Teachers Face Action over Extremism in UK schools

Published: 23rd July 2014 12:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2014 12:50 AM   |  A+A-


LONDON:  Teachers across Britain who expose students to extremist speakers may be struck off without a right to appeal, the UK government Tuesday warned after a report found a "disturbing" effort by Islamic hardliners to gain control of some school.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan made the announcement in response to a report into the so-called "Trojan Horse" plot by radical Muslims to take over UK schools.

Peter Clarke, a former head of anti-terrorism at Scotland Yard, officially presented his "disturbing" findings of an "aggressive Islamist agenda" here.

Morgan told the House of Commons that evidence from the report would be used to consider whether any teachers involved should be barred from the profession. "Advice already provides that actions which undermine fundamental British values should be viewed as misconduct," she said.

Morgan added: "I will strengthen that advice to make clear that exposing pupils to extremist speakers should be regarded as a failure to protect pupils and promote British values.

"I will also strengthen the advice to make it clear that prohibition from teaching should be imposed while such cases are investigated, and a prohibition without review made where misconduct is proved."

She also announced that there would be an education commissioner for Birmingham, who would report to the education secretary and to Birmingham City Council's chief executive.

There will be a wider review of the "governance culture of the council", which would report by the end of the year.

The education secretary warned that the council's inability to intervene reflected a "culture of not wanting to address difficult problems where there is a risk of accusations of racism or Islamophobia".

The inquiry found no evidence of extremism, but said: "there are a number of people in a position of influence who either espouse, or sympathise with or fail to challenge extremist views".

"I have established that there is a group of associated individuals in positions of influence in schools and governing bodies who have, over quite a considerable time, looked to introduce what could be described as an aggressive Islamist agenda into some schools, very few schools, in Birmingham," Clarke said in reference to his findings.

His is the latest in a series of reports triggered by an anonymous and unverified letter which claimed that there was a "Trojan horse" conspiracy to take over governing bodies and create a school culture more sympathetic to their hardline Muslim religious ethos.

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