Countering Extremism in British Schools?: The Truth about the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair

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Policy Press, 2018 - Education - 288 pages
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In 2014 an investigation into an alleged plot to ‘Islamify’ several state schools in Birmingham began. Known as the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair, this caused a previously highly successful school to be vilified. Holmwood, an expert witness in the professional misconduct cases brought against the teachers, and O’Toole, who researches the government’s counter-extremism agenda, challenge the accepted narrative and draw on the potential parallel with the Hillsborough disaster to suggest a similar false narrative has taken hold of public debate. This important book highlights the major injustice inflicted on the teachers and shows how this affair was used to criticise multiculturalism, and justify the expansion of a broad and intrusive counter extremism agenda.

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As a parent in one of the vilified schools, I was unsure of the truth of what the teachers did in the Trojan Horse letter. Not knowing whether the politicians were just making political capital out of a terror story or whether their was something really to be afraid of. My community generally is a culturally conservative and peace loving community and follows an Islamic ethos. I think it is natural that any community would want its ethos reflected in the education of their children, it is a basic religious freedom. It has turned out that the education secretary Michael Gove was the scary radical and extremist who planted a Trojan Horse in the schools to terminate a whole swath of muslim teachers and there by ruining the education of a generation of children including my son's. This book gives me hope for the future that there are some good men in Britain who will tell the truth. It is a sincere honest independent objective and comprehensive analysis of the Trojan Horse affair backed by detailed evidence. Taking the government account as fake news and Holmwoods truth, there is plenty of material in it, for someone like Jon Stewart to make a political satire out of this. 


one British values and community cohesion
from hearts and minds to muscular liberalism
three Community cohesion schooling and Prevent
four Religious education collective worship and publicly
five Governance school reform and change management
six Introducing the case
seven Enter Ofsted
eight The Clarke and Kershaw Reports
nine The NCTL hearings and their collapse
Lessons from the Trojan Horse affair

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About the author (2018)

John Holmwood is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. From 2012 to 2014, he was President of the British Sociological Association and in 2014/15, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA. He acted as an Expert Witness to the Court in one of the National College for Teaching and Leadership hearings against teachers arising from the Trojan Horse affair. Therese O'Toole is Reader in Sociology at the University of Bristol and a member of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship. She led a major ESRC/AHRC study of Muslim Participation in Contemporary Governance and an AHRC Connected Communities study of the local implementation of Prevent in Bristol. .

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