The Consequences of the Trojan Horse Affair and a Possible Way Forward for Birmingham (FORUM 3)

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Publication date: September 1, 2014

SARAH BARTON, RICHARD HATCHER

The UK government seized the opportunity of the Trojan Horse affair to launch a damaging Islamophobic attack, eagerly relayed by a racist press, on the Muslim community in Birmingham and beyond, abusing Ofsted and the Prevent strategy as blatant instruments of ideologically-driven policy. The various reports found no evidence of radicalisation or extremism but did find evidence of governance malpractice in some schools, informed by conservative Muslim views and enabled by the lack of local accountability of governing bodies as a result of the government’s policies of academy autonomy and disempowered local authorities. The debate now is focused on moving forward, and this article ends by proposing that a Children’s Zone approach offers a strategy which ensures that the community is centrally involved in a new democratic partnership.

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