Schools to promote 'British values'

Preston and Leyland Citizen: Park View school in Birmingham, which was investigated over allegations of a hardline Islamist takeover plot Park View school in Birmingham, which was investigated over allegations of a hardline Islamist takeover plot

Schools will be made to "actively promote British values", Michael Gove said today, as it was confirmed that five Birmingham schools have been placed into special measures in the wake of the "Trojan Horse" allegations.

The Education Secretary told MPs that the Government will take "decisive action" following the findings of Ofsted, as well as the Education Funding Agency (EFA), warning that all schools could now be subjected to unannounced inspections while schools that have failed will be taken over and put under new leadership.

His comments came as Ofsted issued a damning verdict on the running of a number of Birmingham's schools.

Inspections conducted following claims of a takeover plot by hardline Muslims found that a "culture of fear and intimidation" has developed in some schools and, in several, governors exerted "inappropriate influence" over how they are being run.

A separate EFA report into Park View Educational Trust (PVET), which runs three of the schools rated inadequate by Ofsted and has been at the heart of the alleged takeover plot, concluded it ha s ''many weaknesses'' and restricted its curriculum to a ''conservative Islamic perspective''.

And EFA's report into Oldknow Academy, another school placed into special measures, found it was ''taking on the practices of an Islamic faith school''.

In a statement to the Commons, Mr Gove warned that in future any school could be subjected to tough, on-the-spot, inspections "with no advance warning and no opportunities to conceal failure".

He acknowledged that there were questions for the Department for Education, Ofsted and Birmingham City Council about whether there were "warning signs" of problems in Birmingham schools that had been missed.

He went on to say the Government is to consult on new rules to ensure that "all schools actively promote British values" - such as democracy, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths.

There will also be tougher rules making clear that a teacher can be banned from the profession for inviting an extremist speaker into a school.

Letters have been sent from Schools Minister Lord Nash to PVET's schools - Park View Academy, Nansen Primary and Golden Hillock, as well as Oldknow Academy, warning that if swift changes are not made, their funding agreements will be terminated, paving the way for new sponsors to take over.

In an advice note to Mr Gove outlining Ofsted's findings, chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw warned that Birmingham City Council had failed to support a number of schools in the area in their efforts to protect pupils from the "risks of radicalisation and extremism".

He also revealed that some headteachers told inspectors that there had been an organised campaign to target certain schools in the city to change their "character and ethos".

Ofsted has published the findings of its visits to 21 schools, all inspected after a letter - now widely believed to be a hoax - came to light, which referred to an alleged plot by hardline Muslims to seize control of a number of school governing boards in Birmingham.

The five placed in special measures as a result of the recent inspections are Golden Hillock School, Nansen Primary School, Park View Academy, Oldknow Academy and Saltley School. A sixth - Alston Primary - was already in special measures.

In his note, Sir Michael said that some headteachers revealed that they had been marginalised or forced out of their jobs. Many school staff were frightened of expressing views that went against those that were promoted by their school's governors. In one case, a school leader was so worried about talking to inspectors that they had to arrange a meeting in a supermarket car park.

Ofsted also found:

:: Some schools failed to properly address issues specific to their communities, in particular, not focusing on how children may be vulnerable to extremist influences, female genital mutilation or forced marriage;

:: Governors in a number of schools made, or tried to make, changes to the curriculum and policies based on their own beliefs. In one case, governors at a primary school opposed the headteacher's decision to have mixed-gender swimming lessons, while in another, the chair of governors introduced a "madrasa" (a type of Islamic religious school) programme of study into the curriculum;

:: Some governors are trying to impose and promote a "narrow faith-based ideology" into non-religious schools by narrowing the curriculum, manipulating staff appointments and using school funds inappropriately.

The chief inspector called for an overhaul of how school governing bodies are run, including publishing a governors' register of interests and more training. He urged the Government to ensure that local councils and those responsible for academies and free schools carry out their duty to keep all children safe, including protecting them from radicalisation, and to give schools clearer information on what should be taught in a broad and balanced curriculum.

Earlier PVET robustly rejected Ofsted's findings, with vice-chair David Hughes insisting that the schools ''do not tolerate or promote extremism'' and revealing the Trust will be seeking to mount a legal challenge to the judgments.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said: "The reports into Birmingham highlight the complete lack of local oversight in our school system, resulting from this government's attempt to run all schools from Whitehall. By ruling out the introduction of a system of local oversight to ensure robust and constant checks and balances on our schools, David Cameron is leaving pupils exposed to falling standards and inadequate safeguarding."

The Local Government Association (LGA) called for councils to be given back more control over schools.

David Simmonds, chair of the LGA Children and Young People Board, said: "This has been an unsettling time for parents and children and it is vital they are at the forefront of any action taken in response to these investigations.

"Parents need to know who is accountable for their local school, but under the current system accountability is confusing and fragmented.

"It is clear that effective oversight of standards and finance in schools across the UK cannot be exercised from Whitehall, and the jumble of regimes risks leaving mums and dads unsure where to go for help when they have concerns.

"Local authorities know their schools and the communities they serve and strong local oversight by local authorities is needed to spot warning signs where schools are beginning to cause concern and tackle problems before it is too late.

"Councils need powers to intervene in all underperforming schools quickly and effectively without the need to ask permission from Whitehall."

Mr Wilshaw said that he was "pleased that minds have been changed" over unannounced inspections - a change he proposed two years ago but saw dropped at the time after what he called a "robust conversation" with Mr Gove.

He told BBC2's Newsnight the Education Secretary had not wanted to implement the reform because of concerns raised by headteachers that they needed to be there at the outset of an inspection.

"I am really pleased that minds have been changed," he said.

Mr Hunt told the programme he was in favour of schools having to promote "British values" but added: "I'm not sure Michael Gove would know if British values came and bit him on the bum.

"This is a Government that banned books in prison, a Government that wants to take To Kill a Mockingbird out of the classroom, a Government that regards Blackadder as unpatriotic."

Comments (3)

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2:13pm Mon 9 Jun 14

welshmen says...

Wahhabism/ Deobandi Radical Islam taught in schools, British Muslims have to remove this from their Religious Teachings to live in peace with the West....

Mohammedism and Islamic faith, or more correctly in this post-Ottoman world of British supported Saudi Arabian divide and rule Wahhabi dictatorship, today incorrectly referred to as Islam, but better known as Wahhabism, is a simple faith based solely on hate, greed and fear.

All people who live under the influence of Saudi Arabian Wahhabi teaching live a life of hate, they hate everything that is not Wahhabi. Music, dance and art are loathed, derided and belittled, even pre-1923 Muslim art, architecture and Sufi thinking is attacked.

Salafists (correctly translated as "ancestors") are really modern romantics that hypocritically teach that they live as their ancestors did at the time of Mohammed, their knowledge of those days is inaccurate, warped and incorrect. They use this misconception, however, to live out their "hate",they destroy, murder or rape anything they hate.

The ancient Muslim blood **** that defines the fundamental evil that is the Muslim corruption of Judaic thinking is manifest in "jihad" hate, killing for the sake of killing, being the Muslim living God of death, we have witness this in the beheading of Christians in Syria: hate fuelled blood ****, demonic, inspired by devil-worship.

Greed is the great motivator, Muslim sloth and greed knows no bounds, they want and use everything for their sole pleasure, Salafists of course use mobile phones, Kalashnikovs and cars just like Mohammed did, this proves of course, that Salafists are true ancestors. Salafists are hypocrites.

Hypocrisy is greed, they want everything just as all Muslims do, they want all the power, all the wealth and all government control because they **** after it, they will speak any lie to get it, lies are approved by Koranic teaching if it is for the glory of their God of hate and greed, mostly Muslims live in fear and their greatest passion is that everyone fears them.

Never under estimate Wahhabi/ Deobandi Muslims. they make Adolf Hitler's Nazis look like Sunday School teachers, all our Westminster politicians seem to want Wahhabi Islam in the UK! there are hundreds of verses in the Koran that encourage believers to kill, hate, discriminate, exact revenge and torture women, "A book that promotes violence should not be circulating in a free and democratic society.

In the last 10 years, all terrorist attacks have been promoted by Islamic jihad as contained in the Koran, "Over 100 places in the Koran mention the phrases such as 'go to war' or 'kill all the infidels until everyone is submitted to Allah., and the Koran requires Muslims to continue to fight jihad until it has captured the Western world, its freedoms and its religion at any cost.

Reproduction is the key to control of Islam, whether Sufi, Deobandi (Pakistani) or Saudi Arabian Wahhabism, their creed, is based on that of the bully: bullying by numbers,prison is useless, fines have no effect, political indoctrination is like a fleas' bite compared to mind control Wahhabi style, stop them coming here and ban Wahhabism/ Deobandi Imams from our Country and encourage those all ready here to leave ASAP....before you all start with the name calling look for your selves, your either British or Muslim, you can be both only civilly, but to Muslims, Islam always comes first....not Country....
Wahhabism/ Deobandi Radical Islam taught in schools, British Muslims have to remove this from their Religious Teachings to live in peace with the West.... Mohammedism and Islamic faith, or more correctly in this post-Ottoman world of British supported Saudi Arabian divide and rule Wahhabi dictatorship, today incorrectly referred to as Islam, but better known as Wahhabism, is a simple faith based solely on hate, greed and fear. All people who live under the influence of Saudi Arabian Wahhabi teaching live a life of hate, they hate everything that is not Wahhabi. Music, dance and art are loathed, derided and belittled, even pre-1923 Muslim art, architecture and Sufi thinking is attacked. Salafists (correctly translated as "ancestors") are really modern romantics that hypocritically teach that they live as their ancestors did at the time of Mohammed, their knowledge of those days is inaccurate, warped and incorrect. They use this misconception, however, to live out their "hate",they destroy, murder or rape anything they hate. The ancient Muslim blood **** that defines the fundamental evil that is the Muslim corruption of Judaic thinking is manifest in "jihad" hate, killing for the sake of killing, being the Muslim living God of death, we have witness this in the beheading of Christians in Syria: hate fuelled blood ****, demonic, inspired by devil-worship. Greed is the great motivator, Muslim sloth and greed knows no bounds, they want and use everything for their sole pleasure, Salafists of course use mobile phones, Kalashnikovs and cars just like Mohammed did, this proves of course, that Salafists are true ancestors. Salafists are hypocrites. Hypocrisy is greed, they want everything just as all Muslims do, they want all the power, all the wealth and all government control because they **** after it, they will speak any lie to get it, lies are approved by Koranic teaching if it is for the glory of their God of hate and greed, mostly Muslims live in fear and their greatest passion is that everyone fears them. Never under estimate Wahhabi/ Deobandi Muslims. they make Adolf Hitler's Nazis look like Sunday School teachers, all our Westminster politicians seem to want Wahhabi Islam in the UK! there are hundreds of verses in the Koran that encourage believers to kill, hate, discriminate, exact revenge and torture women, "A book that promotes violence should not be circulating in a free and democratic society. In the last 10 years, all terrorist attacks have been promoted by Islamic jihad as contained in the Koran, "Over 100 places in the Koran mention the phrases such as 'go to war' or 'kill all the infidels until everyone is submitted to Allah., and the Koran requires Muslims to continue to fight jihad until it has captured the Western world, its freedoms and its religion at any cost. Reproduction is the key to control of Islam, whether Sufi, Deobandi (Pakistani) or Saudi Arabian Wahhabism, their creed, is based on that of the bully: bullying by numbers,prison is useless, fines have no effect, political indoctrination is like a fleas' bite compared to mind control Wahhabi style, stop them coming here and ban Wahhabism/ Deobandi Imams from our Country and encourage those all ready here to leave ASAP....before you all start with the name calling look for your selves, your either British or Muslim, you can be both only civilly, but to Muslims, Islam always comes first....not Country.... welshmen
  • Score: 4

6:25pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

All religious schools, single sex schools and private schools should be abolished as segregation is divisive and impedes the development of a progressive and cohesive society.
All religious schools, single sex schools and private schools should be abolished as segregation is divisive and impedes the development of a progressive and cohesive society. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 5

10:34pm Mon 9 Jun 14

elancs says...

Blackburn based Tauheedul Islamic schools. Rated outstanding by Ofsted.
Makes you wonder what is really happening behind the scenes.
Blackburn based Tauheedul Islamic schools. Rated outstanding by Ofsted. Makes you wonder what is really happening behind the scenes. elancs
  • Score: 2
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