Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Funding axe for 'extremist views'

Nicky Morgan says that toddlers should be taught fundamental British values

Councils are to be given new powers to stop funding for early years providers with links to extremist views, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will announce today.

She will also say that toddlers should be taught "fundamental British values" in an age-appropriate way as part of a drive to protect children from religious radicals.

This will include learning right from wrong, learning to take turns and share, and challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes.

Ofsted will inspect early years providers on the promotion of fundamental British values and f unding will be withheld from establishments that teach creationism as scientific fact.

Announcing the measures, Mrs Morgan, who replaced Michael Gove in last month's Cabinet reshuffle, said one of the most important roles of the education system was to prepare young people for life in modern Britain.

She went on: "I am clear that public money should not be used to support any school or early years provider that does not support this aim because it seeks to promote ideas and teachings that run counter to fundamental British values.

"There can be no place for extremist views anywhere in the education system. The changes we are making today will ensure that all early years providers and schools are aligned with the need to protect children from views that are considered extreme."

The changes come in the aftermath of the Trojan Horse plot by Islamist radicals to take over state schools in Birmingham.

A report into the scandal by former counter-terrorism chief at the Metropolitan Police Peter Clarke concluded there was a "co-ordinated" campaign by extremists to force out head teachers and impose an "aggressive Islamic ethos" on pupils.

He said teachers used a secret online group on which they called for the "eradication" of homosexuality and claimed the murder of soldier Lee Rigby was "staged".

Mrs Morgan described his findings in the report as "disturbing".

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