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Why this petition matters

Started by LAE Alumni

The London Academy of Excellence (LAE) first opened in 2012. The student population in LAE is largely Muslim and in its first two years, Muslim students were able to practise their faith with little to no problems. However, in 2014, LAE became hostile towards Muslim students. What started off as monitoring Friday prayers and screening the sermons soon turned into a complete ban on Friday prayers taking place in the school.

In 2015, the situation for Muslim students worsened as LAE banned all prayers in the school premises. Students caught praying onsite were given detentions and those who were late to class due to finding a prayer space were threatened with harsher punishments, such as suspensions. As a result, students often prayed in secret under staircases whilst many were forced to pray outside in small alleyways and pavements in wet conditions.

Despite constant campaigns by students and the school council, LAE continued to ignore students' requests for a prayer room. Staff intimidation towards Muslim students continued with many students testifying to bullying and being targeted for practising their religion. Female Muslim students were harassed for wearing the hijab. Comments were made by teachers stating how they had no freedom and in other cases, teachers actively encouraged students to take off the hijab.

LAE has failed its students and has neglected their well-being. Students should have the right to practice their faith without fear.

We are a group of alumni seeking justice for the Islamophobia that we faced.

We have 5 clear demands we want LAE to abide by immediately: 

  1. A reversal of the decision made by the LAE governing body in 2015 regarding the removal of the onsite prayer facilities that allowed communal prayers;
  2. Appropriate remedies to policies and processes within the Sixth Form;
  3. Action to be taken against staff found in the investigation to have been Islamophobic and have failed in their duty of care towards LAE pupils;
  4. A full and unreserved apology to LAE pupils and alumni, concerned individuals and the wider Muslim community;
  5. A commitment to address institutional Islamophobia and to build an inclusive environment for Muslim students at LAE, in line with the Equalities Act 2010.

Please sign this petition and show your support for the students who have been targeted and traumatised for observing their faith.

42,661 have signed. Let’s get to 50,000!