How will Nicky Morgan tackle the Trojan Horse plot saga?
U.K. / Birmingham – The new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has her job cut out.
Since the leaked letter on Operation Trojan Horse was reported by the BBC, extensive investigations led by Peter Clarke, the former counter-terrorism chief, concluded in a draft report there were “segregationist attitudes” forced onto school children. The Daily Mail reported there was there was a ‘co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into some schools in the city’.
Commissioned by former Education Secretary and current Chief Whip Michael Gove, Clarke concluded in his official government document “if education officials had not intervened, hundreds of children would have been destined to live lives of intolerance.”
Birmingham City Council Inquiry disagrees with Clarke
However, Birmingham City Council’s own inquiry concluded contrary to Clarke’s findings. While Ian Kernshaw admitted there were “elements” of Islam extremism Birmingham schools, he believed “‘there is no evidence of a conspiracy to promote an anti-British agenda, violent extremism or radicalisation in schools in east Birmingham.”
“There is little express evidence to which I can point of a systematic plot or coordinated plan to take over schools serving students of a predominantly Muslim faith or background,” the independent adviser concluded.
Teachers implicated allowed to keep jobs as part of an agreement
Today, The Telegraph reports senior teachers implicated in the investigation have been “allowed to keep their jobs in a deal struck hours after Michael Gove was removed as Education Secretary”. The agreement was part of a “condition” of Mr Tahir Alam’s resignation. Tahir Alam was the chair of governors at the Park View School, and alleged “ringleader” of the Trojan Horse plot.
The Labour MP involved in the negotiations for Tahir Alam’s resignation was not aware of any agreement made to fire or hire sraff. Liam Byrne was quoted as saying his role “…was to see that we had three excellent local leaders coming in to replace (the governors who resigned).”
The Trojan Horse Plot
A letter dated November 2013 was discovered in March 2014 detailing the modus operandi of school takeovers. The letter contained a structured, methodological approach to taking over schools, breaking away from curriculum scrutiny by obtaining academy status and how these steps can be replicated in other cities beyond Birmingham.
This sparked investigations by Ofsted. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools In England. This department regulates and inspects schools in the UK, amongst other local services.
Investigations reveal elements of extremism and religious-biased teaching and influences in the schools implicated. Allegations of such plots were also revealed to have been reported for many years, but such reports were ignored.