Posted on: March 7th 2022

Multi-faith facilities at LAE

We are aware of an online campaign alleging that LAE is an institutionally Islamophobic institution. We refute this allegation as without foundation and regard it as malicious.

The core of this allegation refers to a lack of on-site facilities at LAE for Muslim prayer. The anonymous authors of this campaign allege that in not providing a prayer room, LAE is failing in its duty of care to respect the religious rights of its sizeable minority of Muslim students.

LAE has operated since inception in a converted office building that lacks some of the facilities found in schools or colleges with more abundant space and resourcing. There are no on-site prayer facilities for students of any faith. However, the school fully recognises the importance of prayer to many of our students and has hired space a few minutes’ walk from the main school entrance. This space is being used by students of all faiths for reflection and/or prayer.

This space is offered to students in addition to local prayer facilities that they can access alongside members of the public and notwithstanding the fact that the school receives no dedicated funding for such facilities. The school has consulted extensively with its student council and with community faith leaders over the appropriate use of this space. The school will continue to consult with both the student council and with community faith leaders.

In addition, to accommodate Muslim students and staff who wish to pray, the school operates a short day on Fridays and its lunch breaks are long enough for students to get to local prayer rooms and back for afternoon sessions. The nearest prayer facility is less than a five minute walk away and provides a Friday Jummah service that is well attended by LAE students.

We therefore disagree with the suggestion that not having a prayer room on site is an indicator of institutional Islamophobia. The staff and governors of LAE celebrate our diversity and do everything we can to run a happy, healthy, scholarly community that remains true to our core values of kindness, respect, independence, resilience, humility, and excellence.