July 18, 2013

The findings of two reports into the “Trojan Horse” allegations of an attempted takeover of some Birmingham schools have been published. Peter Clarke’s report, ordered by the government and leaked to The Guardian, found there was a “co-ordinated effort” to impose an “Islamist ethos” in some schools. A council-commissioned report by Ian Kershaw found “no evidence” of a conspiracy.

Russell Hobby, general secretary, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said the NAHT could not “fully support the conclusions” of the city council’s report because it has used “too narrow a definition of extremism” and limited its process and terms of reference “in a way which excludes critical evidence. We entirely understand the pressures faced by the council but do not feel that their conclusions reflect the full reality in schools,” he said.

Ruby Kundi, head of Highfield School, one of the 25 investigated in Ian Kershaw’s probe, said she thought the differing accounts could create more confusion.

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr, Birmingham said he agreed with Mr Kershaw’s finding that identified the issue as a “minority problem” caused by a handful of disruptive governors, but said there was “still more to look at” and called for Birmingham City Council to be held to account.

Shabina Bano, chair of Oldknow Academy Parents’ Association and has two daughters at Oldknow Academy, one of five schools placed into special measures by education watchdog Ofsted. “First they were out to isolate us, now they are out to divide us by talking about different forms of Islam,” she said. “The Birmingham city council report totally contradicts what Peter Clarke is saying.” It’s all going to end with no apology; it’s all going to end with children paying the price.”

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