Former teacher: 'Islamic plot' school 'sidelined female staff and told pupils white teachers would be removed'

One of the schools currently under investigation over an alleged Islamic takeover plot has attracted a string of complaints, including accusations it "sidelined" female teachers and told pupils white members of staff would be removed.

An anonymous former employee of Park View Academy in Birmingham spoke to ITV News Midlands Correspondent Rupert Evelyn today, and claimed to have been called "slanderous" and "vindictive" when raising complaints of alleged inequality at the school.

Park View is one of 21 schools in the area now being probed by Ofsted over the alleged Operation Trojan Horse.

Among the accusations made against the school by the former staff member and pupils include:

  • Ofsted inspectors were told women would be added to the management team - but the plan was deliberately dropped after the visit
  • Pupils were told at assembly that white members of staff would be removed
  • Students were told they were "bad Muslims" if they did not pray
  • Children punished over any form of "physical intimacy" - including talking between some boys and girls
  • Female pupils and staff members received unequal treatment
  • Complaints of homophobia at the school were ignored, with a senior staff member saying: "It's what we believe"
  • Information about sexual health was deliberately withheld from pupils
The former staff member spoke to Rupert Evelyn on the condition of anonymity.
The former staff member spoke to Rupert Evelyn on the condition of anonymity. Credit: ITV News

'Female staff sidelined'

The whistleblower says the school vowed to put three female members of staff on its leadership team ahead of an Ofsted visit. However, she alleges the women were then "sidelined" after inspectors left, in line with the management's hardline Islamic policy.

'White staff will be removed'

Pupils speaking to ITV News anonymously said they had previously been told in assembly that white teachers would be removed. One of the children said they found this upsetting.

'Pupils pressured into praying'

The pupils also claimed that, up until 2 months ago, children who did not pray were told by staff that they were "bad Muslims".

'Physical intimacy punished'

"Physical intimacy", including talking between some boys and girls, would lead to staff calling the girl's families and even children being sent to "isolation", it was claimed.

Park View Education Trust, which runs the school, denies any 'plot'.
Park View Education Trust, which runs the school, denies any 'plot'. Credit: Google Maps

'Females treated unfairly'

The whistleblower told ITV News: "There is not equality for the girls and there is not equality for the female staff.

"That is not just non-Muslim staff, it is all the female staff," they said.

Homophobia complaints ignored

It was claimed that several people had mentioned that complaints about alleged homophobia in the school were not being addressed.

The whistleblower said that when they raised this with senior management, they were told: "That is what we believe."

'Sexual health information withheld'

The former teacher claimed that a poster left at the school by a nurse had been "doctored" so as not to encourage students to discuss sexual health.

Claims described as "innuendo and rumour"

The academy's chair of governors, Tahir Alam, refused to respond to ITV News' questions about the allegations, but the Park View Educational Trust did offer a statement denying the claims and criticising the "heightened climate" around the ongoing investigation.

As we have previously stated, there are now three enquiries into the alleged Trojan Horse plot, plus a Cabinet Office enquiry into why confidential Ofsted and Department for Education reports were leaked.

Rather than continue to try and address this drip feed of allegation, innuendo and rumour which, in some instances, we know is being actively sought out by the media the Trust is now going to let those enquiries get on with their job.

If any of the enquiries raise issues with the Trust we will of course answer them fully.

– Park View Educational Trust

This issue is one full of claim and counter-claim. Nonetheless, ITV News understands that once reports are completed on the 21 schools now being investigated over these "trojan horse" allegations, at least six may be put in to special measures.

Read: 'Islamic takeover plot' at six Birmingham schools