Children to be taught "British values"

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Children in England are to be taught "core British values" amid fears the country risks becoming divided into ghettos of different ethnic and religious groups, the government said on Thursday.

Education Secretary Alan Johnson said he was accepting the recommendations of a report into schools commissioned in the wake of the 2005 London suicide bombings by four British Islamists who killed themselves and 52 others.

The government hopes to reverse a growth in extremism among the country's 1.8 million Muslims by teaching children at school to understand and respect different cultures.

"Britain is committed to the values of free speech, the rule of law, mutual tolerance and respect for equal rights," said Keith Ajegbo, a former head teacher and author of the report.

Ajegbo, who is of mixed British-Nigerian parentage, said teenagers should be taught British and cultural history to help build community cohesion.

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