The buck stops with Mr Gove over ‘Trojan Horse’ plot

 

Share

A tsunami of schadenfreude has been sluicing through the liberal corners of Britain since the revelation, exquisitely timed to overshadow the Queen’s Speech, of a furious row between the Home and Education Secretaries.

With Mrs May bereft of her trusty adviser, Fiona Cunningham, and Mr Gove forced to issue a grovelling apology to her intelligence chief Charles Farr, the argument has had consequences for both ministers. Still, both are thought likely to survive a reshuffle, being potentially far more dangerous to the prime minister on the backbenches than in the Cabinet. But the substance of their argument matters far more than the political damage.

Ofsted’s report into the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ allegations of Islamic infiltration into Birmingham schools, published today, is expected to reveal that in at least one of the city’s primary schools, a Maths teacher required girls to cover their heads and sit together at the back of the classroom, segregated from the boys, and sent Muslim children on an expensive trip to Saudi Arabia from which non-Muslims were excluded. The report may well carry more unpalatable revelations – unpalatable but not suprising, given Mr Gove’s reforms. 

Deviations from the national norm were unthinkable in the old state school system which Mr Gove has been working overtime to transform: uniformity was built into those arrangements, while local council control meant that people with roots in the schools’ catchment areas kept their ears to the ground.

By freeing schools from those local authority bonds and mandating diversity, Mr Gove has undoubtedly overseen the creation of some schools that are centres of excellence. But if there are also opportunities for people with vested interests to hijack schools that are tax-payer funded, that is a severe problem which should have been anticipated. Mr Gove will be wearing the dunce’s cap for some time to come.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Piper Ryan Randall leads a pro-Scottish independence rally in the suburbs of Edinburgh  

i Editor's Letter: Britain survives, but change is afoot

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Some believe that David Cameron is to blame for allowing Alex Salmond a referendum  

Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?

Mark Steel
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam