A Derby school at the centre of controversy over its alleged policies, including making female teachers wear hijabs – Islamic head scarves – and seating girls at the back of the class, has responded to media stories by writing to parents.

The Al-Madinah School – based in Friar Gate and Nelson Street – was set up as a multi-faith free school in September 2012, funded by £1.4 million of public money.

It was already being investigated by the Education Funding Agency when the Derby Telegraph revealed exclusively last Friday there had been allegations of non-Muslim female staff being told they must follow the Muslim dress code and girls seated behind boys in lessons.

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