Coffee House

How should we respond to events in Birmingham?

13 June 2014

5:25 PM

13 June 2014

5:25 PM

As metaphors go, calling the alleged plot to take over schools in Birmingham a ‘Trojan Horse’ is a pretty powerful one. This allegedly was a devious attempt by a group of extremists to invade a protected space, ousting headteachers, making false allegations against staff and employing dirty tricks with the aim of imposing a fundamentaist Islamic ideology. I agree with David Cameron when he states: ‘…the issue of alleged Islamic extremism in Birmingham schools demands a robust response.’  So how should we respond?

In 2011 I was privileged to chair the independent review into teacher standards, a document that details the minimum requirements for teachers’ practice and conduct.  As part of this, we also considered the personal and professional conduct of teachers. Given Ofsted’s findings about the schools in Birmingham, perhaps it is time to consider a set of similar standards for governors.

In the document I helped to write, teachers are expected not to undermine ‘fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’. Those standards are absolute. Failure to abide by them can and should lead to disciplinary action by headteachers.

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Should governors be held to a similar set of standards, with the threat of dismissal by the Secretary of State for Education if they don’t abide by them?

One of the standards teachers are expected to observe is that they ‘must have proper and professional regard for the ethos, policies and practices of the school in which they teach’. What if the governors’ vision for a particular school is so antithetical to British values, as it was in the case of some of these schools in Birmingham, that teachers can’t remain true to that vision and, at the same time, observe the rules about not undermining democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty? The fact that governors aren’t held to the same standard risks putting teachers in an impossible position, as has clearly happened in these schools.

In my view, it is regrettable that there is no set of defining standards for governors.  But why stop there?  In the current educational climate, with new free schools and academies opening every year, why not have a general code of practice that all schools are expected to observe – both teachers and governors alike? This new code could set out the minimum standards that schools should meet when it comes to issues like religion, freedom and equality, and contain a clear statement of British values. If we feel that the traditions and ideals that define this country are worth preserving, as I do, then why not define what they are and make sure they’re reflected in our education system?

Governors put themselves forward voluntarily and the best of them make a real difference, driving up educational standards and making sure all pupils are properly catered for. They make important collective decisions and are a key link in a school’s chain of accountability. However, secondary schools often struggle to fill governor positions and this can lead to Chairs co-opting their friends or, in some cases, people who share their radical ideology. At present, there is no barrier to governing bodies being taken over in this way, beyond a simple CRB check.

Education is critical to our hopes of a fairer society and urgent action is required. Minimum standards must be devised that embrace all faiths and none, celebrating all that is good about our homeland.  Extremists and zealots who don’t share our values or respect our way of life must be driven out of the educational picture. They have no place in schools. It will be sad if events in Birmingham fan the flames of Islamaphobia and hatred.  I do not want to contribute to making Little England yet smaller.

Dame Sally Coates is Principal of Burlington Danes Academy in White City, London.

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Show comments
  • Ronayne Maher

    Islam needs a reformation. One which begins with an open discussion about jihad, martyrdom, and apostasy. These concepts are the core problem – and if they’re being misinterpreted by terrorists, we need to hear the entire Muslim community standing up and saying as such. Practical silence in the face of daily death, abuse, and destruction is unacceptable. These doctrines are having wicked consequences.

    Why, if they’re being misread by the murderers and abusers of women and children, are moderate Muslims not deeply offended? At least as much as they are when authors publish pieces of literature satirising Islam; or when Denmark doesn’t censor its press; or when the brave and eloquent Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks out against the mutilation of a woman’s ability to receive compensation for being forced to sleep with a sweating and heaving religiously demented man?

    What’s worse: stoning women in the name of Allah or doodling the Prophet? Which one do you find most repugnant? If I draw the Prophet and someone kills me through an uncontrollable, knee jerk reaction to their deeply held offence, will that person then go to paradise? Is killing apostates acceptable or not? Are Muslims obligated to spread the faith?

  • Ronayne Maher

    The minute you use the word Islamophobia you discredit yourself.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      How?

      • Ronayne Maher

        It’s a fictitious word to silence the important debate about Islam. A Muslim Brotherhood invention.

        To suggest someone has a phobia (something wrong with them) because they’re concerned about a dangerous political ideology is obviously nuts.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Thanks.

          • Ronayne Maher

            You’re welcome. There’s an interesting interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali about it. Just google her name and Islamophobia. It’s interesting and concerning!

      • Ronayne Maher

        It’s a fictitious word to silence the important debate about Islam. A Muslim Brotherhood invention.

        To suggest someone has a phobia (something wrong with them) because they’re concerned about a dangerous political ideology is obviously nuts.

      • Ronayne Maher

        It’s a fictitious word to silence the important debate about Islam. A Muslim Brotherhood invention.

        To suggest someone has a phobia (something wrong with them) because they’re concerned about a dangerous political ideology is obviously nuts.

  • Fergus Pickering

    I think Little England is quite big enough, thank you very much.

  • chudsmania

    Wheres Warsi ? Usually full of it , but quiet of late . Musn’t knock your own i guess.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Rivers of blood: Bring it on.

    • George Smiley

      But aren’t you an Oriental and therefore also coloured?!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Every time you suggest I`m a foreigner, you reinforce the suspicion that you`re not in fact British. Because if I`m a foreigner to you it follows that you`re not British. So what about it Jonathan Foreigner: Half Chinese, half Indian, half caste? A disclosure like that would really let the skeleton fall out of your racist closet wouldn`t it?
        Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

        • Fergus Pickering

          Oh I remember you. You’re the Nip (pbuy).

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Taking on trust the unsubstantiated word of a proven liar and serial fantasist. See, I told you insanity was contagious.

            • George Smiley

              Madame Butterfly doth protest too much, methinks.

            • Fergus Pickering

              You’re NOT the Nip? Oh well pbuy all the same.

        • George Smiley

          The English language is obviously your second language!

  • foxoles
  • Ooh!MePurse!

    Dear all. When I agree with a comment I often give it an up vote. That brings up a list of others who have done the same which obscures the next comment. Is there a way around this? It’s quite annoying.

    • Damaris Tighe

      yes, that’s happened to me. Wave the curser over the comment, usually closes the list.

  • Liz

    The requirements for teachers in free schools and now of school governors are to deal with Muslim teachers and school governors? Everyone else is doing basically okay right?

    What we need is free speech and a robust challenge to Islamic principles and philosophy rather than multiple ways of shoring up the fall out from not having that.

  • Liz

    Minors should not be in the hijab. It interferes with their social development, their physical development and their emotional and psychological development. It’s a clear example of gender inequality and of failure to protect child welfare.

  • http://english-pensioner.blogspot.co.uk/ english_pensioner

    When I was a parent school governor some 30 years ago, the Chairman of the governors was an officer from the council’s education office.
    Presumably this is no longer so, otherwise the council would have known what was happening, or was there connivance with staff within the council.
    Minutes were also produced which could be seen by parents, does this no longer happen?

  • Julieann Carter

    The first thing those in charge need to do, is to be honest. To acknowledge the nature of the beast.
    We, mostly are sick to death of our government & institutions toadying to Muslim demand and sensibility.
    Beyond exasperation with the Left’s craven & perverse moral equivalising.
    I suggest our government leave in peace all other faiths, who are peaceful and not a problem – and concentrate their efforts, robustly and without apology, on the reality of malignant Islam.

    “Islamophobia” This word was created by Facists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons.

    • Kitty MLB

      Very well said. This is England, we have no wish to be recreated into some
      barbaric middle eastern country. And politicians has no right to make us so
      vulnerable from those who are utterly intolerant and leaving us with no support
      when we speak up is utterly treacherous.
      Blair and his little band of New labour travellers have taken a sledgehammer
      to the foundations of this country and we should not forget.

      • Ooh!MePurse!

        Labour, new or not are evil. Never forget.

        • Wessex Man

          They seem to be pretty evil, controlling and dangerous to me.

          • Kitty MLB

            So glad you agree with two Conservatives.
            but as UKIP wishes to capture little red fish
            into their kippery nets, they should be very
            careful with wording.

            • Ooh!MePurse!

              Kippery nets – I like that!

            • global city

              Surely UKIP are after the vast majority of people who have voted labour but have never gone along with the internationalist memes that have infected Labour since the 1960s’?

              You don’t really think that those legions of people oopnowerth who vote Labour are fully subscribed to the theories and practice of international governance, multiculturalism and Fabianism do you?

              Most people who vote labour just want a bit of prosperity, aspire to give their children a better life than they had and to be free of overbearing institutions like social workers and councillors being their AUTHORITY. This is the ultimate irony of political Britain, but it is so. Having said that they, quite correctly do not see the Tory party of having any interest in supporting their type.

              UKIP could be the perfect solution for these people.

        • Kitty MLB

          How can we with Ed Moribund clandestinely
          lurking in the background as the voice of doom.

          • Ooh!MePurse!

            Sneaking an eye at The Sun whilst the smell of gone off bacon hangs about the room. I know it’s childish of me but I collapse into hysterics whenever I see that photograph!

      • Fergus Pickering

        Too right, Kitty. Blair is a traitor.

        • Ooh!MePurse!

          And yet he really doesn’t get it. He was on Andrew Marr this morning pontificating about what we should do in Iraq!

          • Fergus Pickering

            Well of course he was. But why journalists are listening to him is a puzzle. He has nver learned from experience. He is the most ignorant PM in our whole history. He knows nothing about anything – except making money for himself of course. Isn’t it odd how many people who make lots of money are deeply ignorant. Fred the Shred springs to mind. .

    • Damaris Tighe

      Yes, & we can achieve that by redefining Islam as a political ideology, not a religion. That way we can fight it as we fought nazism & communism, & leave the other religions alone.

      • nikkkom

        Religions *are* sets of ideas, hence, they are ideologies. We just need to recognize that. The notion that any religion is acceptable is simply wrong.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Well said as always Julieann.

  • GraveDave

    Extremists and zealots who don’t share our values or respect our way of life must be driven out of the educational picture.

    What you people must start doing is taking off the multicultural beer glasses and seeing the beauty of Diversity for how it really is.

    • Alexsandr

      Naive. I dont think some minorities are that tolerant or embracing of British values.

      • GraveDave

        The very ideology of Multiculturalism has caused no end of problems for this country.

  • UniteAgainstSocialism

    The response to this problem is simple. Ban Islam and deport all muslims. Its irrelevant if they were born here. We should respect their human rights and give them a packed lunch and a bottle of water for the journey.

    • GraveDave

      What about the prayer mats?

      • Andy

        Don’t be ridiculous. We aren’t made of money.

        • Fergus Pickering

          One of the few abiding memories I have from my English Primary School in the 1950s is waving with wooden looms and rffia work. Reintroduce these and we can do prayer mats. There was never anything much to do with the stuff we produced. Now each one of us can help a muslim and thus help The Prophet (pbuh). Phum for thinking of this..

          • Andy

            You mean ‘weaving’, and they would be narrow sample looms. We would need wider width looms for prayer mats – thus more expense. But we shouldn’t be encouraging this death cult.

            • Fergus Pickering

              I do mean weaving. Great fun, as I remember. Get rid of the computers and bring back the looms. You could make hassocks if you prefer. I was just spreading a little happiness.

              • Andy

                Spread happiness ? Well don’t. Telemachus will send you to his Gulag, or worse.

              • Andy

                Spread happiness ? Well don’t. Telemachus will send you to his Gulag, or worse.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Worse would presumably be being in the same room as Telemachus for an hour at a stretch.

    • Damaris Tighe

      This is what I think in my blackest moments but when I’ve come back to my senses my thought is, do we really want to send UK born secular boys & girls in chinos & tank tops to Pakistan & Bangladesh? The genie is out of the bottle; if we are to remain just there is not much we can do to reverse it.

      • Porphyrogenitos

        do we really want to send UK born secular boys & girls in chinos & tank tops to Pakistan & Bangladesh?

        Why not, they want to recreate Pakistan and Bangladesh here. Ultimately we have not choice in this if we are to survive. They have shown their utter unwillingness to adapt to our way of life and undermine it in so many different ways. Repatriation has come to be seen as this great evil that should never be mentioned, yet most British Muslims retain very close links with their homeland. They get sent there when they are kids to spend extended periods with their grandparents and cousins, they then get to marry one of the cousins, and they often return ‘home’ at retirement to build a villa in their native village in Mirpur or Sylhet. If they are given enough leave to dispose of their assets here, is it such a great hardship?

      • George Smiley

        We should learn from Leonese Catalonia, Castile and Leon and Portugal. The Jews and the Mohammedans either had to convert and became Christians and Catholics, and be full, loyal and good Catalan, Castilian, Leonese or Portuguese subjects, or else they either had to leave the Iberian Peninsula, or lose their heads.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Thank All@h for Syria and Iraq.otherwise those schools might get a different calibre of moderate on their boards.

  • swatnan

    introduce a secular education system and ban all religious symbols like veils headscarves beards turbans and crosses, in public.

    • Last Man Standing

      Why should the excellent and over-subscribed Christian school my son attends be closed? The problem is not with Christians or Christian schools, it is with Islam and Islamic schools. Leftist Secularism is part of the problem, it has sought to undermine the Christian foundations of our advanced civilization and it had worked well.

      • swatnan

        I’m afraid that Marx was absolutely right : that ‘Religion’ is the crystal meths of people, and that bincludes all Religions, without exception.
        jusust stop and think; Religion is a form of mind control, which might have been acceptable for feudal and nomadic peoples, but is simply not applicable for the modern age.

        • Kitty MLB

          Not all religions, how many do you know
          stone and behead people, make women hide
          beneath a tent.How many others have so little
          respect for humanity that they would send you,
          and your children to oblivion with a blink of
          an eye.

          • Wessex Man

            Well there’s the Communist Religion, that banned all other forms of worship, shot the priests burnt all places of worship and shipped millions to their deaths for dissent. Much like Islam in fact.

        • shanganagh

          Your spelling, punctuation, grammar, and inept use of capitals are hardly applicable to the modern age.

          • Wessex Man

            This is a blog not an exam.

          • Damaris Tighe

            I strongly disagree with what swatnan says but are you going to ban comments because they lack a bien pensent level of literacy? Don’t be a snob. Use argument.

            • shanganagh

              If you’re going to use foreign phrases such as ‘bien pensant’ at least learn to spell them correctly.

              • Damaris Tighe

                thank you for making my point so eloquently!

          • swatnan

            I was using the King james Version.
            txt 2 me la8ter, man. (Any better?)

      • Andy

        But just a second. These were NOT ‘Islamic Schools’ nor Faith Schools. What they were trying to do was make ordinary schools into ‘Islamic Schools’ by the back door. It should be resisted tooth and nail. And I would go further: any school, be it an Academy, Free school or a Local Authority school should root out any ‘Islamic ethos’. Ban all veils and the like, and follow the national curriculum.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Left secularism is wholly unable to make distinctions. They operate through false equivalences. The aim is to intimidate & shut down debate. You only have to see the trolling comments on Spectator threads to realise this.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Ban beards? That sure is fighting talk. You’d have to ban most of the England cricket team. I don’t think the great Joe Root has ever grown a beard (yet) but every single one of the others either has a beard or used to have one.

      • swatnan

        Call those beards! more like adolescent stubble growth!
        No the beards I’m talking about are the unsightly long shaggy unkempt birds nest religious beards these fundamentalists sport whetherJew Muslim Sikh Gentile or Christian, as if to say: ‘look at me, I worship x times a day and knock my head against a wall and scourge myself with a whip, all for the love of God’

        • Kitty MLB

          Are you not able to grow a beard? The Ancient
          Greeks were fond of them( even curled them)
          and when did you ever see a wise old sage
          without a long beard and lest we forget God.

          • swatnan

            I sport a neatly clipped military style moustache.
            BTW God is a Woman (….or, have I got that the right way round)

            • Kitty MLB

              Am I allowed to call your moustache a caterpillar of tooth brush. I believe that Flashman character had a military style
              moustache.. before anyone starts, he was a hero !
              At least yours doesn’t curl up at the ends.
              And God is a woman.. Did Harriet Harman tell you that?
              He might be a she, one of life’s great mysteries.

        • Fergus Pickering

          W.G. Grace’s beard, you mean? Or the beard of the great Lord Salisbury, Britain’s most Tory PM (pbuh).

          • Kitty MLB

            Oh do keep the hair on Fergus. Maybe you
            you could have used a highly witty and imaginative response like: We can’t shave
            because…..Oh wait for it ! We ain’t made
            of money.

            • Fergus Pickering

              If it were only beards then muslims would be no trouble at all. One must focus on what is important. England’s latest all-rounder has a beard and a half (the beard that’s feared), but I really don’t think he is making bombs. It’s the cricket, yoou know. Terrorists don’t play cricket.

              • Kitty MLB

                Fergus dear, not too sure about Cricket bowling maidens
                over! I wonder if England play cricket as well as India…No
                we don’t want steam coming out of ears.
                I don’t suppose Terrorists play any sport, too busy in some
                God forsaken cave plotting to send the world into total
                oblivion.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Indians play very good cricket, but better over there than over here.

        • Fergus Pickering

          I posted a reply taking in W.G. Grace and Loed Salisbury but it seems it has disappeared, doubtless for taking Lord Salisbury’s name in vain or possibly for joking about that curious ejaculation pbuh.

      • Kitty MLB

        Not too sure I’d agree with banning beards- the bare
        faced cheek of it Fergus!
        I wonder as he doesn’t like long beards if he would
        have an issue with God or Father Christmas.
        Those who play Rugby are safe as they never have
        beards..all that rolling about in mud and stuff.

    • George Smiley

      Only the Mohammedan ones, for now. After all, they are the trouble-makers, and no-one else.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    Do you expect Muslims to obey primarily the Department of Education, or the holy word of Allah as revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) in the Quran and the Hadith?

    It is all a question not of schools but of incompatible alien culture and mores.

    • William Haworth

      So are youa Muslim Rhoda? If not, why the ‘(pbuh)’ and the use of the term ‘prophet’ for Mohammed?

      • Shazza

        The ‘p’ word rhymes with Swiss.

        • Damaris Tighe

          ha ha he he, I love disrespecting the religion of multiple offence.

      • Rhoda Klapp8

        That was a rhetorical device designed to hint at what it looks like from the other point of view. I’d never heard of pbuh until my son came home and told us he’d been advised to always use it after a mention of the prophet. This in a small town comp in rural Oxon. One with almost no muslim pupils, just one in his class. It seems entirely reasonable to muslims that such rules be imposed on all of us, because the truth is the truth and all who do not accept it are deniers. Which is what the term kuffar/kaffir means. And that is why there need be no conspiraacy.

        Now, why do you need to get that from an Oxfordshire housewife when all kinds of great and good bien-pensant people of power and influence write above the line and do not seem to know it?

        • Damaris Tighe

          Rhoda, if you haven’t done it already please tell your son that if he accepts this advice (re PBUH) he will be a dhimmi, & explain what this means.

          • Rhoda Klapp8

            He didn’t take the advice. But it is little accommodations like that without a line being drawn which may eventually lead to being asked to swallow something unacceptable. Like sharia applying to those who want it, first between themselves, then in a musslim vs non-muslim case, then universally. Like a misbehaving child, the longer you leave it uncorrected the bigger the problem when you have to do something.

            An aside. A few hundred years ago the Christian church knew what it thought of Islam, knew who its enemy was. Now church leaders seem to prefer to associate and sympathise with other believers of any pretty much anything rather than those who don’t have religion. While I wouldn’t want any return to crusades, I am suspicious of getting too cosy with people who despise you, who regard followers of Christ as some sort of deluded inferior.

            • Conway

              I read today that sharia bonds are to be available. It’s the thin end of the wedge technique.

        • Damaris Tighe

          If you haven’t already done so suggest you explain to your son that pbuh is used by dhimmis, & explain what a dhimmi is.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Good point re no need for a conspiracy theory. The arrogance is built into the religion.

          • The_Missing_Think

            Nope, the ‘religious’ instinct you’ve identified, is nature’s iron law of ‘safety in our collective numbers’, it is common to 99.9999999999999% of Earth’s current inhabitants. Including plants and insects.

            And then there’s extra-clever white people.

        • sebastian2

          I wonder at the mental condition of the person who gave that advice. PBUH signifies respect and deference. Respect and deference to a creed that merits neither.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Usage. He is known as The Prophet, just as Jesus is known as the Christ. See Frank Crumit and ‘Abdul Abubul Amir.

    • telemachus

      Church of England primary schools are frequently influenced in style and educational policy by the local vicar
      I do not see the difference

      • Rhoda Klapp8

        Of course you don’t, because you are an idiot. In the dictionary sense, not merely a derogatory term for thicko.

        • Andy

          He is also a Heretic. Oh and a Fascist.

          • Donafugata

            He’s become one of them.
            Yesterday he said that Gove must be destroyed, in effect, a fatwa.

      • Wessex Man

        Go back into your burrow and reest a little more you batteries are low.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Any chance of a translation?

          • George Smiley

            You. Are. Never. British. Couldn’t be clearer, I think!

            • Jackthesmilingblack

              You are a complete and utter moron, China boy.

              • George Smiley

                Still not taking your anti-psychotic schizophrenia medicines?!

        • Kitty MLB

          Telemachus is a wasp, he doesn’t run on batteries but left over food from other peoples
          picnics.

      • Damaris Tighe

        yes, but they don’t encourage girls to cover themselves in restrictive clothing, nor do they call women of other religions or race ‘prostitutes’. Why is it that the left cannot make distinctions?

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Because to do so might cause the group/ minority in question to stop voting for them.

          • Kitty MLB

            Oh yes the Lefts imported voters, there was
            a saying from Churchill: He who feeds the
            crocodile hoping he will be eaten last.
            So Labour are now reliant on such people
            and have betrayed their working class core
            voter for these..

            • Inverted Meniscus

              I had forgotten that quotation. Perfect. It sums up the duplicity and naivete of the Labour Party and its desperate greed for power for the sake of power.

  • Alexsandr
  • Last Man Standing

    The issue is Islam not School Governors. Islam is incompatible with our civilisation and those who wish to practice it must reasonably be placed under restrictions within public life. Worship Allah by all means in private – but girls should be afforded British rights and all sermons should be recorded – but in public life those following the teaching of the Koran should not be allowed any position of influence especially over children or in politics.

    • Andy

      Been saying it for ages. We should licence all Mosques and all preachers in Mosques. The Muslim community have been woeful at controlling extremist in their midst so it is time we did it for them. I also think there should be an Authorised Version of the Koran and all other forms of the Koran should be banned.

      • Freddie

        yeah if you do that though then the extremists would go underground, also licensing them is surely against freedom of speech?
        though it would be lovely if such a thing happened

        • Andy

          What ‘freedom of speech’ ? These nut cases can spew their bile and hate of western countries, societies and Christians with impunity. You say a word against Islam and Mohammed and you’ll have your collar felt before you can say Mecca !

    • telemachus

      I think the Equal Opportunities Commission would have something to say about this post

      • Wessex Man

        Do you really, why haven’t they said anything about you disgusting comments?

        • Andy

          Because the Equal Opportunities Commission is a Fascist Labour Party construct stuffed to the doors with their place men. Simples.

      • Frank

        Rubbish, you do write utter nonsense.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Yes they must be sick to death of your disgusting comments and fascism.

      • Ooh!MePurse!

        Especially the bit about girls being afforded British rights, what a disgraceful Islamaphobic suggestion.

      • global city

        You must get bored continually thinking up new ways of winding people up?

  • The Masked Marvel

    Even if there was no official conspiracy, there is no doubt that something happened. In fact, one might say that the fact that this seems instead to have happened organically is a much bigger problem than if it was a planned exercise, directed by some cabal. A systemic failure is far worse than a single conspiracy. Setting up another layer of bureaucracy, more rules, and more boxes for school governors to tick on forms will accomplish nothing, and won’t prevent this from continuing to occur if teachers and others at the schools are kept silent or are ignored.

    This did not occur in a vacuum. It was a systemic failure, and if we’re going to come up with new standards, then they ought to be applied to Ofsted and government officials who oversee the schools. Who let this happen, really?

    • GraveDave

      Political cowardice from both Tory and Labour -Labour and Tory. I don’t care which way round. I do know that three years or so ago the biggest bugbear in Michael Gove’s wig was the BNP and the ‘far right’ infiltrating our schools. And later when it was investigated this infiltration by the far right amounted to two – yep, that’s right – two teachers in the whole country, and even they were brothers. But the conspiracy was so real to ‘the excellent ‘Michael Gove that he wrote an article about the threat for the Guardian. No wonder his credibility is somewhat shot lately.

      • The Masked Marvel

        Precisely. Nothing suggested by the author will have even the slightest effect on this.

  • DaveTheRave

    I simply don’t know, except to say that like many of life’s problems, it won’t be improved by the intervention of politicians.

  • CharlietheChump

    ” So how should we respond to events in Birmingham”?

    Close it. Dreadful place.

    • Ricky Strong

      There are some nice parts and we are clinging onto them with all our might, but the smell of infestation looms and lingers on the breeze – it’s a vile stench most unwelcome.

    • William Haworth

      The Americans have Nevada; the French used the South Pacific. If we ever need to test our nuclear warheads, the Bull Ring is as good a place as any.

  • Alexsandr

    why didn’t the equalities commission get involved in the brum scandal? Clearly there was blatant sexism and racism against the white English going on.

    Oh silly me. The equalities commission don’t believe there is racism towards the whites.

    • GraveDave

      Or look at how effectively they all combined to deal with the BNP in Barking.

    • telemachus

      The only actual racism I detected was in the intemperate posts on this and other blogs and The Mail

      • Wessex Man

        Get away with you, you are one of the biggest racists here!

    • The_Missing_Think

      If that were true, the quote below would not be possible.

      If you want EHRC involved, pick up the phone.

      Pick up or shut up time… yer move, lion bunnies.
      _____

      “This can be black or white”

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/notes/division/3/2/1/6/3

      Section 9. Explanatory notes. (2010 Equalities Act).

    • Inverted Meniscus

      More accurately, only white people are capable of racism in the eyes of the equalities commission.

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