Border Crossings has been working with Bethnal Green Academy since early 2013, engaging the school in a number of our projects. We have always found it to be an excellent school, and fully deserving its "Outstanding" Ofsted rating. We would like to express our solidarity with the school as it deals with the fallout from three of its students heading to Syria in the apparent hope of joining Islamic State.
We would also like to express our solidarity with the staff in the face of the Prime Minister's remarks that this case underlines the need for schools to combat Islamism. These comments could be understood to imply that the teachers and other staff at this school have somehow failed their students and the wider community, and that they are in some way culpable in this case. The radicalisation of young people is a much more complex issue than this; and one of the main reasons often given by these people themselves is the ongoing involvement of the UK in what are perceived to be anti-Islamic wars in the Middle East. It is certainly a gross oversimplification to lay the blame on a conscientious and caring group of teachers and support staff at the school.