London: A violent extremist video was shown to students in a Birmingham state school as part of a plot by extremists to take control of the school curriculum across the UK.
British lawmakers from the Education Select Committee in the House of Commons heard from the heads of two inquiries into?the alleged "Trojan Horse" plot by extremists to take control of the school curriculum across the UK.
Former Scotland Yard counter-terror chief Peter Clarke, who carried out an investigation for the Department for Education, and Ian Kershaw, who produced a report for Birmingham City Council, both claimed there was no widespread extremism in British schools but found a number of isolated cases that went unchecked.
Kershaw told MPs that the "violent extremist" video that was "completely unacceptable" had been shown.
Without identifying the school, he said: "It (the video) was shown in one classroom at one moment and that should have been stopped and that should not have happened."
Clarke told MPs he had not found "violent extremism" or "direct radicalisation" in the schools, but there had been a culture that had failed to challenge intolerance.
"I believe I found very clear evidence of people who espouse, are sympathetic to, or do not challenge extremist views," he said.
There had been teachers who wanted more segregation between boys and girls in school, he said, and he described a "general air of intolerance" towards other religions and points of view.
Kershaw said there had also been groups of people who had "learnt to manipulate" the school system, getting sympathetic governors to replace other governors and then to improperly manipulate staff appointments.
Clarke added that while there might not be explicit evidence of a specific Trojan Horse conspiracy, there had been clear signs of people acting with a "common mindset" and "shared objectives" and using tactics that had been "remarkably similar".
He said it would be surprising if there were not similar problems in other parts of the country.
"I'm not a great believer in coincidence," he told lawmakers.