Birmingham’s education commissioner has banned teachers from mentioning the ‘Trojan Horse’ Islamist plot in the very schools that hardline Muslim teachers and parents attempted to take over.
Sir Mike Tomlinson, who was appointed in the wake of the controversy, said the phrase must not be uttered because any mention of it was “not helpful” and could somehow harm Birmingham’s schools.
Speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum, Sir Mike also confessed that staff who opposed the Islamist “infiltration” had been “targeted, bullied and harassed until they resigned”.
However, he said that talking about it now could paint the city in a bad light and have an adverse impact on teacher recruitment. So, he has banned everyone in his department from using the phrase, the BBC reports.
“The events were unprecedented but not impossible to happen elsewhere,” he said, claiming that improvement had been made since. “Young people are now undoubtedly safer”.
The ‘Trojan Horse’ phrase first emerged in 2014 after an anonymous letter claimed that there was a conspiracy among a group of Muslim parents, teachers and governors to wrest control of several secular, state schools in the city.
The Trojan Horse inquiry followed, and 21 schools in the city were found to be affected. The entire episode prompted a nationwide discussion about so-called “British values” in schools.
Several Muslim teachers have since been found guilty of malpractice at tribunals, with one being banned from the profession for five years for exerting an “undue amount of religious influence” on his pupils.
The schools were found to have banned the celebration of festivals such as Christmas and Diwali, introduced extra Muslim festivals, and sent pupils on Islamic pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia.
They were also accused of segregating pupils according to sex, banning the teaching of music and drama, and of introducing lessons in Arabic. In one hearing it was even alleged that a male teacher banned girls from mixed sports because their outfits made him “uncomfortable”.