Wed June 04, 2014
Six schools in Islam Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham face closure
Six schools in Islam Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham face closure after inquiry finds they did too little too protect children from extremism
Six schools at the centre of an alleged Islamist takeover plot are facing radical reform and even closure after being officially judged as failing, it emerged last night.
A three-month inquiry has found the Birmingham schools did too little to protect children from extremism and female staff were intimidated.
One of the six, Golden Hillock, has been rated ‘inadequate’ in every criteria. A leaked copy of its Ofsted report says ‘staff views are polarised’ about leadership and that sex and relationships education has not been delivered properly.
It found the school’s ‘policies have been given scant consideration’ and its ‘equalities policy is not fit for purpose’. It adds that ‘understanding of other religions is scant’ and Religious Education classes focus primarily on Islam.
The six schools face being put into special measures by Ofsted, which investigated 21 schools in relation to an alleged ‘Trojan Horse’ takeover plot in Birmingham by Muslim fundamentalists.
The shocking claims – which emerged in March – were that a ‘five-step’ strategy had been drawn up by hardliners intent on ‘Islamising’ schools by ousting unsympathetic teachers and governors.
The allegations included claims that pupils were illegally segregated, with girls forced to sit at the back and side of classes, along with suggestions that radical preachers were invited to speak to children.
Birmingham City Council and the Department for Education are carrying out separate inquiries. Ofsted is expected to release its full findings next week, but schools have already received their individual reports.
Golden Hillock was given the lowest rating in the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.
The first point made in the report is that ‘too little is done to keep students safe from the risks associated with extremist views’.
It warns pupils are not being adequately shielded from radical views and that female teachers complained of ‘feeling intimidated by the way in which some male members of the school community speak to them’.
Being placed in special measures allows the Department for Education to replace the schools’ governors and possibly senior teachers, including heads. Closure is also an option.
The other five schools are Park View School, Nansen Primary, Washwood Heath, Saltley and Oldknow Academy.
Golden Hillock, Park View and Nansen Primary are all run by the Park View Academy Trust, which, according to reports from former teachers, has been infiltrated by Muslim hardliners.
Park View’s inadequate grade will come a little more than two years after Ofsted inspectors rated the school as outstanding in all areas and praised it for its excellent academic results and inclusivity.
Park View has been condemned in recent weeks by teachers and former teachers for praising extremists in assembly and forcing girls to wear the hijab.
A leaked department report in April warned that Park View had practised forced and discriminatory sex segregation and ‘restricted’ GCSE subjects ‘to comply with conservative Islamic teaching’.
At Golden Hillock, five Christian students in Year 11 had to ‘teach themselves’ Religious Education, because the teacher gave all the time to students ‘doing the Islamic course’.
And at Nansen Primary, inspectors found that Year Six children, aged ten and 11, received no teaching at all in the arts, humanities or music.
The department and Birmingham council are expected to release the findings of their investigations next month. A spokesman for Park View Academy Trust refused to comment last night.
The leaked Ofsted reports came as 100 parents protested over the sacking of the entire governing body at the Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham.
The school was not part of Ofsted’s Trojan Horse inspections, but it was placed in special measures last year after inspectors found ‘inadequate’ teaching, an unbalanced curriculum and governors ‘too heavily involved in the day-to-day running’.
With Whitehall’s approval, Birmingham council recently disbanded the governors and appointed a new head and ‘interim executive board’ to run the school.
By Lucy Osbourne and Sarah Harris. Published in The Daily Mail, 2nd June 2014
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