I would like to state from the outset that the intention of this exposé is not to inflame communities, or to posit one community against another. It is rather to establish the truth which has been the first victim of this war against Muslim-majority schools in Birmingham.
Before delving into the purported names and details of the individuals alleged to have written the Trojan Horse document and actively instigated the Gestapo-esque investigations, it is worth getting some history on the schools in Birmingham.
Most of the schools targeted were previously failing schools. New governors have come in and results have drastically improved. A governor whose school was one of the schools targeted in the press as well as the Trojan Hoax investigations, highlighted that,
“Traditional leadership were in their comfort zone. There was no sense of a drive for achievement. No real concern that some of schools were hitting barely 30% GCSE pass rates.”
The reason for this was that the governors consisted of broadly two groups. The first group were mainly Muslims, who really did not know what their responsibilities entailed. In many cases in Birmingham, the governors barely spoke English. The second group was somewhat passive; they did not really engage the school teachers, but seemingly made the effort to be there. For instance, Lynn Morris, a practising Christian and the former principal of Joseph Chamberlain lives in Shropshire, yet would travel down to attend governors meetings at Golden Hillock school. Incidentally, her successor at Joseph Chamberlain College, Elly Tobin, is known to be a “racist” according to employees in the college and has allegations of use of intimidation against employees when her anti-Muslim attitude was brought to the attention of local MPs and the college was investigated in 2011.
Returning to the Birmingham schools, as a result of the two groups, targets were not set, performance of teachers were not reviewed and the impact of this resulted in children being let down. The governor underlining this stated,
“The leadership had easy life and schools were failing. The stats on the DfE website are an evidence of this.”
It is therefore not a coincidence that as parents and governors became more aware of their rights, and became more involved with the education of their children, the quality of education and achievement rapidly increased year on year. It is also no coincidence that the school governorship started to better reflect their community. As the governor highlighted,
“As the governors starting to go on training, we started to implement that training in failing schools. The resignation of teachers or governors who were not hitting performance targets was a natural consequence of the implementation of that governor training.”
Riverside Evangelical Church Converts Muslim Children
Practising, evangelical Christians are the sources behind the crisis which has hit Birmingham over the past months. They are linked to a controversial Church called Riverside, located on Moseley Road Birmingham, near Queensbridge School. Sunday morning services for the Church are held at the school. Queensbridge School’s head teacher has been renting out to the Church at a massively discounted rate. A governor in Queensbridge School has confirmed that Riverside Church would use the venue at a rate of £3.75 per hour; others were not able to rent out the place because the rate is normally much higher.
The close relationship between the school and the Church has prompted concerns related to proselytising amongst the people in Birmingham. My sources in Birmingham have spoken directly with teenagers at Queensbridge School, who were raised Muslim but converted to Christianity due to the brainwashing of Riverside Church.
Reverend John Ray and the “bullied” teachers
Reverend John Ray is the source of the information now being imparted. He was a governor at Golden Hillock School for several years and during this period the school was failing drastically (right up until the school turned into an Academy in December 2013). He has claimed that he may have had “something to do with the Trojan Horse plot”. About a week after Peter Clarke’s appointment to head the investigations in Birmingham, Reverend Ray encouraged two female teachers at Golden Hillock School to give evidence that they had been bullied to the point they had to resign.
The reality was that pupils taught by these teachers, despite estimating high grades for them, were achieving substantially lower grades. One of the two teachers was repeatedly off sick for long periods of time. Through the school’s internal process, the teachers were placed under a performance review. No sooner were the teachers made aware that they were to be placed under review, they resigned. Reverend Ray, taking advantage of the situation, encouraged them afterwards to give evidence that they had been bullied into resigning. Reverend Ray claims he himself drove the two teachers to Peter Clarke to give testimony to him.
Sources of the “Trojan Horse” Fabrication
In a drastic change of heart, Reverend Ray has disclosed that he had a “good idea” of who was behind the “Trojan Horse” document. Below are the names which have been forwarded from my sources in Birmingham, alleged by Reverend Ray to have been behind the Trojan Horse document and the instigation of the entire fiasco:
CECIL KNIGHT OBE (Former Head of Small Heath School)
Cecil Knight is a practising Christian educationalist. He is used as a reference in a book entitled, Whatever happened to Religious Education (2000), which argues against secularised Religious Education and in favour of a committed presentation of Christian traditions for pupils (see Chapter 6 footnote 26).
Knight has a history of concern regarding Muslim involvement in schools. In article in the Independent, (Sunday February, 1996), distastefully titled, “Mohammed knocks at classroom door”, Knight highlights the keenness of Muslims to get involved in education and foreshadows a chilling future,
Cecil Knight, head of Small Heath school, a mixed comprehensive in Birmingham where 96 per cent of pupils are Muslims, says parents are much quicker to complain than they used to be. “We have a generation of Muslims who have come through the education system and are much more competent at articulating the aims and desires of the Muslim community,” he says. “They are not willing to compromise to the same degree.“
When he was responsible for writing a multi-faith RE syllabus for Birmingham, 25 years ago, he could find only three or four Muslim teachers to help him in the whole city. Now he has six, plus two classroom assistants, at his school alone.
“It may well be that there is more trouble ahead. I just hope we don’t reach the stage where there is out-and-out conflict,” Mr Knight says.
It seems that Knight believes the stage of an “out-and-out” conflict has been reached. And the Trojan Horse document is his lance deployed in the direction of the Muslim minority.
Interestingly, Knight has appointed Peter Slough, also a devout Christian, as the Head teacher at Small Heath school. Slough is also thought to be behind the Trojan Horse document, although there is some uncertainty. According to sources close to the school, there is a close-knit community of teachers who are now seeking to undermine the incoming head-teacher. It is alleged also that Slough brought in his deputy head Sue Smith on the basis that he knew her – both of them previously taught in an international school in Saudi Arabia. The school teachers are known to bring in close relatives and friends. For example the head of technology department has recruited his wife as one of the teachers in his own department.
Slough is known to be good friends with Michael Gove. They have attended cricket matches together and at a teachers’ meeting was quoted as frequently playing “golf together”.
Scarrot has been referenced in a few articles in the context of the Trojan Hoax plot, including Andrew Gilligan’s lies and distortions. Gilligan references Scarrot in his diatribe where he states,
“The replacement of secular, non-Muslim heads has been a key goal of the radicals leading the campaign.”
What the deceitful Gilligan failed to mention is that the new head teacher in-charge is Mr Hardeep Saini, a non-Muslim. Some plot Gilligan.
Scarrot was failing Golden Hillock School for a number of years. Under his tenure from 2010-11 the school required improvement. The school’s GCSE pass rate was at 58% in 2011. In 2012, the rate dropped to 38%. This prompted up to 50 parents to protest outside the school. In February 2013, the chair of governors was concerned and so he went to the Local Education Authority which suggested that he be put under performance review. Scarrot resigned thereafter.
Gilligan, and now Wilshaw and Gove have conveniently missed these points. For 4 years the school remained in a state which required improvement. Why was it allowed to stay in this situation, and not be put into special measures? Is it something to do with the fact that another evangelical Christian was the head teacher at that time?
Boyes is the famous “whistleblower” who claimed he had raised these concerns in 2010. However his “concerns” are nothing but a sham in order to halt the progress of Muslim-majority schools with an aim to “inject” Christianity into them. Boyes is another evangelical Christian and has been referred to by the respected Father, Oliver Cross of Small Heath as someone with “missionary tendencies” focussed on Muslims as the “enemy territory”. He favoured Christian staff in majority-Muslim schools and saw themselves as Christian missionaries “who cared not for the education of children in majority-Islamic schools, but were desperate to inject a bit of Christianity amid enemy territory” (see full quote here)
Boyes, as exposed in an earlier blog, has been condemned by the parents of Moseley in Birmingham, where he was alleged to have “…smeared and instigated the removal of the Moseley School Governing Body with the support of cronies in Birmingham City Council…”.
To top this off, as already mentioned above, he has been giving block-bookings to the controversial Riverside Church at a substantially subsidised rate.
The above piece should not be construed or used as a means to attack the Christian faith. Indeed churches have supported Muslims and the movement to challenge the hoax allegations. I commend them for supporting the truth.
The allegations against the Muslim minority of Birmingham have been shifting. From “Jihadism” to extremism to a “threat of radicalisation” and now religious adherence and “bullying”, the barometer to measure the evilness of Muslims has come down over time but the scrutiny and demonisation has not. Quite conversely, the Muslim minority of Birmingham, under the bright spotlight of neocon anti-Muslim Michael Gove, has been intimated, falsely accused and plotted against.
Riverside Church-linked, Christian evangelicals Cecil Knight (and possibly Peter Slough), Matthew Scarrot, and Tim Boyes are the individuals who have been put forward by Reverend John Ray as being behind the Trojan Horse document. With the neocon Michael Gove, sharing similar sentiments regarding education, as evidenced by his sending of Bibles to schools, the plot is ostensibly a Christianist extremist one, as opposed to an “Islamist” one.
A badly written letter was sufficient to launch a war-like campaign against Birmingham’s schools. There are serious allegations here which should prompt similar levels of investigation. There are more people out there who know more details. I know some of them. Others know more. They need to start coming out to counter this grave injustice.