UK & World News

  • 9 June 2014, 6:04

'Muslim Takeover' Schools Accused Of Cover Up

Some of the schools at the centre of an alleged Muslim takeover plot tried to trick inspectors by covering up evidence of wrongdoing, a damning report will reveal.

Officials found "hastily-arranged shows of cultural inclusivity" had been put on by some teachers, including a religious education lesson on Christianity.

David Cameron has demanded a "robust response" from Ofsted, which has warned it may make more snap visits, giving teachers just 30 minutes' notice of an inspection.

The Prime Minister will also meet senior Cabinet ministers - including Education Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Theresa May, who have been involved in a bitter public row - to discuss the threat of extremism in classrooms.

The investigations at 21 schools were triggered by a so-called Trojan Horse plot, in which it was claimed hard-line Muslims were planning to seize control of schools by forcing out headteachers and getting governors elected.

They were carried out in parallel by Ofsted and the Education Funding Agency, which found evidence of efforts to persuade its inspectors.

At Oldknow Academy in Small Heath, staff were "instructed to add Christianity to learning" after the school came under scrutiny, the EFA report will claim.

It also suggests a special assembly on Easter and Christianity was put on "especially" for the benefit of inspectors.

The Prime Minister said: "Protecting our children is one of the first duties of Government and that is why the issue of alleged Islamist extremism in Birmingham schools demands a robust response.

"The Education Secretary will now ask Sir Michael Wilshaw to look into allowing any school to be inspected at no notice, stopping schools having the opportunity to cover up activities which have no place in our society."

During a war of words with Mrs May, Mr Gove's allies claimed the Home Office had failed to "drain the swamp" of extremism.

A letter sent by Mrs May to Mr Gove then emerged, in which the Department of Education was accused of failing to act when allegations of extremism were first made.

Mr Gove said: "Evidence uncovered in Birmingham clearly indicates that schools have used the notice they have been given of inspections to evade proper scrutiny.

"Our children need to be protected in schools, kept safe from the dangers of extremism and guaranteed a broad and balanced curriculum."

Labour's Tristram Hunt claimed there were "systematic failings" in the current school system.

"Mr Cameron's schools policy has delivered a vacuum in the local oversight of our schools, leaving children exposed to falling standards and vulnerable to risks posed by extremists," the shadow education secretary said.

Advertisement