RAPID RESPONSE: RELIGION, ‘BRITISH VALUES’ AND EQUALITIES TEACHING IN THE CONTEXT OF PREVENT

2019-06-14T11:33:36+00:00 June 14th, 2019|Prevent in the News|

The Birmingham Trojan Horse affair – a supposed plot to Islamicise schools – which hit the headlines in March 2014 has been the main impetus for changes to the Government’s Prevent strategy. The affair was viewed as deriving from a failure of integration of some within Britain’s Muslim communities and their embrace of values inimical to democracy, the rule of law and tolerance toward other religions. New guidance on fundamental British values (democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and religious tolerance) was put forward to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. Yet Ofsted reports prior to 2014 had found no evidence of anything untoward in the schools in question and had declared the pupils to be well-prepared. Additionally, professional misconduct cases against teachers allegedly involved in the plot collapsed because of improprieties in the pursuit of the prosecution case. Yet the narrative of a threat to integration and a ‘cultural deficit’ on the part of British Muslims has proven hard to change.

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