Row emerges after anti-Muslim literature used to ‘teach pupils about bias’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:47 22 June 2016

Oaks Park High School's headteacher Steve Wilks making a speech.

Oaks Park High School's headteacher Steve Wilks making a speech.


A school has defended using far-right literature in Year 8 English lessons after it came under fire on social media.

Vaseem Ahmed from MEND. Picture: MEND Newham Vaseem Ahmed from MEND. Picture: MEND Newham

Oaks Park High School, Oaks Lane, Newbury Park, issued a statement after users on social media criticised the decision and posted pictures of the material.

The images showed an article written by Dr George Whale, a member of the “radical patriotic conservative” political party Liberty GB, called Ten Reasons Why Britain Should Not Accept Syrian Refugees.

The article cites reasons such as “some Muslim children grow up to become terrorists” and “the more we allow in, the more will come”.

Reacting on Twitter, @sy_ed1 said: “Grotesquely irresponsible, unacceptable and I demand the school issue an apology.”

@n_azof added: “Omg that’s so awful. [It is] so difficult to raise good Muslim kids in such scenarios.”

But @adambanksdotcom said: “That would be the point of this kind of exercise – to question the writer’s motivation and see the implications.”

The school’s headteacher Steve Wilks said the material was used to demonstrate bias in writing and “show a point of view that was extremely biased”.

“The views contained within the article were not endorsed or supported by the teacher, but rather quoted as part of the lesson,” he added.

The school said it was about “empowering pupils” to separate truth and lies, with the pupils writing letters to the author arguing their views as part of the exercise.

But Vaseem Ahmed, coordinator for Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) in Redbridge, slammed the school for exposing children as young as 12 to “Islamophobic” material.

“If a similar article was cited in a school with the target being another faith community or if the teacher had decided to show the class an anti-Western piece from the likes of Daesh, there rightly would have been an uproar,” he said.

“How can one share such material with young, impressionable children as a responsible adult, let alone a teacher?

“We should be teaching kids about the dangers of anti-semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of racism and discrimination, let alone giving airtime to such views.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:22

A teenager who has been offered a places to study at Yale university and Oxford is this week’s Young Citizen nominee.

Yesterday, 16:09

Two teenagers are in hospital with severe injuries after their moped collided with a car while being chased by the police.

Yesterday, 15:00

Pioneering senior nurses at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) have been inspired by a Hollywood film to start the country’s first nurse mentoring service.

Yesterday, 13:03

More than half of all adults in the United Kingdom pray, a nation-wide poll has revealed.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now