The government and the teaching unions both want to see the education watchdog Oftsed reform itselfby John Harris / July 17, 2014 / Leave a comment
The academy’s work to raise students’ awareness of the risks of extremism is inadequate… Students are not taught citizenship well enough or prepared properly for life in a diverse and multicultural society… During a recent academy fête, raffles and tombolas were banned because they are considered un-Islamic…”
On and on they go: scores of observations, long since streaked across the media, from five Birmingham schools that were recently placed in so-called “special measures” at the height of the “Trojan horse” affair—that spectacular drama centered on allegations that, perhaps thanks to a plot, an array of non-faith state schools in England’s second city were pushed into embracing conservative practices based on religious dogma. At the heart of it all, clinging on to ideas of fairness and due process while controversy simmered away, there sat the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), founded by the-then Education Secretary Kenneth Clarke in 1992, and currently at its all-time peak of visibility.
Between March and May, Ofsted inspected 21 schools alleged to have been subject to Islamification (see p64), passing judgement on them in early June—though some people still wonder if it should have been involved at all. Among…