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

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

John Holmwood and Therese O'Toole

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9781447344131

Publisher: Policy Press

Abstract

In 2014 the UK government launched an investigation into the “Trojan Horse” affair: an alleged plot to “Islamify” several state schools in Birmingham. Twenty-one schools in Birmingham were subjected to snap Ofsted inspections and included in the various inquiries into the affair. The book's authors — one who was an expert witness in the professional misconduct cases brought against the teachers in the school, and the other, who researches the government's counter-extremism agenda — challenge the accepted narrative, arguing that a major injustice was inflicted on the teachers, and they go on to show how the affair was used to criticize multiculturalism and justify the expansion of a broad and intrusive counter-extremism agenda. The government cites the 'plot' in its argument about the need to develop a new counter-extremism strategy that confronts extremist ideology and not just threats of violence. However, the Kershaw Report and some other commentators argue that there was, in fact, no evidence of extremism.