State 'spreading fear and intimidation' in schools

An alliance of campaigners and parents from schools caught up in allegations of a radical Muslim takeover plot have attacked the government's "provocative and unhelpful" response.

Measures including appointing former counter-terrorism chief Peter Clarke to investigate claims of extremism in some Birmingham schools, have been criticised by leading campaigner Shabina Bano who claims it is spreading "fear and intimidation" in classrooms.

Michael Gove's response to Ofsted's findings has been criticised.
Michael Gove's response to Ofsted's findings has been criticised. Credit: PA

Two weeks ago the head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw, concluded there "was a culture of fear and intimidation in some schools" after the publication of an unprecedented series of inspections, triggered by the so-called Trojan Horse claims.

Campaigners say the central claim, contained in the Trojan Horse letter, that there was an extremist agenda remain "unproven" following those inspections.

Ofsted did find some schools were failing adequately to protect pupils from the risks of radicalisation, concluding some governors had exerted undue influence.

At a public meeting attended by up to 1,000 people, Salma Yaqoob, the former leader of Respect, said while there were real issues of poor governance to tackle it was necessary to "de-link this issue from terrorism and radicalisation".

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