As school children from across the country return to schools, my latest article for The Conversation considers what impact the allegations and fallout from Operation Trojan Horse will have on Birmingham, its schools, its children and its communities. To read the article in full, click here.
Below are the first few paragraphs:
Shadow of extremism scandal lingers as Birmingham goes back to school
If a week is a long time in politics, then the school summer holidays must have seemed like a lifetime the for governors, teachers, pupils and staff at the 21 schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham.
Allegations made in an anonymous letter – now widely thought to be a hoax – surfaced in March of a “plot” to overthrow existing teachers and governors in non-faith state schools as a means of replacing them with “Islam-friendly” individuals prepared to run the schools in accordance with conservative Islamic principles. In response, the 21 schools were subjected to what can only be described as unprecedented levels of public and political scrutiny.
While the summer holidays provided some respite – not least because the allegations have finally begun to disappear from the public gaze – the spectre of Trojan Horse will once more raise its ugly head as schools go back across Birmingham. The new academic year will see staff, pupils and parents beginning the process of dealing with the fallout from the allegations.
Read on here.