The Birmingham school system faces not one but six separate but inter-related crises which together put at risk community relations in the city, the governance and accountability of schools, the professional entitlements of school staff, the education of children and young people, especially Muslims, and the survival of the local authority itself.
The reporting of the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ allegations in much of the press, including the Telegraph and the Birmingham Mail, using phrases like ‘Jihadist plot’, has had the effect of stirring up anti-Muslim feeling. This has been reinforced by the provocative appointment by Gove of Peter Clarke, the ex-head of the Met’s counter-terrorism unit, to lead his inquiry – linking Islam in Birmingham schools to terrorism. All of this is immensely damaging to the Muslim community in the city and to ‘race relations’ in the city as a whole, and should be strongly opposed.
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