EDUCATION SECRETARY Nicky Morgan is to appear before MPs this week to discuss extremism in schools.
The Education Select Committee says it is holding the session on Wednesday to “examine the role of the Department for Education in investigating allegations of extremism in Birmingham schools”.
MPs will also be asking about inquiries which were held into the so-called Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham. A letter, now believed to have been a hoax, set out plans for a group of Muslim teachers and governors to exert an Islamic influence on schools.
It triggered a series of inspections by the Department for Education, Ofsted and Birmingham City Council. Ofsted placed five schools into special measures and said it found that a “culture of fear and intimidation” had developed in some schools and, in several, governors exerted “inappropriate influence”.
There have also been alleged links between events in Birmingham and some Bradford schools. Nick Weller, the head of the Bradford Partnership of secondary schools, alleged earlier this year that governors had forced out a previous headteacher at Carlton Bolling College. But the school’s former chair of governors, Faisal Khan, strongly denied this.
A subsequent Ofsted inspection said governors had not discharged their responsibilities to ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils.
It added: “This is because some decisions accommodate the needs of Muslim students well, but do not take sufficient account of other faiths.”
Bradford Council has since replaced the governing body at the school with an interim executive board.
The Bradford East MP, David Ward, is a member of the education select committee, and said he planned to ask Mrs Morgan whether the DfE believed events in Birmingham could be happening elsewhere. He also voiced concern that a fear of being perceived as racist had stopped people raising concerns in Birmingham.