Birmingham schools ‘ignored’ extremist threat

July 10, 2014

According to official sources on July 6, one of Britain’s biggest education authorities is expected to come under attack for “ignoring” warnings of an Islamist extremist takeover of schools in Birmingham and not doing enough to safeguard children from the risk of being radicalised.
Peter Clarke, Britain’s former counter-terrorist police officer investigating claims surrounding a so-called “Trojan Horse” plot targeting Britain’s schools, is expected to rebuke the Birmingham authority for not doing enough to safeguard children from the risk of being radicalised despite warnings dating back to 2002, according to The Sunday Times.

Complaints from non-Muslim staff and parents were largely shrugged off while the authority paid the city’s most prominent Islamist education activist to recruit Muslim governors, the inquiry has found.

Clarke was sent in by Michael Gove, the education secretary, after the newspaper revealed the plot to take over a number of self-governing academies in Birmingham.

He and his team have uncovered a bigger picture affecting up to 25 state schools, some of which unlike the academies are the direct responsibility of the local education authority.

His report, which will be published in the coming weeks, is expected to pave the way for the government to send in up to 15 “super” head teachers to take over failing schools.

Head teachers running successful academies in the city have been approached.

The Clarke inquiry is one of several since the Trojan Horse scandal broke.

Six schools have already been placed in special measures after inspections by UK schools inspectorate Ofsted found a culture of “fear and intimidation” in them.

The Department for Education (DfE) and Birmingham city council said they would not be commenting on Clarke’s report until it was published.

The DfE said “the allegations made in relation to some schools in Birmingham are very serious and we are investigating all evidence put to us”.

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