A NEW report into the ‘Trojan Horse’ controversy is final proof that claims of a Bradford link were “blown out of all proportion”, an MP says.
The investigation - by former counter-terror chief Peter Clarke - found evidence of an “aggressive Islamist agenda” to take-over some schools in Birmingham.
And it criticised school leaders who “espouse, or sympathise with, or fail to challenge extremist views”- although it found no evidence of extremism taking root.
But Mr Clarke made no mention of Bradford in his 129-page report, other than to note the original Trojan Horse letter “was supposedly written to an unnamed person in Bradford”.
Last month, David Cameron hinted he believed Trojan Horse had spread to Bradford, when he told MPs: “The situation - not just in Birmingham, but elsewhere - is extremely serious.”
And, earlier this month, the T&A revealed that inspectors had made “emergency” visits to two city schools - Carlton Bolling College and Feversham College - in the wake of the controversy.
Bradford Council then sacked the board of governors at Carlton Bolling, after watchdog Ofsted said it was failing to protect students from extremism.
Reacting to Mr Clarke’s report, Bradford East MP David Ward said: "The whole thing has been blown out of all proportion and this report confirms that.
"When it comes to Trojan Hoax – as it should be called – I think it’s now accepted that there wasn’t really any link with Bradford.
"Some people in Bradford knew some people in Birmingham and they quite liked the look of what was happening in Birmingham and thought ‘We’re going to do something like that’.
"I fundamentally disagree with them, but they were doing it with the finest of intentions, because they believed they would raise educational attainment."
In a statement to MPs, new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said changes would "improve the intelligence" about extremism in schools, including independent academies.
She said: "We have appointed regional schools commissioners backed by boards of local outstanding head teachers who will bring local intelligence to decision making on academies."
Agencies would work more closely to “improve the intelligence available to us on whether other parts of the country are similarly vulnerable to the threats that have been exposed in Birmingham”.
A department for education spokeswoman added: "Where we find evidence we will act, as we showed in Bradford by removing the governing bodies at Laisterdyke and Carlton Bolling."