The BBC is reporting that an internal review by the DfE has found the department “has in the past lacked inquisitiveness” about extremism in schools…
…”Procedures could have been tighter than they were,” says the report into its handling of the claims…
Written by the DfE’s top civil servant, Chris Wormald, it has found no instances of the DfE ignoring “specific warnings” of extremism in schools.
But it also notes: “The department needs always to be vigilant and inquisitive and have robust systems in place.”
…In a written ministerial statement, current Education Secretary Nicky Morgan endorsed the latest review and its recommendations.
Mrs Morgan also announced a series of measures to strengthen systems within the department.
These include increasing the size of the DfE’s Due Diligence and Counter-Extremism Division, and introducing a formal system for staff to refer concerns about extremism to the division.
The report says the DfE was contacted six times about matters relating to potential extremist infiltration in Birmingham schools between 1994 and 2013.
It also highlights how a DfE minister and officials met Birmingham head teacher Tim Boyes on two occasions in 2010.
The then education secretary was not aware of these meetings at the time. At both of these meetings, there was a discussion about the challenges that political Islam posed for schools in Birmingham. The discussions covered similar issues to those raised in the Trojan Horse letter.
The report says the minister arranged for Mr Boyes to come into the DfE to discuss this issue further with officials who were working on counter extremism.
At this second meeting, there was a presentation from Mr Boyes which set out the kinds of challenges facing schools in Birmingham through the use of largely anonymised case studies.
The discussion is said to have focused on general policy issues rather than a call for specific intervention on particular schools.
However, a suggestion was made that a further discussion with a wider group of head teachers should be held – but this meeting never took place, says the report…
See also: Headteacher: Trojan Horse internal review ‘farcical’
Your reactions and feedback on this latest Trojan horse report? Any particular new insights or revelations? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…
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