Multi-Faith Schools Planned to Fight Extremism

February 8, 2007

Author: Graeme Paton and Richard

Source: The Telegraph

A new generation of controversial multi-faith academies will be built to combat extremism in England’s most segregated towns and cities, a leading Downing Street advisor said yesterday.

The new-style schools will educate children from Christian, Muslim and Jewish backgrounds, forcibly integrating pupils of different faiths, according to Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.

The announcement comes as Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, is due to announce a £35 million fund to help town halls lead the fight against Muslim extremism as part of what Tony Blair calls a "radical and head-on" confrontation.

Ms Kelly is to say that the "battle for hearts and minds" cannot be won from Whitehall as she sets out fresh guidance on the role town halls can play, warning that, in the wake of the arrest of nine terror suspects in Birmingham last week, action is more urgently needed than ever.

Around 50 local authorities - mainly in Britain's major cities - are working with local Muslim communities to devise new approaches to be funded by the Pathfinder scheme cash.