The Christian Institute

News Release

Anti-Christian bullying ignored by Ofsted

The Christian Institute

Thursday, 30 July 2015

For immediate release

Colin Hart letter to Nicky Morgan


Official reports of Christians being derided as ‘ignorant’ and ‘liars’ as part of an anti-Christian campaign in several Birmingham schools have been ignored by Ofsted, The Christian Institute has told Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

Institute Director Colin Hart writes: “It is striking that, while the official reports by Peter Clarke and Ian Kershaw listed a number of examples of explicitly anti-Christian intolerance in several of the ‘Trojan Horse’ schools, not one of these are noted in the Ofsted reports on those schools.”

The reports published last year gave detailed accounts of anti-Christian activities in the Trojan Horse schools, some going as far back as 1996, including anti-Christian chanting in assemblies, GCSE pupils choosing to study Christianity being left to teach themselves and at least one teacher describing Christians as ‘ignorant’ and ‘liars’.

Despite the evidence, Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw’s recent update on the ‘Trojan Horse’ schools makes it clear Ofsted have made no specific plans to tackle the anti-Christian bullying and intolerance.

“The closest Sir Michael’s letter comes to responding to any of our concerns is his reliance on an assurance from the Executive Principal of one school ‘that a multi-faith approach is being taken to religious education’. This is not good enough”, said Mr Hart.

Highlighting the fact that Christians are the most persecuted minority in the world, Mr Hart makes the case that: “These global realities must inform our own local approach to anti-Christian intolerance. It is quite proper that the UK grants asylum to Christians fleeing Boko Haram, ISIS or Kim Jong-un. But it would be appalling if children granted asylum in the UK for being Christians were to find themselves in schools where they are humiliated for holding that same faith.”

The lack of interest in anti-Christian bullying stands in stark contrast to the focus on eradicating the bullying of gay and transsexual pupils for which Nicky Morgan announced £2 million of funding last year.

The February 2015 Ofsted monitoring report on one of the Trojan Horse schools specifically mentions tackling homophobia, which is mentioned in the Clarke report. However, it does not say if anything has been done to tackle the anti-Christian activities at that school that are mentioned in the same report.

Mr Hart went on to question Ofsted’s judgment when it comes to dealing with intolerance.

He said: “Ofsted’s system for detecting intolerance is clearly inadequate if it is not picking up on anti-Christian sentiment. In fact, Ofsted may be part of the problem.

“Whilst guidance from your department says there is no obligation on schools to promote gay marriage, there have been Ofsted inspections in several parts of the country where Ofsted inspectors have implied via questioning of pupils that they ought to accept gay marriage. We are aware of several cases of this approach being taken with primary age pupils, some as young as six.

“Ofsted inspectors also seem to take a heavy-handed approach on the issue of transsexualism. In one school a girl reported that she was asked by inspectors if she knew any girls who felt ‘trapped in the wrong body’. The girl assumed inspectors were referring to her. No professional should leave a pupil with that impression.”

The letter concludes by stating that Ofsted “must learn that the mistreatment of Christian pupils is a problem that deserves its attention.”

“Given Sir Michael’s silence on these issues, can I ask if you can investigate and provide us with your personal assurance that Christian pupils are no longer subject to ridicule and name calling in any of the schools which were subject to reports by Ian Kershaw or Peter Clarke? And can you please also confirm that steps have been taken to remove members of staff identified as having extremist anti-Christian attitudes?”

For further information contact:

Simon Calvert

The Christian Institute

  1. 7802 796 512
  2. simon.calvert@


    Ciarán Kelly

    The Christian Institute

    1. 7736 957579
    2. ciaran.kelly@

      Notes for editors

      The Christian Institute is a non-denominational national charity which since 1991 has been working on issues including religious liberty, marriage and the family, and Christian education.