UK authorities are to investigate up to 50 schools set by extremists for being “anti-British”. Many of these schools were started by a teacher who was embroiled in the “Trojan Horse” scandal last year, where Islamist extremists reportedly tried to take over a series of state schools.
These schools, which allegedly “subvert British values”, are based around the UK and have managed to escape inspection so far by operating outside the traditional education system. Launched as private tuition centres, they operate by teaching only a limited amount of hours per week, with students officially registered as being home schooled.
It is thought that children of Pakistani, Bengali and Somali origin are particularly at risk of radicalisation after their parents withdrew them from mainstream education to be educated at these centres.
One of the schools under investigation is the Siddeeq Academy in London’s Tower Hamlets, which was shut down earlier this year after it emerged that it was being run by convicted Islamist extremist Minazur Rahman. He had allegedly claimed that Taliban gunmen who murdered 130 students in Pakistan in December had been “unfairly demonised”.
An unnamed government official told the Sunday Times the schools are led by people who are against “democracy, equality and tolerance”.
“If you are a Salafi Muslim or an Islamist, that means you don’t believe in British values because they go against your ideologies and set of beliefs. The problem is anyone can set up one of these schools and there are no regulations for it and they can then go on to brainwash children.”
Last month, Home Secretary Theresa May promised that if the Conservatives were elected they would act against unregulated education centres.
Monzoor Hussain, former acting principal at Park View Academy, one of the schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse scandal, helped set a series of unregulated schools in Wolverhampton, Stoke and Birmingham under the name Aim-High Private Tuition.
He has been served with a court order banning him from working in state education, but was still legally able to set up these centres.