Inspectors are to question children who wear the hijab to primary school, amid concern that girls as young as four are being forced to wear the Muslim headscarf.

The controversial move to ask children why they wear the hijab to school is announced today by the chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman.

It will be the first time the rise of the classroom hijab has been officially challenged in state schools in England — or the reason given for wearing it recorded in school reports.

Spielman says in a statement today that primary school hijabs could be seen to be sexualising children because the headscarf is traditionally worn as a sign of modesty in front of men when Muslim girls reach puberty.

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