The Church of England will continue to encourage its schools to set "culturally and religiously sensitive" uniform policies, a spokeswoman has said, after Ofsted announced this week that its inspectors would question Muslim primary-school girls on their wearing of a hijab in the classroom.

The Chief Inspector of Schools, Amanda Spielman, told The Sunday Times that wearing a hijab or similar headscarf "could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls" and should be questioned. The hijab is not traditionally worn until puberty.

"In seeking to address these concerns, and in line with our current practice in terms of assessing whether the school promotes equality for their children, inspectors will talk to girls who wear such garments to ascertain why they do so in the school," she said.

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