Students at a school in Birmingham had to teach themselves Christian RE for GCSE, an investigation into the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair has revealed.
The finding is among a number of startling episodes laid out in a report from Peter Clarke – former head of counterterrorism at the Metropolitan Police.
Children were encouraged to express vocal support for anti-Christian remarks, Christmas was banned and some teachers claimed serviceman Lee Rigby’s murder was actually a hoax.
The report, ordered by the Government, concluded: “There has been co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham.”
Clarke’s study was sparked by an anonymous letter received by Birmingham City Council in November 2013 that spoke of ‘Operation Trojan Horse’.
The letter described a “five-stage process to remove headteachers and take control of schools”, Clarke said.
In his 129-page report Clarke gave numerous examples of what happened in more than a dozen schools, including:
Clarke commented that while not all the “behaviours and practices” are “present at every school”, there is a “consistency in the way they have been introduced”.
He also noted that the “ideological agenda” uncovered, “goes beyond the kind of social conservatism practised in some faith schools which may be consistent with universal human rights and respectful of other communities”.
Newly-appointed Education Secretary Nicky Morgan called the revelations “disturbing”, adding that the report sets out, “compelling evidence of a determined effort by people with a shared ideology to gain control of the governing bodies of a small number of schools in Birmingham”.
For the investigation, Clarke’s team gathered 2,000 documents and interviewed more than 50 people, including teachers, governors and local Government officials.