Muslim faith schools have topped the British government’s ranking of secondary school performance, taking the top three positions and securing a total of four in the top ten.
Top of the pack was Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School in the northern English town of Blackburn, followed by Eden Boy's school in Birmingham and the Eden Girl's School in neighbouring Coventry.
All three say they are run according to Islamic and British values.
The list collated every year by the government ranks schools across the country on measures including academic attainment and the percentage of students who stay on for further education.
In the UK, compulsory education ends at the age of 16, after which students can either leave to enter the job market or go on to further education.
According to the ‘Progress 8’ framework that the UK government uses to measure performance, schools are judged according to the progress students make in addition to the grades they achieve.
At Tauheedul Islam 83.3 percent of students got high passing grades in English and Mathematics, while the institute got a 69.9 point score on the Progress 8 scale. It was the fourth consecutive year that the school had topped the national table.
All of the top three were classified as ‘Well Above Average’ in terms of attainment by the government and were judged to be ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted - the British government body charged with ensuring educational quality for both state and privately owned schools.
In a statement, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said that the statistics showed faith schools were performing well despite the negative perceptions surrounding them.
“Credit must go to the teachers, parents, and of course students, at these high performing Muslim faith schools for their excellent achievement,” said Secretary-General of the MCB Harun Khan.
“Their results show that with hard-work and dedication children of all backgrounds and in any educational setting can achieve their utmost.”