AN independent Islamic study centre has been praised for its 'excellent sixth form provision' and student's 'impeccable' behaviour by the schools’ watchdog.

Darul Uloom Al Arabiya Al Islamiya, in Holcombe Old Road, Holcombe, was judged to be "good" with "outstanding" features by Ofsted, after being inspected between March 12 and 15.

The school, which opened in 1979 and has 317 pupils, offers a secondary secular and further education, as well as advanced Islamic education to Islamic scholar standard.

Inspectors reported that sixth form students at the school 'make an excellent contribution to the school and achieve high grades in examinations'.

They also praised the school for providing 'a harmonious and peaceful environment where pupils learn successfully, feel safe and develop excellent personal skills'.

They reported that 'the school’s work to promote pupils’ understanding of British values and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent' and that 'pupils show respect for people from different faiths and cultures'.

Inspectors also said the curriculum at the school is 'planned effectively to provide pupils with a range of experiences' and that 'Islamic studies are interwoven with the national curriculum, providing pupils with a range

of knowledge and transferable skills'.

However, the effectiveness of leadership and management at the school was awarded the rating 'requires improvement'.

Inspectors say the reason for the rating was because the school does not fully comply with the conditions of its registration because a small number of learners completing advanced Islamic studies, which takes up to six years to conclude, are over the maximum age of 23 years.

In order to improve further, they were told they must comply fully with the terms of their regulation, continue to improve teaching and learning so that pupils’ progress is consistently outstanding in all year groups, and hone the system to track pupils’ progress in order to more accurately assess their progress against the standards expected for their age in each year group and subject.