Edited by Colin Diamond, The Birmingham Book: Lessons in urban education leadership and policy from the Trojan Horse affair shines a spotlight on what really happened during the Trojan Horse affair, and shares informed insights into how its exposure made Birmingham’s schools (and the nation’s) better and safer.
The Trojan Horse affair sent shock waves across England’s education system in 2014. The affair centred around an anonymous letter that contained instructions on how to take over schools with a majority Muslim population by influencing their governing bodies and undermining head teachers. The authenticity of the letter remains hotly disputed, yet its publication generated huge turbulence – not only in Birmingham’s schools and communities, but also in both Parliament and the national news.
The book offers fresh perspectives based on unique access to information from within the city, written by respected educationalists who have worked successfully in Birmingham for many years both during the Trojan Horse era and since. It explains what led to the publication of the letter, its profound consequences for education in Birmingham, and how it influenced events in the city since.
Crucially the book also opens up an informed discussion around the issues raised during Trojan Horse, such as delivering a well-rounded curriculum suitable for a diverse school community, developing working partnerships in the local area, and boosting the attainment and aspirations of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Colin shares case studies of school improvement in local and national MATs in tough, multicultural urban environments, and how schools worked to develop pupils’ social capital. The Birmingham Book reveals how the Trojan Horse affair was handled by the Department for Education as their academies and free schools policies underwent their first major stress tests. Furthermore, the book provides an up-to-date appraisal of the interrelationship between education in England’s schools and the cultural and religious practice of the local communities the schools serve – and of the underachievement levels of the different ethnic groups in Birmingham.
Suitable for teachers, school leaders, governors and policymakers.