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Tomlinson new Birmingham Education Commissioner

A former chief inspector of schools has been charged with steering improvements to Birmingham's education system following the alleged "Trojan Horse" plot.

Sir Mike Tomlinson is the former chief inspector of schools Credit: PA

Sir Mike Tomlinson is to become education commissioner with responsibility for improving standards in the city's classrooms, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said.

His appointment is a direct result of the fallout from the anonymous "Trojan Horse" letter, which alleged an extremist Muslim plot to seize control of several Birmingham schools was under way.

A damning report into those claims led by former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke and published in July, found "clear evidence" of a group of like-minded individuals working to support "extremist views" in classrooms.

That report, commissioned by Ms Morgan's predecessor Michael Gove, concluded there had been "co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham".

However, it did not find any evidence of "terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern in Birmingham".

The appointment of experienced educationalist and former teacher Sir Mike, who was chief inspector from 2000 to 2002 and later chair of the Hackney Learning Trust where he helped improve the London borough's education standards, has been welcomed by Birmingham City Council.

Fire breaks out at derelict Wednesfield High School building

The fire has broken out at a derelict Wednesfield High School building Credit: Barney Mua

Around 25 firefighters are currently tackling a large fire at a derelict Wednesfield High School building.

There are also five fire engines at the blaze which is on Lakefield Road, Wolverhampton.

It is not yet known what has caused the fire.

Firefighters are currently tackling the blaze Credit: Pete Thomas


Eight-year-old excluded over pupil 'knife threat' at school

An eight-year-old pupil has been excluded from a Birmingham primary school after allegedly threatening another classmate with a knife in the toilets.

Parents have criticised the school for not alerting police to the alleged incident at Wheelers Lane Primary School Credit: BPM Media

It's reported to have taken place at Wheelers Lane Primary School in Kings Heath on the last day of term.

Parents have criticised the school for not contacting the police on the day of the incident and some had threatened to withdraw their children after the pupil returned last week.

Since then the child has been temporarily excluded.

The school has met with the parent and advised that there will be a fixed term exclusion and the school reserves the right to make it permanent.’’

– Birmingham City Council spokesman

School that closed because of sick teachers to reopen

A school in Derby that was forced to close on Friday because 20 of its teachers had a sickness bug will reopen tomorrow morning.

St Clare's School in Mickleover had to take the drastic move to shut because of a lack of staff.

The school was due to have a deep clean over the weekend and the school has announced on its website that it will be open.

Scene of fire too dangerous for investigators

Fire scene to dangerous for investigators Credit: ITV News Central

Investigations have not been able to begin on establishing how a major fire that completely destroyed a building at the University of Nottingham started because the site is too dangerous to examine.

The fire ripped through the building on the University's Jubilee Campus on Friday night. It was still under construction due to be new chemistry facilities and part funded by the pharmaceuticals firm Glaxo Smith Kline.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue have been working continuously at the scene since Friday and still have one crew there.

Derby school closed after reports 20 teachers sick

A school in Derby has been forced to close today after reports that up to 20 teachers have taken ill.

St Clares School in Derby Credit: Google Maps

A sickness bug has hit St Clares School in Mickleover, according to the Derby Telegraph.

The school on Rough Heanor Road posted on its website that it had closed today 'due to unforeseen circumstances' and was aiming to reopen by Monday.

It advised children at the school suffering from illness to stay off for 48 hours.


Local economy to get boost from extra school meals

Nottinghamshire's economy will be boosted by the extra 12,000 school meals served to pupils this year.

Nottinghamshire County Council sources much of it's school meals locally Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

All infants are now entitled to free school meals. It is a move which will bring a further £600,000 per year to local suppliers.

During the last school year, the council spent £1.7million providing meals for children at school, which will now rise to £2.3million.

It has been our policy to locally source the majority of the food we use for school meals for a number of years now. And with anticipated take-up of dinners under the Government scheme likely to be as high as 85%, we expect to spend over £600,000 more each year on meat, fish, potatoes, fruit, milk and eggs from suppliers all based here in the region, which in turn will provide a healthy boost the local economy.

– Cllr Sheila Place, Nottinghamshire County Council

Birmingham Library celebrates its first birthday

The Library of Birmingham, which celebrates its first anniversary today Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Library of Birmingham celebrates its first anniversary today.

The building was opened by young educational activist Malala Yousafzai on September 3, 2013 and it has welcomed 2.7m visitors since that day.

The £189m library took seven years to build, and has been shortlisted for the most prestigious prize in architecture, the RIBA Stirling prize.

A special birthday celebration will be held on September 30.

Nicky Morgan asked to intervene in free school row

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has been asked to intervene in a row about the opening of a new free school in Leicester.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The city's first Sikh school, Falcon Primary, was expected to open to its first students this morning.

Parents were told on Monday it would not open because conditions had not been met.

Peter Clarke stands by Trojan Horse report findings

The former counter terrorism chief Peter Clarke has been grilled by MPs following his report into the so-called Trojan Horse allegation made against some schools in Birmingham.

He was appointed by the then Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to look into the claims of an alleged Muslim extremist plot to infiltrate schools.

He stood by his report's findings at an Education Select Committee meeting.

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