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Under proposals unveiled earlier this year private Muslim schools were to be given the chance to carry out their own Ofsted-style inspections.

It was announced a new independent watchdog would be set up to be more "sensitive" toward Islamic education and the new body would also inspect a small number of independent Christian schools.

But now Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, has effectively vetoed the plan.

It follows warnings from Ofsted, the official schools inspectorate, that the move would cause "increased fragmentation" and "works against any consistent approach to national standards".

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