A political row in the UK government appears to be developing, with Home Secretary Theresa May writing an open letter to the Education Secretary Michael Gove. The letter questions the actions, or inactions, of the Department of Education when they were initially informed about the allegations regarding extremism with schools in Birmingham.
In the letter, May raises a few critical issues:
The allegations relating to schools in Birmingham raise serious questions about the quality of school governance and oversight arrangements in the maintained sector, not just the supplementary schools that would be signatories to this Code of Practice. How did it come to pass, for example, that one of the governors at Park View was the chairman of the education committee of the Muslim Council of Britain? Is it true that Birmingham City Council was warned about these allegations in 2008? Is it true that the Department for Education was warned in 2010? If so, why did nobody act? I am aware that several investigations are still ongoing and those investigations are yet to conclude. But it is clear to me that we will need to take clear action to improve the quality of staffing and governance if we are to prevent extremism in schools.
The full letter is available to view here.