In a letter to education ministers—copied to then Prime Minister John Major—the school heads warned that the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir was gaining an alarming influence over schools in Birmingham.
The former chair of governors at Golden Hillock School, John Ray, told Sky News that had the government acted back then, the current trend—in which conservative Muslims have been able to dominate school leaderships—could have been averted.
“The Trojan Horse plot reveals something, something that is true,” Ray said. “It reveals a mess that the city council has not been able to check—the development of this whole infiltration of this ceding in of governors of one particular ideology. They are not people who have the welfare of these children at heart.”
“I think the city council but also central government and all parties were very reluctant to question the received wisdom that suggests it is fair enough that a separate Islamic identity should be stressed,” Ray added.
Separately, the BBC reported on June 2 that Birmingham officials were warned that hardline Muslims were trying to extend their influence in Birmingham schools as early as 2008. The BBC also reported on May 28 that the British Education Ministry was warned of the same problem in 2010, about three years before the document alleging the Trojan Horse plot became public. But no action was taken in either case.