- Dame Louise Casey investigated community integration for ministers last year
- She found a shocking number of British towns where integration had failed
- Dame Louise gave evidence to MPs today on the findings of her investigation
- The veteran civil servant warned MPs many headteachers face a difficult task
Religious extremists are still infiltrating British schools in the same way as happened in the Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham, MPs have been warned.
Government integration tsar Dame Louise Casey published a major review on community integration across Britain last month, revealing a shocking picture of 'ghettos' in some British towns.
Her investigation found segregation and social exclusion are at 'worrying levels' and are fuelling inequality in some areas of Britain.
In evidence to the communities committee, Dame Louise today told MPs it had been 'easy' during her probe to find troubling examples in schools.
Dame Louise Casey, pictured giving evidence to MPs today, published a major review on community integration across Britain last month, revealing a shocking picture of 'ghettos' in some British town
In her evidence to the communities committee, Dame Louise today told MPs it had been 'easy' during her probe to find troubling examples in schools
She said many bore a resemblance to the Birmingham Trojan Horse scandal where Islamists infiltrated and took over three schools.
Dame Louise told MPs today: 'Yes, it is happening elsewhere.'
She added: 'In terms of some of the things seen in what's called the Trojan Horse, we did not find it very difficult to find things like segregation of girls, what I would describe as anti-equal opportunities or anti-liberal values.'
The veteran civil servant warned MPs that headteachers were on the 'front line' of policing the influence of community leaders on schools.
Dame Louise said it meant deciding in secular schools the extent to which religious requests were 'reasonable' and which would cause harm.
She said: 'Should a secular school close at 1pm on a Friday for religious reasons?
'I know what my view is on that but I know that headteacher has to have a very difficult set of conversations with ''the community'' which often turns out not to be the parents.
'Again, that is not everywhere in every bit of the country but it is in some communities in some areas. We found it.'
Dame Louise said in some parts of the country public officials did not take the threat seriously and even believed the Birmingham scandal to be a hoax.
She warned: 'Now, Trojan Horse is a set of issues - they go from girls being split off from boys, through teachers essentially teaching extremism.
'I'm not sure I'm saying that end is everywhere but do I think some of the dynamics that happened in Trojan Horse are at play in other areas of the country, yes I do.
'More importantly when does a teacher running a secular school say it's fine for you not to do theatre or music or those sorts of things? When is that OK?
'I don't really have a view on which religion it is that's promoting those sorts of views but it is not OK, the same way it is not OK for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti gay marriage.
'That's not how we bring children up in this country. It's often veiled as religious conservativism.
'I have a problem with the expression of religious conservatism because I think often it can be anti-equalities.'
One of the areas investigated by Dame Louise was the Page Hall area of Sheffield there is a 6,000-strong Roma or eastern European community living together (pictured)
Her bombshell report says ghettos have formed because the pace and scale of immigration has been 'too much' and some towns and cities like Bradford (pictured) have been transformed 'out of all recognition'
Dame Louise said there was a 'grey line' between talking about Islamic extremism and far right extremism.
She told the MPs: 'Everybody is frightened of being branded a racist - there are some nasty people on the right who clearly aren't - but most normal people are frightened of being branded a racist.
'The very genuine fear in all of this is we have two extremists alive in our communities. We do have the extreme right wing which is milking all of this for its worth.
'We have extreme right wing in our country which we are all utterly appalled by.
'But we also have Islamist extremism at play and I have felt at points it has been easier to talk about one than it is to talk about the other.
'It is a disservice to thousands of people caught up in actually being on the receiving end of not having the start in life they should have in the UK.'