London: The UK government is planning to issue new rules imparting liberal "British values" in the country's faith schools to tackle the recent threat of Islamist extremist influence exposed in some of them.
UK education secretary Nicky Morgan?is set to order faith schools to teach pupils to be tolerant of other religions and respect lesbian, gay and transgender relationships.
The schools have been warned that those that fail to follow new rules on British values will be judged inadequate and could face closure, the Sunday Times reported.
The move follows snap inspections by UK schools inspectorate Ofsted at 40 schools, including those for Christian and Jewish pupils.
They were launched in the wake of the so-called 'Trojan Horse' scandal earlier this year - an alleged Islamist plot to infiltrate some schools in Birmingham - as part of the government's efforts to combat extremism.
Morgan is backing Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of Britain's schools, who will table a report later this month saying that any school suspected of not teaching a broad and balanced curriculum, of rapidly falling standards or of not preparing children for life in modern Britain will face no-notice inspections.
Inspectors have been accused of heavy-handedness after criticising and in some cases downgrading Jewish, Roman Catholic and Church of England schools during the round of inspections in September.
Morgan told the newspaper that it was "crucial" that Christian and Jewish schools, as well as Muslim ones, followed the new rules, which require them to "actively promote" fundamental British values such as tolerance of other faiths and lifestyles, democracy and the rule of law.
"Schools should broaden horizons not close minds and should encourage pupils to respect other people even if they do not agree with them. I should have thought this is a principle with which the vast majority of people would?agree. All schools of whatever type have a duty to protect young people and to ensure they leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain," she said.
Guidance on the new rules is set to be issued to private schools, academies and free schools this week.