conversation-full-logo2Following on from an article I wrote a month or so ago for The Conversation on the Operation Trojan Horse allegations (available here), I was yesterday invited to write a follow-up to explore the political row that was unfolding and what impact this might have on communities in Birmingham.

To read the new article in full, click here. Below, I’ve pasted the first few paragraphs:

Birmingham has most to lose from Gove-May extremism row

Allegations of an “Islamist” plot to infiltrate and take over schools in Birmingham at the centre of Operation Trojan Horse are looking increasingly thin. But they have caused a very public row between education secretary Michael Gove and home secretary Theresa May over how to deal with extremism in schools.

From informal conversations I’ve had over the past few weeks with people from across Birmingham about Trojan Horse – including teachers at some of the schools, local journalists, fellow academics and researchers, and also ordinary people from within the city’s Muslim population – it is striking that hardly anyone has anything bad to say about the schools under investigation. Even fewer believe there was ever a takeover plot.

While speculation continues about what will eventually emerge from the Ofsted inspections undertaken in 21 Birmingham schools in response to the claims, it would seem highly unlikely that any concrete evidence of a wider “plot” will be found.

What is more likely to emerge when the Ofsted reports are released next week are a number of specific issues that will be applicable to specific schools as with any typical Ofsted inspection. This is what seems to be emerging from the drip-feed of leaks that continues to ensure the story remains in the public eye.

To continue reading, click here.

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