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More than 400 claims of physical abuse on children attending British madrassas

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More than 400 allegations of physical abuse against young people at British Islamic schools were made in the last three years Photo: REUTERS

However, only 10 of these cases ever made it to court, with just two leading to convictions, a report into abuse at madrassas warns.

Muslim campaigners have warned that insufficient regulation is leading to some madrassas "destroying the lives of young people" and urged the Government to take action against offending institutions.

Corporal punishment is legal in part-time education settings in England, including in madrassas, if lessons are taught for fewer than 12.5 hours per week.

The figures, obtained by BBC Radio 4's File on 4 under freedom of information laws, showed tighter regulation of the schools, which take up to 500,000 students a day in England, Scotland and Wales, was needed, a Muslim think-tank said.

Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, founder of the Muslim Institute, said: "Some kind of system must be put in place to ensure that only teaching takes place there, not sexual or physical abuse.

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