Lara Prendergast Lara Prendergast

Report claims ‘aggressive Islamist agenda’ pursued in ‘Trojan horse’ schools

The Department of Education has published a damning report today which suggests there was an ‘aggressive Islamist agenda’ pursued in a number of the ‘Trojan horse’ schools in Birmingham.

Peter Clarke, a former counter-terror chief, published the report, which found evidence of a coordinated plan to impose strict Islamic teaching on pupils.

Michael Gove, the former Education Secretary commissioned the report. His successor, Nicky Morgan has presented the results of the investigation to the House of Commons:

The report details evidence of a ‘coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into some schools in the city’.

'Left unchecked, it would confine schoolchildren within an intolerant, inward-looking monoculture that would severely inhibit their participation in the life of modern Britain’, the report said.

Here are some key quotes from the report:

On terrorism:

'I neither specifically looked for nor found evidence of terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern in Birmingham. However, by reference to the definition of extremism in the Prevent strand of the Government’s counter terrorist strategy, CONTEST, and the spectrum of extremism described by the Prime Minister in his Munich speech in February 2011, 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, who espouse, endorse or fail to challenge extremist views.' On governors asserting a religious agenda:

'I found evidence in Birmingham that some governors went beyond [the normal remit of governors] and used the argument about raising standards to justify increasing the influence of faith in [the] schools.' On the effect of this religious ethos on pupils:

'First, I have been told by teachers that they fear children are learning to be intolerant of difference and diversity.

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Lara Prendergast
Written by
Lara Prendergast
Lara Prendergast is executive editor of The Spectator. She hosts two Spectator podcasts, The Edition and Table Talk, and edits The Spectator’s food and drink coverage.

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