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Ofsted head to lead 'Trojan Horse' probe

The head of Ofsted is to take a "personal lead" in the watchdog's investigation into allegations of a hardline Muslim takeover plot at a number of Birmingham schools, it has been announced.

Sir Michael Wilshaw is to visit the city next week to meet those directly involved in the inspections.

Sir Michael Wilshaw will visit Birmingham next week. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Ofsted has assessed more than a dozen Birmingham schools in recent weeks in the wake of the so-called "Trojan Horse" allegations and the findings are expected to be published in early May.

An Ofsted spokesman said: "Sir Michael has made clear that he is taking a personal lead in agreeing the individual reports and ensuring that they fully address concerns that have been raised."

Trojan Horse: Six schools 'to face special measures'

Six schools implicated in the so-called "Trojan Horse" plot by extremists to "Islamise" secular state education are set to be placed in “special measures” by Ofsted, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Golden Hillock School and Nursery in Birmingham which is being investigated as part of allegations of a hardline Islamist takeover plot Credit: PA

According to the newspaper, the six will be rated “inadequate” by the schools inspectorate after a series of snap inspections over the past few weeks.

Ofsted will reportedly also take action at a further nine schools in the city.

Only one of the 17 schools inspected by Ofsted so far in connection with the alleged plotis said to have received a clean bill of health, although one report is yet to be completed.

Read: Probe into alleged 'Muslim schools plot'

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Teachers have 'less professional privacy than lab rats'

Teachers should not be subjected to the stress and pressure of being watched constantly, the NASUWT's general secretary said, after a new survey claimed that schools were using CCTV to monitor staff. Chris Keates said:

Teachers are already wrestling with excessive monitoring, masquerading as classroom observation, carried out by senior management and a host of other people regularly visiting their classrooms.

Now, in some schools, they are being subjected to permanent surveillance through CCTV cameras. Lab rats have more professional privacy.

Two fifths of teachers say CCTV 'used to judge staff'

Around one in 12 schools say they have CCTV in their classrooms, according to a NASUWT survey, which claimed that CCTV camera were being used to spy on teachers. Out of the 7,500 members questioned:

  • Two thirds (66%) say the cameras were introduced for pupil safety.
  • A further 58% say CCTV was brought in for the safety of staff.
  • Under a third (31%) said that the cameras are there to monitor pupil behaviour, with 15% saying that they are designed to help teachers' professional development.
  • Almost nine in ten (89%) said that they cannot switch the cameras off, with a similar proportion (87%) saying that the CCTV was constantly recording.
  • Around 17% said that they see the CCTV as there just to spy on teachers, with 31% arguing it is an invasion of their professional privacy.
  • Over half of teachers (55%) claim the recordings are monitored by their school leaders.
  • Two fifths (41%) saying the footage has been used to make judgments about staff.

Read: NASUWT: Schools 'using CCTV to spy on teachers'

NASUWT: Schools 'using CCTV to spy on teachers'

Schools are using CCTV cameras designed to keep pupils safe to spy on teachers, it has been claimed.

Teachers are being subjected to "permanent surveillance", with school leaders monitoring the footage and using it to make judgments about the performance of their staff, according to the NASUWT teaching union.

CCTV 'used to spy on teachers' Credit: PA

In many cases, teachers say they cannot turn off the cameras in their classroom, which are constantly recording lessons, a poll conducted by the union found.

The survey comes as delegates attending the NASUWT's annual conference in Birmingham debate a resolution warning that monitoring of teachers is becoming excessive.

'Trojan Horse' school tells of 'disruption bid'

Attempts were made to destabilise a Birmingham school named in the alleged "Trojan Horse" takeover plot, its governors have claimed.

In a statement issued after the arrest of four of its former staff members as part of a fraud inquiry, Adderley Primary alleged that a well organised group had tried to disrupt the school.

The school is one of four which were named in the "Trojan Horse" letter purporting to detail efforts by Muslim hard-liners to take over the management of several Birmingham schools.

Adderley Primary is located in the Saltley area of Birmingham. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

In its statement to parents, Adderley Primary's governing body confirmed that several headteachers in the city had informed the authorities of "malicious and targeted" efforts to remove them from their posts.

"Attempts have been made at Adderley to destabilise the school by a very small but well organised group of individuals," the statement read.

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Probe into alleged 'Muslim schools plot'

Officials are looking into claims that schools in Birmingham are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to “comply with conservative Islamic teaching.”

Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks reports

More: Anti-terror chief to head 'Trojan Horse' investigation

Unqualified teachers 'damaging school standards'

Schools hiring unqualified teaching staff is "damaging standards", shadow education secretary Tristam Hunt said, after a poll claimed that around more than half said that unqualified staff working as teachers were planning and preparing lessons.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt Credit: PA

Tristram Hunt said: "Many parents will be shocked to learn that David Cameron has changed the rules to allow schools to appoint unqualified teachers on a permanent basis.

"Improving the education our children receive in our schools means continually improving the quality of teaching in the classroom. Labour would end David Cameron's policy and ensure a qualified teacher in every classroom."

DfE: Quality of teaching workforce 'is rising'

It is right that state schools should enjoy the same advantage that private schools, a Department for Education spokeswoman has said, after a survey found that schools were using unqualified staff to teach pupils.

[The] latest teacher workforce census show there are 700 fewer non-QTS teachers in schools than there were in 2010, while the percentage of non-QTS teachers in academies is down from 9.4% in 2010 to 5.3%.

Overall the quality of the teaching workforce is rising. A record 96% of all teachers now have degrees or above, meaning there are an extra 43,000 teachers with degree level qualifications in classrooms since 2010

– Spokeswoman, Department for Education

Read: NASUWT: Uncertainty over qualified teachers

Read: Schools 'using unqualified staff to teach students'

NASUWT: Uncertainty over qualified teachers

Many teachers believe that the use of unqualified staff is worsening because schools cannot, or will not, pay for qualified individuals, according to a new survey of teachers. The general secretary of NASUWT, who conducted the poll, said:

Parents no longer have the certainty of knowing that when they send their children to school they will be taught by a qualified teacher.

Our children and young people have been robbed of a fundamental entitlement to be taught by qualified teachers.

– Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary

Read: Schools 'using unqualified staff to teach students'

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