A Chasidic boys school in Salford which takes pupils up to the age of 12 has been told they need to know about LGBT issues.
Ofsted graded the independent Talmud Torah Yetev as a school that “requires improvement”, finding also that progress in secular subjects had not gone far enough.
While its 409 pupils were taught British values and respect for other people, they did not develop a “secure understanding” of all protected characteristics under the Equality Act, inspectors reported.
“Pupils need to develop knowledge and understanding in relation to sexual orientation and gender reassignment. This is to ensure that pupils are fully prepared for life in modern Britain.”
Charedi representatives have argued that the latest guidelines from the Department for Education give schools discretion to decide at what age certain topics should be appropriate to introduce into the classroom.
The DfE has said, for example, that it is not compulsory for primary schools to talk about families with same-sex parents as part of the new relationships and sex education curriculum, which is due to come into effect in the next academic year.
But Ofsted has made clear that it does not regard a school such as Yetev Lev as exempt from dealing with LGBT issues, even though its oldest age group is only a year above primary.
Boys at the schools told inspectors they were expected to work hard at their secular studies.
While maths had improved since the last inspection, other curriculum developments in subjects such as English were too new so pupils did not have the chance to achieve as well as they should, Ofsted reported.