UK Govt funds anti-radicalisation workshops in schools
The UK government has sanctioned funds to conduct anti-radicalisation workshops including theatre for school children in Birmingham, which had been at the heart of "Trojan Horse" plot by Islamist extremists to take control of the school curriculum.
London: The UK government has sanctioned funds to conduct anti-radicalisation workshops including theatre for school children in Birmingham, which had been at the heart of "Trojan Horse" plot by Islamist extremists to take control of the school curriculum.
The 'Trojan Horse' controversy came to light earlier this year after an anonymous letter alleged an organised radical Islamist takeover of state schools in predominantly Muslim areas of the UK.
It triggered a series of investigations led by the government and schools inspectorate Ofsted.
As part of a post Trojan Horse "action plan", the Birmingham City Council has drafted a raft of measures including theatre workshops to stop pupils being radicalised.
According to the Birmingham Mail, the plan will include around 40 UK Home Office funded anti-terror workshops.
The sessions called 'Tapestry' are to be led by Birmingham Repertory Theatre's educational theatre company 'The Play House'.
"Tapestry is a dynamic participatory theatre-in-education tour for 13-18 year-olds which explores the implications and consequences of extremist thinking and action," a Play House spokesperson said.
"It provides a unique stimulus for young people, teachers and youth leaders to begin to explore this sensitive and complex issue in a supportive environment," she added.
Meanwhile, the newspaper reported that the council has also hired two "safeguarding" employees, both tasked with working in schools to prevent extremism and to protect children from radicalisation.
The council has also proposed new rules to tighten procedures on selecting governors at city schools.
The new rules follow recent evidence by a number of teachers including British Sikh headteacher Balwant Bains of Slatley School in the city, who had claimed that he was forced to resign by Muslim governors of the school for trying to oppose extremist behaviour among students.
Bains' experiences were included in an investigation conducted by former Scotland Yard anti-terror chief Peter Clarke.
Bains went on gardening leave in November 2013 after a report by Ofsted concluded he had a "dysfunctional" relationship with the governors.
The Clarke report said he was accused of "racism and Islamophobia".
It added: "He asked for support from the council that appears not to have been forthcoming and was ultimately, he feels, forced to resign from his headship.
"The enquiry has revealed that what happened to Balwant Bains was far from an isolated incident. In fact, there is a disconcerting pattern reaching across a number of the schools I have looked at."