Magazine article The Spectator

Primary Schools or Training Camps?

Magazine article The Spectator

Primary Schools or Training Camps?

Article excerpt

When Ed Balls left a Labour fundraiser at a Westminster curry house last Wednesday to be interviewed on Newsnight, he had the look of a man with an ace up his sleeve. David Cameron's attack on the government for allowing public funds to go to schools influenced by Islamist extremists was blunted by some slapdash research.

Although understandable given their profusion, muddling up 'pathfinder' funds was stupid. Far more foolish was the response of ministers, who leapt on the muddle as proof that the central charge was also flawed. As a former special adviser, I understand the need for survival tactics in what Denis Healey called the 'jungle warfare' of Cabinetlevel politics. Sometimes the best you can hope for is to go to bed in one piece.

But the fundamental charges - that schools in Tottenham and Slough were influenced by Islamism, that their leading lights had links to the ultra-extremist Hizb ut Tahrir, and that concepts such as the Caliphate and Ummah were being taught to young children - are too important to ignore. It is no good for ministers to hide behind Ofsted's supposed clean bill of health. It is laughable to expect Ofsted to be able to spot the difference between legitimate Islamic influences in a faith school, and the clandestine hand of political Islam. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.