John Morris, freelance consultant and former adviser, associate headteacher and Ofsted inspector
Colin Diamond has provided the reader with an engaging, thought provoking and at times, mind blowing in-depth analysis and balanced overview of the impact of the Trojan Horse scandal. It is evident that this quasi-political and faith episode in 2012–14 damaged the reputation of Birmingham as a harmonious multi-cultural city, exposing possible implications for other local authorities where there was an imbalance in the pupil population of schools and communities.
Readers will gain much from personal contributions from a range of eminent personnel – Azita Zohhadi’s account of her leadership journey at Nelson Mandela Primary school, alongside the editorial by Colin Diamond, highlights many key issues facing schools. The section on healing wounds, building trust and bridging communities offers particular insight into the post-Trojan Horse challenges facing Birmingham. It exposes the need to heal wounds and establish solid connections between communities that have become fragmented. The author emphasises the essential role of teachers in developing a knowledge rich curriculum to support social integration and mobility. The section on leadership takeaways is an excellent guide to enable leaders to identify their current strengths and eradicate areas of weakness.
Colin Diamond’s outstanding editing of a balanced range of viewpoints is strengthened by the masterly foreword by Mick Waters, which puts into perspective the vital role of schools in generating community cohesion, understanding and support networks. Other communities can gain from this excellent overview of the key issues facing Birmingham schools and education teams in terms of consistent strategies to rebuild trust, partnerships, tolerance and resilience within communities.
In a compelling text, the author highlights the response to the post Trojan Horse challenge by promoting compelling and authentic leadership to restore Birmingham’s status and credibility as a leader in educational practice.