A report into the so-called ‘Trojan Horse Plot’ has been released by the British government. It details the findings of Peter Clarke, who was appointed by the government to investigate allegations of an ‘Islamist Plot’ to takeover certain schools in Birmingham.
The report found overwhelming evidence that a small group of individuals have been systematically taking over state run schools in Birmingham, forcing out non-compliant and non-Muslim staff and forcing radical Islamist values into the education system.
The report outlined three major effects on the children at these schools:
1. Children at these schools are learning to be intolerant of difference and diversity.
2. Children at these schools are having their horizons narrowed rather than broadened.
3. Children at these schools are being encouraged to accept unquestioningly a hardline version of Sunni Islamism. This will leave them vulnerable to radicalization later on.
The report concluded:
There has been co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham. This has been achieved by gaining influence on the governing bodies, installing sympathetic headteachers or senior members of staff, appointing like-minded people to key positions, and seeking to remove headteachers they do not feel to be sufficiently compliant. Some of these individuals are named in this report; most are not. Whether their motivation reflects a political agenda, a deeply held religious conviction, personal gain or a desire to influence communities, the effect has been to limit the life chances of the young people in their care and to render them more vulnerable to pernicious influences in the future.
The Education Secretary Nicky Morgan called the report "disturbing" and "upsetting." As part of the government’s response to the ongoing scandal, Morgan appointed a former head of the Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake, to review the conduct of Birmingham City Council.
Morgan also said she would appoint a new education commissioner for Birmingham, and that some teachers would face disciplinary action.
An earlier report by independent education expert Ian Kershaw concluded that Birmingham City Council had been slow to act and, at times, willfully ignored complaints due to fears of being branded Islamophobic.
Sir Albert Bore, head of the council admitted that this was the case, saying, “The report further states this has often been because of the risk of being seen as racist or Islamophobic. Our proper commitment to cohesion in communities sometimes overrode the need to tackle difficult questions about what was happening in a small number of schools.”
Last week Tahir Alam, the Chairman of Park View Educational Trust, resigned along with the board of trustees. Park View is the school at the center of the controversy. The governors of Saltey school, a school that was prominently involved in the controversy, resigned en-masse a few weeks ago.
Alam claims that the three schools he was involved with have been “manipulated and misrepresented in order to serve a narrow, predetermined political agenda.”