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News

Trojan Horse Report Released

The Trojan horse investigation into an alleged plot to infiltrate Birmingham shools by Islamic hardliners has been released.

Peter Clarke commissioned by the DfE found many of the central allegations were true. A Mr Alam was interviewed twice during the investigation and criticised in Clarke's report, which found him to be an influential figure at Park View and several other schools of concern.

Mr Alam has spent many years working in education in Birmingham, not only as a governor at six schools but also as a governor trainer on behalf of the council.  During the course of the enquiry some very disturbing evidence came to light which showed that within the staff of the Park View Educational Trust, of which Mr Alam was a director and chair of the board, there existed a deep strand of intolerance and attitudes that are totally inappropriate for those who aspire to educate young people.

On Tuesday, the new education secretary announced measures to protect state-funded schools from extreme religious influences.  She said there would be a new schools commissioner for Birmingham to oversee reforms to the way school governors were selected and operated, and to ensure that all children were properly prepared for life in the modern world.

A full copy of the report can be found on the DfE website.

Safeguarding News

UK-wide operation snares 660 suspected paedophiles

An unprecedented six-month operation coordinated by the NCA and involving 45 police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has led to the arrest of 660 suspected paedophiles.

More than 400 children across the UK have been safeguarded.

Some of those arrested had unsupervised access to children in the course of their work. They include doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers. 

Of the 660, 39 people were Registered Sex Offenders but the majority of those arrested had not previously come to law enforcement’s attention.

The operation targeted people accessing indecent images of children online. It has stayed covert till today in order to protect children, identify offenders and secure evidence. The NCA and its partners are not revealing the methods they used to track down suspects so that they can use the same tactics again in the future.

Charging decisions are awaited in most cases because of ongoing enquiries but so far charges brought range from possessing indecent images of children to serious sexual assault.

NCA Deputy Director General Phil Gormley said:

“This is the first time the UK has had the capability to coordinate a single targeted operation of this nature. Over the past six months we have seen unprecedented levels of cooperation to deliver this result.

“Our aim was to protect children who were victims of, or might be at risk of, sexual exploitation. A child is victimised not only when they are abused and an image is taken. They are re-victimised every time that image is viewed by someone.

“Some of the people who start by accessing indecent images online go on to abuse children directly. So the operation is not only about catching people who have already offended – it is about influencing potential offenders before they cross that line

“We want those offenders to know that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images, that they leave a digital footprint, and that law enforcement will find it”.

For the full story go to the NCA website