AN INDEPENDENT school is promoting British values despite concerns it focuses too much on Islamic education.

That is according to inspectors from independent education watchdog Ofsted after they visited Darul Uloom School in Holcombe Old Road, Holcombe.

The school opened in 1979 and teaches 374 boys aged between 11 and 23. About 200 of the boys board.

When Ofsted carried out a full inspection in November, 2014, inspectors gave it the highest possible grade of 'outstanding' in all five areas that it measures.

The latest inspection, unannounced and over two days in January "was carried out following a number of complaints received by the registration authority (the Department for Education)…about the quality of the curriculum, suggesting that a 'narrow, Islamic focused curriculum' was in place," said lead inspector Philippa Darley in the report, which was published this week.

The report adds: "The vast majority of the concerns raised by the complainants were not substantiated at this inspection.

"The curriculum taught balances Islamic education with a secular curriculum.

"About 18 hours of dedicated secular study time takes place each week.

"The curriculum aims include the promotion of fundamental British values, such as democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs."

The report adds: "Pupils have very strong opinions on Islamic extremism, underpinned by a detailed understanding and interpretation of Quranic teaching.

"For example, they identify Islamic State terrorism as 'un-Islamic' and identify strongly with British sovereignty."

Inspectors said the school needs to make its health and safety policy more detailed and to identify risks associated with the school site.

"Aspects of the building need improving to ensure the safety of pupils at all times."

The report adds: "Pupils say bullying is not an issue and believe they are well looked after with multiple opportunities for activities during unstructured hours."

The school's headteacher Mohammed Atcha said: "We welcome this report and strive to implement its findings in line with our journey to consistently provide an outstanding education for all our students."

Mr Atcha added that, when discussing the necessary building improvements, the inspectors were referring to a football pitch that was being repaired and construction materials had been left out.

He said the area has been made safer.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "All independent schools must meet the Independent School Standards and those that fail to do so must improve or close.

"We will now examine Ofsted’s report into Darul Uloom School and consider next steps.”