Schools across Britain may have been targeted in an alleged Islamist takeover plot, a teaching union has warned. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said that it found “concerted efforts” to infiltrate schools in Birmingham, and also warned that scandal had “connections” to other cities in the UK.
The Telegraph reports that there are now also concerns about schools in Manchester, Bradford and east London.
The NAHT issued a statement saying that attempts had been made to alter the character of the Birminhgam schools “in line with the Islamic faith”, including ignoring parts of the curriculum and appointing only Muslim staff.
NAHT General Secretary Russell Hobby warned that this was unlikely to be “limited to Birmingham”. “I think it is connected into the large cities around the country,” he said.
He added that one of the areas of major concern is “pressure” of head teachers at these schools to adopt “certain philosophies and approaches” with regards to the appointment of new staff.
He said that in a few cases, schools were in danger of “eroding the basic entitlement of children to a rounded education”.
The is the first time that a major teaching union has confirmed that such fears exist.
The revelations come as government and media scrutiny of schools in Birmingham intensifies. School inspectors Ofsted have added three more schools to their investigations, bringing the total to 21.
Last week it also emerged that one of the alleged ringleaders of the plot, Tahir Alam, who also serves as chair of governors at Park View school, wrote a detailed plan to Islamise state schools in 2007.