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Trojan Horse was not a one-off, says Nicky Morgan

Extremist groups will make further attempts to impose their ideologies on schools, as they did during the Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham, the education secretary warned today.

Nicky Morgan said British values such as democracy and tolerance must be "woven" into the curriculum to counteract attempts to promote extremist views.

She also revealed that two teachers from the Birmingham schools had been handed an "interim prohibition order” barring them from the classroom while they await further disciplinary action. Other teachers are currently being investigated but no further sanctions have been handed out as yet, she added.

Ms Morgan was giving evidence to the Commons education select committee on extremism in schools in the wake of the Trojan Horse affair, in which five Birmingham schools were at the centre of an alleged takeover plot by hard-line Muslims.

An evidence session last month revealed that pupils at one of the schools were shown a "violent" jihadi video and were encouraged to take part in "anti-western chanting".

Speaking today, Ms Morgan said schools should do more to promote "fundamental British values" and that individuals who tried to promote their own ideologies needed to be identified and removed from the system.

"There will be further attempts by those and others," she told MPs. "We must not be shy about talking about fundamental British values. If not, other people will attempt to get their ideologies across."

The education secretary said the problems faced by schools in Birmingham could be "nationwide" although she acknowledged that there was, as yet, no evidence of a similar problem taking place elsewhere in the country.

But she added: “We shouldn’t be complacent, if we dismiss this as a one-off then we will be letting down a generation of children.”

Her appearance in front of the select committee, her first as education secretary, came just a day after Ofsted criticised the speed with which changes were taking place at the schools embroiled in the Trojan Horse affair.

A letter to Ms Morgan from the watchdog said children were still being segregated by gender and staff were still segregating themselves by religious belief.
 

Related stories:

Ofsted: 'Trojan Horse schools have failed to improve' - 14 October 2014

Trojan Horse: 'Government should widen investigation beyond Birmingham' - 2 September 2014

Trojan Horse: New school standards branded ‘unlawful’ by Christian charity - August 2014

Trojan Horse: Report finds ‘clear evidence’ of ‘extremist views’ - July 2014

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