Nicky Morgan said the teaching watchdog Ofsted is to be handed a dossier of evidence uncovered during an investigation into allegations surrounding a string of city schools.
Anyone shown to have taken part in forcing out headteachers, staff or governors so they could be replaced with Muslim sympathisers will be hauled before a misconduct panel and facing being banned from the classroom, she told MPs.
Ms Morgan made her announcement to the Commons as she published a “disturbing” report into the scandal written by Scotland Yard’s former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke.
The ex-policeman’s investigations uncovered evidence of “co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action” by individuals to introduce an “intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos” into some city schools.
Plotters promoted their aims by winning influence on the governing bodies, installing “sympathetic” headteachers and senior staff, appointing “like minded” people to key positions and removing those who were not “compliant.”
Mr Clarke wrote that there was an agenda to impose a “hardline strain of Islam” that would “inhibit children’s participation in the life of modern Britain.”
Speaking in the Commons today, Ms Morgan said the purpose of the education policy was to “open doors for children, not close them.”
“What Peter Clarke found is disturbing.
Instead of enjoying a broadening and enriching experience in school, young people are having their horizons narrowed and are being denied the opportunity to flourish in a modern multicultural Britain
“His report sets out compelling evidence of a determined effort by people with a shared ideology to gain control of the governing bodies of a small number of schools in Birmingham,” she told MPs.
“Teachers have said they fear children are learning to be intolerant of difference and diversity.
“Instead of enjoying a broadening and enriching experience in school, young people are having their horizons narrowed and are being denied the opportunity to flourish in a modern multicultural Britain.”
“What has been so upsetting about the history in this small handful of schools is that the success of efforts to encourage more British Muslims to take up governing roles has been damaged by the actions of a few.”
The Cabinet minister said although there was no evidence of “direct radicalisation or violent extremism,” there were influential people within the schools, with a “restricted and narrow interpretation of their faith, who have not promoted fundamental British values and who have failed to challenge the extremist views of others”.
Ms Morgan criticised individuals connected to the Park View Educational Trust for destabilising headteachers, blocked funding for the Oldknow Academy and said a new interim executive board has been put in place at Saltley School.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership will now use Mr Clarke’s report to consider whether any teachers involved should be barred from the profession, Ms Morgan added.
Among the changes being brought in are an education commissioner at Birmingham City Council, new rules to bar “unsuitable persons” from running independent schools and Ofsted could also be given the power to carry out “no-notice inspections.”
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt called Mr Clarke’s report a “devastating indictment” of the Government’s schools policy and said the appointment of a commissioner for Birmingham was Labour policy.
via – Express