Fears Of Islamic Extremists Prompt Surprise Birmingham School Inspections

  @marcykreiterm.kreiter@ibtimes.com on June 08 2014 11:28 PM
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Prime Minister David Cameron said children must be protected from Islamic extremism. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Britain's Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) will conduct inspections of schools without advance notice as part of a response to allegations Islamic extremists have infiltrated Birmingham schools.

The Daily Telegraph reported the 21 schools at the center of the controversy put on bogus "shows of cultural inclusivity" to convince inspectors they promoted religious harmony.

"Protecting our children is one of the first duties of government and that is why the issue of alleged Islamist extremism in Birmingham schools demands a robust response," Prime Minister David Cameron said.

A leaked draft report from the Education Funding Agency indicates the Park View Educational Trust schools have "taken the Islamic focus too far," the BBC reported. In some classes, the report noted, girls and boys were segregated.

Ofsted head Michael Wilshaw said the inspection plan will be applied to 21 schools involved in an alleged Trojan Horse plot to advance an Islamist agenda. Six schools face special measures immediately and nine others have been deemed to need improvement, the Telegraph said.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said it is clear "schools have used the (advance) notice they have been given of inspections to evade proper scrutiny."

"Our children need to be protected in schools, kept safe from the dangers of extremism and guaranteed a broad and balanced curriculum," Gove said.

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