Trojan Horse schools: Teachers to be barred for not 'protecting British values'

 

Education Editor

Teachers face being barred from the profession if they fail to protect British values in their schools, new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan declared today.

She made the comments as a Government-ordered investigation found proof of a plot by Islamic hardliners to take over schools in Birmingham, outlined in a now-notorious ”Trojan Horse” letter sent to city council chiefs.

The report, by former Metropolitan Police anti-terrorism head Peter Clarke, also warned that academies, set up in their thousands by former Education Secretary Michael Gove, were “vulnerable to those without good intentions” seeking to control schools.

In his report, Mr Clarke concluded: “I found clear evidence that there are a number of people, associated with each other and in positions of influence in schools and governing bodies [in Birmingham] who espouse, endorse or fail to challenge extremist views.

“There has been coordinated, 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.

“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.”

Former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke, who was commissioned to investigate the alleged plot by a group of hardline Muslims to take over schools in Birmingham (PA) Former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke, who was commissioned to investigate the alleged plot by a group of hardline Muslims to take over schools in Birmingham (PA)
Evidence collated by the investigation showed bullying and intimidation of senior staff, the hounding out of head teachers, segregation of pupils for lessons and invites to extremist outside speakers to address pupils. One head teacher was subjected to the circulation of rumours she was “sexually promiscuous”.

At one of the schools, Park View, students said they had been “quite shocked” by a speech by an outside speaker who told them they were being “oppressed” in this country.

In his report, Mr Clarke pointed out that “many of the inappropriate behaviours identified in Birmingham took place in a number of academies”.

“The autonomy granted to those who run academies is generally a welcome development yet can make those institutions vulnerable to those without good intentions.

“I would not want to generalise about the governance of academies but this enquiry has highlighted that there are potentially serious problems in some academies.”

He said the Government’s monitoring system needed to be “more sensitive to detecting changes in governance and more effective in responding to warning signs”.

In a Commons statement on the report, Ms Morgan said Mr Clarke’s findings were “disturbing”.

She said she had ordered the disciplinary panel of the National Council for Teaching and Leadership to determine whether any teachers identified in the report had been guilty of misconduct and should be barred from teaching. She stressed any actions that undermine “fundamental British values should be viewed as misconduct”.


In addition, she made it clear exposing pupils to extremist speakers in future “should be regarded as a failure to protect pupils and British values” and punished by immediate suspension and prohibited without recourse to review if misconduct was found.

She said one school, Oldknow, would have its funding agreement cancelled, effectively closing it. Its head teacher was asked to take “gardening leave” after being relentlessly pursued by governors to remove senior members of her leadership team despite the fact it was rated “outstanding” by inspectors, the report said.

At Park View, where a “Park View Brotherhood” in which staff could email their thoughts was uncovered, senior members of the governing body had now resigned, she added. Messages included describing homosexuals as “animals” with “satanic ways” and a suggestion that the murder of soldier Lee Rigby was a stage-managed hoax.

At another school, a Muslim parent told staff after a white pupil had been enrolled they should “get a white chair and a white desk and put the white kid in the corner with a white teacher and keep him away from the others. If that fails, get rid of the white kid. It’s what the community want you to do.”

Ms Morgan said she would be drawing up measures to improve school governance in the autumn.

However, Tristram Hunt, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary. said: “We have seen no change in course in response to the dangerous lack of local oversight in our school system. Labour will introduce directors of school standards in every local area to hold all schools to account, respond to early warning signs and support all schools to improve.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: MIS Officer - Further Education Sector

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Operating throughout London and...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?