John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
  "Trojan Horse" - a summary
We now have the publication of most of inquiries and inspections relating to Trojan Horse. There will be more reports, but not so much into individual schools.

It is important to remember where this started. There was the trojan horse document and then Khalid Mahmood MP said: ‘There has been a serious bid to take over most of the schools in the east and south of the city.’

There are, of course, a lot more schools than the 21 that were inspected. The real challenge in this is the use of the word "extremist". That is normally taken to be someone who is supportive of terrorism rather than someone who does not like tombolas because they are gambling.

The idea that there was effectively a terrorist style plot to take over schools was always a nonsense. It has now been solidly disproven. I don't personally think it was a good idea to put a terrorism expert into running the investigation as it semi confirmed the allegation. An allegation that was always untrue and for which there was no evidence.

The national association of head teachers have been much more temperate than the government and it is worth reading what they say on their website. They published another statement yesterday here.

It is worth reading their statement (not someone else's reporting of their statement) in full. However, I will extract part of their recommendations:
“We also need to learn longer term lessons: we need a confidential route for staff to raise concerns; a clearer statement of the basic entitlement of pupils; a more coherent mechanism to investigate allegations than we have seen in recent weeks; and resources to raise awareness and train staff and governors in the Prevent strategy.

There are general problems with Academies which appear in the relationship between Head Teachers and the Governors. There is nothing new with this, but the self selecting nature of governing bodies exacerbates this. There needs to be a way of dealing with this that falls short of the nuclear option of taking a school off an educational trust. That will enable issues to be dealt with before they get too bad.

In terms of the schools in Yardley I believe that Golden Hillock has been treated unfairly. However, there are problems at Oldknow (see my statement) and I would hope that the Principal returns to her post. It was always nonsense to say that there were any problems at Ninestiles.

Of the 4 schools of the 21 that have letters from the DfE (Lord Nash) about funding. Two (Parkview and Nansen) have been told that the intention is to remove funding and two (Golden Hillock and Oldknow) have been told to take "prompt" actions to improve the situation.

 
Comments:

Surely this must reinforce the need to remove all religion from schools. If parents wish their children to be educated in religion then it is down to them and not the state. A fully secular education system, locally managed and accountable must be one main plank in the Lib Dem's policy for the 2015 elections
 
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