State schools ‘isolating’ non-Muslim pupils

Official report finds catalogue of discrimination at Birmingham schools

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 28:(L-R) A policeman guards the Department for Education as teaching staff demonstrate outside on March 28, 2012 in London, England. London Based teachers marched to p
(Image credit: 2012 Getty Images)

State schools in Birmingham are isolating non-Muslim students, claims a leaked Department for Education report.

Inspectors found the schools are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to “comply with conservative Islamic teaching”.

They reported that girls in one school were forced to sit at the back of the class, that some Christian students were left to “teach themselves” and that an extremist preacher, with known al-Qaeda sympathies and anti-Semitic views, was invited to address the children.

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The report, leaked to the Daily Telegraph, focuses on Park View School and its sister schools, Golden Hillock and Nansen. It follows weeks of controversy over an alleged plot to “Islamise” secular schools in Birmingham and will lead to renewed calls for intervention.

The plot, purportedly named ‘Trojan Horse’, first emerged publicly last month. A leaked letter detailed how activists could rouse Muslim parents to oust secular headteachers.

The chairman of governors at Park View, Tahir Alam, was named in the letter as being at the centre of the plot. Alam and the school have angrily denied the claims as “fictitious”, “Islamophobic” and a “witch-hunt”.

The report emerges as Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, prepares to attack “divisive” attempts to impose religious values on secular schools.

He is due to tell a teachers’ conference: “We cannot have narrow, religious motives which seek to divide and isolate dictating state schooling. We cannot have headteachers forced out, teachers undermined, curricula rewritten and cultural or gender-based segregation.

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