Birmingham could face second Trojan Horse scandal – claim

Birmingham could be on the brink of another Trojan Horse scandal, an education expert has warned. Dr Karamat Iqbal believes that the underlying issues which led to the national controversy in 2014 have gotten worse and argued that some schools need to be more integrated with mosques. The Birmingham Mail reports.

He explores the controversial topic alongside the wider educational issues faced by the second city’s large Muslim presence in his new book ‘British Pakistani Boys, Education and the role of Religion’. It is subtitled ‘In the Land of the Trojan Horse’ .

Initial fears of a plot to radicalise pupils proved to be unfounded although the numerous enquiries which ensued did find evidence of a concerted effort to establish more Muslim governors and staff within schools.

Dr Iqbal believes that at its heart Trojan Horse was about a ‘disquiet’ among the Muslim community at poor education standards and the high numbers of Pakistani and Muslim pupils leaving school without proper qualifications.

Dr Iqbal said: “Some people have argued the standards issue is worse and the trust issue is worse in that the community and schools do not trust each other. The under-representation of Pakistani people on governing bodies is worse.

“I have posed the question (in my book) could Trojan happen again? The answer is yes.”

In the course of research he visited three state schools in Birmingham, surveyed more than 200 pupils and conducted around 50 interviews with students, parents and teachers.

One of the main factors driving underachievement, Dr Iqbal argues, is the religious commitments placed on many Pakistani pupils to attend Madrasa – such as a mosque.

He says this has a negative impact on their ability to complete homework and causes missed social opportunities.

Read the full article Birmingham could face second Trojan Horse scandal – claim

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