Morgan: Extremism in schools will be identified ‘more quickly’

Morgan: Extremism in schools will be identified 'more quickly'

New trustees have been placed in all the academies in Birmingham involved in the Trojan horse affair

Education secretary Nicky Morgan confirmed the move as she updated the House of Commons on Thursday on the progress of the recommendations contained in Peter Clarke’s report.

She said all the recommendations were being, or on track to be, applied following her last update in July after the report was commissioned following the events last year in the city where allegedly Islamic extremists plotted to infiltrate a number of state schools.

Ms Morgan said: “I am confident that if the events we witnessed in Birmingham were repeated again today they would be identified and dealt with more quickly and in a far more effective way.

“However, let me be clear that there is no room for complacency – both in the specific case of Birmingham, and more generally. We must always remain vigilant. There is no more important responsibility than keeping children safe and giving them the chance of a first-class education that prepares them for life in modern Britain.

“That is why I am determined that we should not only act when and where we receive information of concern, we should also build resilience into the system to ensure it is more able to withstand attempts to undermine or subvert it. “

As well as new trustees at the Birmingham academies, at Oldknow they voted to bring in ARK – a multi-academy sponsor – and it was announced yesterday Golden Hillock will also join the network.

Ms Morgan said more needed to be done at Park View itself, where the “significant number of suspended staff had hampered progress” but the Government was working with Regional Schools Commissioners to find replacements and would consider all reasonable requests for additional funding.

Formal action against individual governors or teachers who may have breached the teacher standards was pending disciplinary hearings while the National College of Teaching and Leaderhip are investigating other cases.

Ms Morgan also confirmed Sir Mike Tomlinson’s appointment as education commissioner for Birmingham would continue until March 2016 to oversee the development of an improvement plan.

She added: “Mr Speaker, this government will not tolerate extremism of any kind. It turns one against another. It warps minds. It causes harm and division in communities. And it can ultimately lead to support for terrorism.”