Children attending some UK Islamic schools are being subjected to physical beatings as teachers use loopholes to get around a ban on corporal punishment, according to new research.

Several madrassas – religious schools often run by mosques – use "excessively strict approaches to discipline" to keep children in line, it was revealed.

Researchers said the imposition of hard-line rules on behaviour instilled a sense of "spiritual fear" in young people, marking them out from mainstream schools.

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