes  What makes me feel good/bad   Feelings about growing up   How feelings about gender can differ from biological sex – how do you feel about your biological sex & gender?Understanding feelings & mood swings x Sexual feelings Is masturbation normal? Coping with family & friends who have different attitudes to me Cultural & Religious attitudes towards growing up Different bodies & body imageUnderstanding sexual attraction and when you are in love   Being attracted to or being in love with someone of the same gender   Am I gay or lesbian?   When to have sex and when to say no   Is everyone having sex?   Religious views on sex and marriage – what should I think?    Coping with strong feelings including desire & love   Influences on sexual behaviour   Religious & cultural beliefs about sexual relationships   Body image and self esteem   Pornography and real sexual relationships   Challenging LGBT stereotyping & discrimination    Body image & self esteem   Mental health & recognising the signs   Cultural views on gender norms & gender equality   Personal views on gender roles and gender equality   Understanding transgender & challenging transphobia   How culture & law determine what is acceptable or not regarding sexual behaviour over time   Challenging impact of media, peers & society    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Safety  Private parts – who can/cannot touch; what to do if someone touchesGood and bad secrets   Looking after my body   Who to talk to about growing upSexual diseases & HIV   Looking after my body   Getting advice   Where to get information on puberty & sexWhat to do if you have an STD   What are my options if I get pregnant   Best websites on sex & relationships for young people   Contraception & sexual health organisations I can use   Confidentiality & my sexual rights    Choosing contraception – advantages, disadvantages, sexual performance & responsibility   High risk and low risk sexual behaviours   My sexual rights & confidentially What sexual health services can I use and where do I find themPornography – what is legal and what is illegal   Discrimination & legal protection on grounds of gender and sexual orientation    

Relationship & Sex Education: Parents Rights

Relationship & Sex Education: Parents Know Your Rights

In September 2020 Relationship Education (RE) and Relationship & Sex Education (RSE) will become compulsory in all schools across England. This includes Islamic, other faith, private, state, academy etc. schools.

RE will be taught as compulsory from Reception Class upwards in both primary and secondary schools.

Sex Education will be taught as compulsory in all secondary schools and may be taught as optional in primary schools.

Parents need to know their rights and become active in their child’s school in having a say in how RE/RSE will be implemented.

The current situation (2019)

  • Parents currently have the right to withdraw their child from all aspects of Sex & Relationship Education (SRE). They will have this right until September 2020.

From September 2020

  • From September 2020, Relationship Education will become compulsory in all primary and secondary schools in England from Reception Class upwards. Parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from Relationship Education at any age.
  • From September 2020, Sex Education will become compulsory in all secondary schools in England. If you wish to withdraw your child from Sex Education in secondary school then you need to get permission from the Head Teacher. The ultimate decision on whether you can withdraw your child is down to the discretion of the Head teacher.
  • Sex Education is not compulsory in primary schools but primary schools are allowed to teach it if they want and many do. However, a parent has the automatic right to withdraw their child from sex education if taught at primary school.

Parent’s right to become involved in how schools will teach RE/RSE

  • As a parent, you have the right to get involved in the school’s RE/RSE policy development. The government strongly encourage schools to consult and work with parents in the design and implementation of RE/RSE in schools.
  • Parents have the right to know what will be taught to their child in RE/RSE and when.
  • Schools must inform parents about their right to withdraw their child from some or all of sex education when delivered as part of RSE.
  • Parents have the right to see the RE/RSE resources the school plans to use – the school is obliged to make these available for parent to view.
  • Parents have the right to ask the school any questions they wish in regards to RE/RSE.
  • Parents have the right to request workshops or meetings on RE/RSE at the school to find out more and discuss their opinions on the school’s approach to RE/RSE.

The National Curriculum

  • Parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from national curriculum science which may include aspects of Sex Education.
  • Parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from any national curriculum subjects.

Religion

  • Schools have been told that the religious backgrounds of children must be considered and RE/RSE matters must be taught in an appropriate manner. Religion is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act.
  • Faith schools will be allowed to teach their distinctive faith perspective on relationships as long as a balanced debate is facilitated about contentious issues.

A child’s right to choose

  • Three terms before a child turns 16 – the child themselves will be given the right to decide if they wish to attend sex education against their parent’s wishes or head teacher’s discretion.

Warning

  • Schools do not have to wait until September 2020 to implement RE/RSE; they are in fact encouraged to begin early and to offer a more comprehensive education in this area than the minimal legal requirements outline.
  • Many schools are already introducing RE/RSE into their curriculums.

Alternatives to school

  • Currently in the UK parents have the right to Home Educate their child and they do not have to teach the national curriculum or RE/RSE.

Reference: Stoprse.com

How to Engage With Your Child’s School

Build a Positive Relationship with the School

It is important to approach your child’s school in a proactive manner in order to find out what your child is learning but also to build positive relationships with the Head, teachers and staff in order to become a part of the school community. Doing this increases the likelihood that your voice will be heard when you raise concerns about matters such as Relationship Education and Relationship and Sex Education.

Ways to become involved could include joining the PTA or Parent Teachers Association or volunteering some time e.g. helping out with reading; cake sales etc.

Another important part you could play is becoming a parent Governor. Governors have a lot of influence on the school and will be responsible for approving the RSE curriculum and resources. By becoming a parent governor you will be able to have some impact on how Relationship Ed/RSE will be taught in the school.

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Form a Parents Group & Ask for a Consultation

Whilst parental rights are being eroded, in the RSE guidelines the government have placed a lot of emphasis on, and have strongly urged schools to involve parents at every stage of RE/RSE policy and curriculum development and implementation.

It is likely however that some schools will not actively tell you this – either because they themselves don’t know or because it’s more work for them! So as parents you need to be proactive and approach the school. This will be much easier and more effective if you form a group with other like-minded parents and devise an approach to contact the school and ensure you have your say in what and how RE/RSE is taught.

There will be many parents from all backgrounds who are concerned about RE/RSE, so find parents who share your concerns, have a meeting and agree on a strategy to approach and then work with the school. You can then arrange a meeting with the Head and also with the governors and ask to become involved at every stage of RE/RSE implementation.

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Make Sure You Have a Say in the Resources Selected & Any External Agencies Invited In

A lot of the concern over Relationship Ed/RSE are over the resources being used and the external agencies being invited into schools. Ensure you are consulted in the selection of resources and that you as parents feel the resources are age appropriate. 

Ask for further details about the external agencies invited in and ask to see the resources and lesson plans they choose to use.

Many schools will be collaborative and the best outcome is that parents and school can work together in a mutually beneficial way.

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What To Do if Your Concerns Aren’t Heard?

There may be schools that are more resistant to involving parents or who see engaging with parents as extra work – in such cases you can remind the schools that as parents it is your right to become involved with the school on RE/RSE matters. Keep approaching them until you get a response and they involve you in the process.

If you have genuine concerns that are not being listened to then you can ask for a meeting with the Chair of Governors and failing that make a formal complaint. Schools have a formal complaints procedure which you can follow.

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Suggested Questions You Can Ask the School

RE/RSE Policy Development

• Ask who is leading on RE/RSE and ask to meet them.
• When are they planning on drawing up the RE/RSE policy?
• Ask how parents can get involved?
• If you get vague responses then ask further questions to elicit details e.g. So when will you begin drafting the policy? How will you inform us? When will you know who’s leading it?
• Arrange another meeting to get further details etc.

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RE/RSE Resources

• Have they decided on what resources will they use?
• How will they ensure parents are involved and consulted in choosing the resources?
• Suggest parents are given the option to do research and select resources themselves.
• Suggest parents help make some of the resources.
• N.B. It’s essential to get involved in this as it’s often the resources used and way a topic is taught that is more of the problem than the actual topic being taught itself.
• Emphasise that you do not want graphic or ‘cartoon porn’ images to be used. Say it’s also against your religion to look at nude pictures.
• Explain images become imprinted on a child’s mind and affect the mental wellbeing and behaviour, so the school have carefully consider what resources they use.

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Delivery

• Do they plan to use external organisations to help deliver RE/RSE? If so which ones? Ask to look into them to see if you as parents agree.
• Express concern if any of these organisations appear to be pushing their own agenda or ideology.
• If teachers are sent on training – ask which organisation they are being trained by.
• Ask who is going to teach RE/RSE to your child and ask to meet them.
• Ask to be kept informed by letter or email at each stage or term of what your child will be taught and ask to be shown resources and lesson plans.
• Ask to sit in on and observe an RE/RSE lessons (not sure if they’ll agree but no harm in asking)
• If any parents have expertise then suggest they volunteer to teach aspects of RE/RSE

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Religious Rights

• Ask how in the teaching of RE/RSE the school propose to take religious views into account?
• Ask how they plan to introduce or teach LGBT issues – will it be integral to school? If so how? Explain your religious view on this and ask how they will take this into consideration.

• N.B. The government have stated that schools have to be sensitive to religious beliefs.

Reference: Stop Rse forum

Home Education Resources

GENERAL RESOURCES: WEBSITES, BOOKS, TOOLS

Sources for Muslim / Arabic educational material and homeschooling support – GENERAL SURVEY (NOT VERIFIED)

  • Bristol Muslim Home Educators – We hope to use this group, inshaAllah, to exchange ideas and experiences as well as to organise regular meetups with our children around Bristol.
  • Dallas Muslim Homeschoolers Association – Group for interested and committed parents to share experiences and make recommendations regarding curriculum, website links, activities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, sports and everything and anything pertinent to the homeschooling experience.
  • Home Education Muslim Network – Yorkshire – This group has been created for those in and around the Yorkshire area for Muslims seeking other Muslims for ideas and general chit chat regarding the tricky business of homeschooling our young ‘uns.
  • Memphis Muslim Home Educators – We are a group of families interested in connecting with one another and others who share our goals of Home Education.
  • Muslim Home Education Network Australia – Here to provide information and support on the viable and responsible option of Home Schooling to the Muslim Community. Facebook group.
  • Muslim Home Educators in London – The group is to provide a friendly forum for Muslim home educating families in London. We aim to meet up regularly and offer each other support.
  • Muslim Home Educators Birmingham – Closed Facebook group. Contact admin about joining.
  • Muslim Home Educators’ Support – This is the Facebook page of MHES (Muslim Home Educators’ Support), which is a support group for Muslim home educating sisters in Birmingham, UK (primarily). This Facebook group is open to home educating Muslim women.
  • The Muslim Homeschool – A homeschooling site primarily for muslims using the ‘classical’ method of homeschooling, the Well Trained Mind in particular.
  • Successful Muslim Homeschooling – The purpose of this page is to provide ideas, resources, inspiration, and support to parents teaching their children at home. Whether you homeschool full time or teach your children after school and on the weekends, inshallah, you will find our page has great deal of resources you can use. Like on Facebook, too.


BOOKS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING IN A MUSLIM FAMILY

  • The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling – The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling: Advice on Teaching and Parenting the Muslim Child, by Jamila Alqarnain, Kindle Edition, Canadian editions
  • Online Education for Muslim Children – A resource for Muslim educators and homeschooling families. Come here for discussions and sharing of information and resources of educational topics as they apply towards teaching our children. We welcome you to come, share and learn together.
  • Salafi Education – The aim of this group is to enable people to aid and support one another in home schooling and share beneficial resources as well as helping one another to adhere to Islam correctly upon the Quraan and authentic Sunnah as understood by the Salaf.
  • Arabic Learning Materials – For those of you who are struggling to learn or teach Islam, it can sometimes be hard to find the best learning materials available. We have done all the searching for you! Here you will find an extensive list of the best Islamic Learning Resources available on the web today, including links to Islamic lesson plans, Islamic Stories, activities to teach your child about Islam, Islamic curriculum, Islamic retailers and much more.
  • The Holy Quran – The religion’s holy book is presented in its original Arabic and several translations, including English, in text and audio versions. Searchable.
  • Internet Islamic History Sourcebook – Fordham University presents this overview of Islamic history and culture. Lots of links to original source material online.
  • Islamic Culture and the Medical Arts – Medicine is a science from which one learns the states of the human body with respect to what is healthy and what is not, in order to preserve good health when it exists and restore it when it is lacking. Ibn Sina, the opening to the Qanun fi al-tibb.
  • Islam For Kids – This Facebook page is for Parents who have a positive attitude towards life.
  • IslamKids – This website is aimed at kids between the ages of 5-12 years. By working through the modules you can learn about the basic teachings of Islam. Our aim is to make learning about Islam fun, interactive and easy.
  • Islamic Stories For Muslim Kids – This list will include Islamic stories for kids in English. This list will recommend Islamic multimedia software to teach Islamic subjects.
  • Muslim Scientists and Islamic Civilization – Muslim contribution to Science, Mathematics, Astronomy, and Philosophy in the Middle Ages. Ninety articles and over thirty biographies.
  • PBS – Islam: Empire of Faith – Throughout the production of Islam Empire of Faith – including this Web site – we have made every attempt to present as broad a portrait of Islamic art and culture as possible, in order to show the great diversity as well as the fundamental unity of Islamic civilization in its long and varied history.


HOME EDUCATION WEBSITES FOR ALL AGES

  • EdPlace – KS1 to KS4 you can have a free trial for only £1 or subscribe for £99 per year.
  • Ed PlaceSave
  • Twinkl – this is a must in my opinion. Twinkl is for all areas of the curriculum and is for all ages up to KS4. Price from £4.49 per month. Check out my review of some of their free educational resources.
  • BBC Bitesize – this is for all aged children and has lots of videos and helpful articles. This is a free service.
  • TES– there are some free resources on here, although you can purchase each individual topic or resource.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers– This is for all children and they have lots of free resources. There are also paid for work sheets.
  • Teaching Packs – priced at £17.50 per year for thousands of teaching packs.
  • Activity Village – access to over 29k printable activities at only £15 per annum
  • Khan Academy – Free personalised learning resources for all ages.
  • IXL – Maths and English resources for children aged between reception to year 13. Prices from £7.99 per month , they offer a 20% discount for new members.
  • IXL 20% DiscountSave
  • Learning Resources Science Museum – This site brings together resources from museums, including activities, games and videos. Discover activities to support a range of curriculum topics for use in the classroom, in museum galleries and beyond. KS1 – KS4 and they are free resources.
  • Education Quizzes – KS1 – GCSE educational quizzes to help with all areas of the curriculum. £9.95 per month but home educators can get a 3 month free trial.
  • Quizlet – Free resources for KS1 – KS4
  • KM Tuition -Maths, English and Science free worksheets and past exam papers.
  • Exemplar Education – Maths and English resources including access to an online tutor, or phone. Read my full review on Exemplar
  • My Own Tutor – Year 1 to GCSE maths and English, prices from £10 per week.
  • Kidztype – Free typing games to help with touch typing
  • If you have an Amazon Alexa device check out our favourite Alexa educational skills
  • Primary School Resources – Home Education Websites
  • The School Run This is for primary school year children. A 14-day trial costs £1.97. When you take out your trial you can choose one of three subscription packages: £39.97 for six months; £59.97 for 12 months; £130 for a School Lifetime (7 years’ continuous access).
  • Primary Leap – this is for primary school children and they offer a free subscription. You can however upgrade to a paid subscription from £3.75 per month.
  • Top Marks – primary free resources.
  • Rising Stars primary school resources, a lot of free resources.
  • Soft Schools primary school free resources.
  • Education.com – primary school children resources, from free to $9.99 per month.
  • Primary Resources free resources for primary school children
  • Oxford Owl free resources for primary school children
  • Every School– free resources for primary school children.
  • Have Fun Teaching – free resources and worksheets for primary school children.
  • Teach it Primary – All subjects great for primary school. There are free subscriptions and paid for subscriptions start at £49.95
  • @school  – Quarterly subscription £9.99
  • Skoolbo – All subjects great for primary school. 30 day free trial $10.95 per month
  • Apple for the Teacher – £43.20 per year
  • Parents in Touch – from £20 per year
  • K5 Learning – This is an American site with free worksheets in maths and English
  • Check out over 35 of the best educational youtube videos
  • English – Home Education Websites
  • Literacy Shed – Videos and worksheets to help with English for primary school children.
  • Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress helping children learn to read, there is a free trial and then £39.95 for an annual subscription. They offer a 40% discount to home educators but you need to email them for the code.
  • Puzzle Maker a free tool for making your own word puzzles.
  • TeachIT English KS3 and above there is a free subscription or paid for start at £55 per year.
  • Nessy – Great tool for children with dyslexia, prices start from £8 per month
  • Teach your monster to read – free resource to help children learn to read.
  • Picture Book Explorers – there are a few resources, or some paid topics to chose from.
  • If you enjoy playing games check out over 20 games for homeschool families
  • Maths – Homeschooling Resources
  • The Maths Factor – Carol Vorderman’s online maths school. This is for primary school children and costs £9.99 per month, there is a 30 day money back guarantee. Packed with incentives for children including real medals which get sent in the post if a child completes a session every day for 30 days.
  • Maths FactorSave
  • Matr – fun and affordable one to one tuition in maths for children aged 7-11.
  • Corbett Maths free resource and has videos and questions and answers.
  • Maths Watch – Covers maths from primary to A Level. It costs about £100 p.a but this is for lots of users. So if you can get a few people together it would be cheaper.
  • My Mini Maths – with more than 1,300 free resources for primary school children.
  • Conquer Maths learning maths for children aged 4 – 19 years old. £99.99 for a year subscription.
  • Teach IT Maths – KS3 and above. There is a free subscription and paid for subscriptions start at £30 per year.
  • Absolute Maths -Self study/revision website for iGCSE/GCSE levels and there are also Absolute Maths Courses which is a separate tuition led section of the business currently for KS3 and iGCSE/GCS
  • Prodigy Maths – free resource for primary school children
  • Adapted Mind $9.95 per month, but there is a free trial.
  • Math Play Ground – free resource and paid for subscriptions at $6.99 per month (this is a special summer rate)
  • MEP (Maths Enhancement Programme) free resources up to A Level students.
  • Doodle Maths – This is a fun app with maths quizzes. There is a free plan plus a paid for one at £4.99 per month
  • Math Seeds -is great for children aged 3-9, one year subscription is £29.95. They offer a 40% discount to home educators but you need to email them for the code
  • Math Whizz – they offer a free trial or you can subscribe for £149 per year.
  • Maths is Fun – Primary school free resources.
  • Maths Gynie – Primary up to A Level amazing free resources, videos, exam papers and solutions.
  • Mathster – Free worksheets for GCSE and A Level
  • Maths Chase –  Free times table tests
  • Check out my Amazon store to find educational gifts and resources for your homeschool room
  • Science – Home Education Websites
  • Outstanding Science primary school resource at £25 a year.
  • Mystery Science home school subscription at $69 per year. But there are free trials available too.
  • Teach It Science KS3 and above. There is a free subscription or paid for subscriptions start at £30 per year.
  • Mystery Doug – This is a free resource
  • School Science – This is a free resource.
  • Sublime Science – there are free resources (they also do amazing parties, which we did a couple of years ago and the kids loved it)
  • BBC Terrific Science – free resources
  • Interactive Elements Table – periodic table in pictures and words.
  • History – Homeschooling Resources
  • 60 Second Histories – there is a 2 week free trial, after that the annual subscription is only £25 (USE CODE Freddie10 for 12% off – offer expires 30/01/2019). Read my review of 60 Second Histories
  • Geography – Home Education Websites
  • 3D Geography – Make models and great free resources
  • BBC Bitesize – Free resources from Primary to KS3
  • Languages – Home Education Websites
  • Duo Lingo (Tiny Cards) This is an amazing free app and it has so many different languages to learn.
  • Teach it Languages – KS3 and above. There is a free subscription and paid for plans start at £30 per year.
  • Babble – They offer 13 different languages and there are free resources and paid for subscriptions starting from only £4.75 per month.
  • Coding – Home Education Websites
  • Play Osmo – This is a great fun way to teach your children coding and programming. I have reviewed Coding Awbie and Osmo Coding Jam and I can not recommend them highly enough.
  • Code.org – This is a free resource.
  • Scratch – this is a free resource.
  • Codeacadamy – this is a free resource
  • GamEd Academy – Learning through play with Minecraft. Prices vary
  • Arts and Crafts – Home Education Websites
  • SmiggleSave
  • Red Ted Art lots of free ideas and printable’s.
  • Krokatak – loads of free arts and crafts, videos and printables
  • IGCSE and Key Stage 3
  • Echo Education focuses on courses for IGCSE and Key stage 3 they are experienced home educators and often courses with or without tutor support.
  • Marking – Mark My Papers this is an independent marking service. You need to scan the children’s work to them and they send it back marked with full detail. This is for children from KS2 up to A Levels.


NATIONAL CURRICULUM BOOKS

  • The National Curriculum in England – Handbook for Primary Teachers £15.85
  • CGP books – prices starting from as little as £3.13 from the Book Depository all with free delivery
  • Cambridge IGCSE Test Papers – prices from as little as £4.99 from the Book Depository all with free delivery
  • Collins SATS Workbooks  – prices from as little as £4.46 from the Book Depository all with free delivery
  • Maths No Problem – Maths books starting from £8.49

REFERENCES

  • https://www.gov.uk/home-education
  • https://www.bolton.gov.uk/alternative-schooling/home-education
  • http://home-ed.info/heinfo
  • https://freddiesmummyuk.com/homeschooling-websites-uk/
  • https://a2zhomeschooling.com/religion/islamic_homeschooling/
  • http://www.rahmahmuslimhomeschool.co.uk/index/islamic-studies-curriculumsyllabus-for-pre-school-and-primary-school/
  • https://www.muslimhomeschool.net/lesson.html