In 2014 an investigation into an alleged plot to ‘Islamify’ several state schools in Birmingham began. Known as the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair, this caused a previously highly successful school to be vilified.
Holmwood, an expert witness in the professional misconduct cases brought against the teachers, and O’Toole, who researches the government’s counter-extremism agenda, challenge the accepted narrative and draw on the potential parallel with the Hillsborough disaster to suggest a similar false narrative has taken hold of public debate.
This important book highlights the major injustice inflicted on the teachers and shows how this affair was used to criticise multiculturalism, and justify the expansion of a broad and intrusive counter extremism agenda.
"A compelling alternative analysis of the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair, shining much-needed light on a serious but neglected vector of educational inequality in the UK." Reza Gholami, University of Birmingham
"Makes for important reading not only to rectify the injustices committed in the unfolding of the affair, but as part of the continued debate on what values should be promoted in schools, how these values should be interpreted, and their compatibility with religious expression." Journal of Education Policy
“This highly engaging book charts the pervasive and politically motivated racialization of Muslim communities in Britain today. Detailed in its use of evidence and comprehensive in its analysis, it should be compulsory reading for everybody interested in the working of the state.” Nasar Meer, University of Edinburgh
“An assiduous, impeccably researched account of the events that took place in Birmingham….utterly devastating reading. I cannot recommend it strongly enough." Peter Oborne, journalist.
John Holmwood is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. From 2012 to 2014, he was President of the British Sociological Association and in 2014/15, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA. He acted as an Expert Witness to the Court in one of the National College for Teaching and Leadership hearings against teachers arising from the Trojan Horse affair.
Therese O’Toole is Reader in Sociology at the University of Bristol and a member of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship. She led a major ESRC/AHRC study of Muslim Participation in Contemporary Governance and an AHRC Connected Communities study of the local implementation of Prevent in Bristol.
Introduction: A plot to Islamicise schools?
Part 1: Context
‘British values’ and community cohesion
Prevent: from hearts and minds to muscular liberalism
Community cohesion, schooling and Prevent
Religious education, collective worship and publicly funded education
Governance, school reform and change management
Part 2: The case
Introducing the case
The Clarke and Kershaw Reports
The NCTL hearings and their collapse
Conclusion: Lessons from the Trojan Horse affair