An investigation into Birmingham schools at the centre of a plot to introduce hardline Islamist teaching has found pupils were illegally segregated and non-Muslim students were discriminated against.
UK Daily Mail Inspectors also revealed that the GCSE syllabus was restricted to conform with ‘conservative Islamic teaching’, with lessons in sex education banned and evolution only covered ‘briefly’.
Department for Education inspectors were ordered into Park View School and its sister schools, Golden Hillock and Nansen, after a letter dubbed ‘Trojan Horse’ was uncovered apparently outlining a plot by Muslim hardliners to drive moderate headteachers out of schools.
The unsigned and undated letter claimed that a small but radical group of Muslims was pursuing its own agenda in the classrooms, with uncooperative headteachers and governors forced out.
In a document leaked to The Telegraph, inspectors found that in Park View school, girls were forced to sit around the back or edges of the classroom while boys were allowed to sit at the front.
Officials from the school had previously claimed that any segregation was voluntary, but inspectors were told by students that teachers set out the seating plans. In some subjects there was even entirely separated teaching in separate rooms, the report says.
Shiekh Shady al-Suleiman, a known al-Qaeda sympathiser who has previously said gay people should be stoned to death and espoused anti-semetic views, was also invited to speak to children.
At Golden Hillock five Christian students in Year 11 were ‘left to teach themselves’ religious education after the teacher gave all their time ‘to the students who are doing the Islamic course’. All discussion of sexual orientation or intimacy was banned at the same school, limiting lessons on biology, the arts and literature.
Pupils at two of the schools said the theory of evolution was only covered ‘briefly’ in biology, while lessons on the body structure and menstrual cycle were banned as ‘Muslims are not allowed to study matters such as reproduction with the opposite sex.’
Despite these restrictions, Arabic lessons were compulsory for all students. Pupils were also encouraged to begin and end lessons with prayer, and loudspeakers were used to broadcast calls to prayer.
Headteachers at the schools were marginalised, according to the report, with all three schools in reality being run by Tahir Alam, who ran the board of governors. Inspectors say close relatives of the school management were appointed without proper background checks and that, in some schools, the headteachers were unaware of the names of some of the most senior staff.