Gove adviser 'attended key Trojan Horse meeting' in 2010

Michael Gove's adviser attended a meeting in 2010 where concerns about an alleged plot by Muslim hardliners to takeover some Birmingham schools were raised, the Independent says. Mr Gove said he was unaware of his department's Trojan Horse warnings.

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Adviser told teacher Gove 'had interest in Trojan Horse'

A Birmingham school headteacher made the allegation that a key adviser to Michael Gove attended a meeting on 'Trojan Horse' in 2010 despite the Education Secretary claiming he was unaware of the warnings his department received on the issue, the Independent reports.

In an email sent to shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, Tim Boyes, head of Queensbridge School, said:

There were various people present, but for most of the time the dominant presence was Elena Narozanski who was then a personal adviser to Mr Gove.

At the end of the meeting she escorted me out of Sanctuary Buildings [the headquarters of the DfE] and told me how interested in this subject Mr Gove was.

She said he would be very interested to hear what I had to say and asked if I would return for a ‘round table meeting with the Secretary of State’, asking if I could bring some others from Birmingham with me.

– Tim Boyes, head of Queensbridge School

Gove adviser 'attended Trojan Horse meeting in 2010'

Michael Gove's political adviser attended a key meeting four years ago where concerns about an alleged plot by Muslim hardliners to takeover Birmingham schools were raised, the Independent reports.

Education Secretary Michael Gove. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

In 2010, Elena Narozanski, one of only two special advisers to the Education Secretary, was reportedly told at the meeting Muslim governors were trying to influence the direction of some schools.

After the meeting, Ms Narozanski, who no longer works for Mr Gove, allegedly said she would raise the issue with the Education Secretary and claimed he was "interested" in the subject.

The report comes after Mr Gove said on Monday that he did not know about the warnings received by his department on 'Trojan Horse' before the matter became public.

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Michael Gove avoids questions about Wilshaw row

Michael Gove dodged questions about the row with Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw as he left a Westminster pub this evening.

The Education Secretary was put on the spot this evening by ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener, but declined to answer her questions, beyond observing that it was a "lovely evening".

Wilshaw: 'I decided not to introduce no-notice checks'

Sir Michael Wilshaw has issued a statement clarifying that it was he, not Michael Gove, who took the decision not to introduce no-notice Ofsted inspections in schools.

The Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The head of the schools watchdog said: "When I first became chief inspector in early 2012, I set out plans to introduce no-notice inspections for all schools as part of a wider package of reforms to improve the inspection system.

"As a result of representations I received from headteachers and others during the consultation, I decided to move instead from two days' notice to much shorter half-day notice inspections from September 2012."

Gove 'did not tell Ofsted to stop no-notice inspections'

Michael Gove did not ask Ofsted to stop plans for 'no notice' inspections in 2012, the Department for Education has said.

A spokesman said the Education Secretary had met Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw today to discuss the inspections, in the wake of the 'Trojan Horse' controversy over Birmingham schools.

"The chief inspector confirmed that the Education Secretary did not ask Ofsted to halt its plans for no-notice inspections in 2012. Ofsted took the decision after considering the response to their consultation," a DfE spokesman said.

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Cameron outlines 'British values' in schools row

David Cameron has outlined the "British values" that he believes should be applied in British schools and said they would have "overwhelming support" across the country.

The Prime Minister specified the values of "freedom, tolerance, respect for the rule of law, belief in personal and social responsibility and respect for British institutions".

Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday said the Government will consult on new rules that could force schools to "actively promote British values".

Headteachers' union strongly against snap inspections

A headteachers' union has warned it would be strongly against the idea of routine snap schools inspections.

Plans for no-notice Ofsted visits were put forward by Education Secretary Michael Gove in the Commons yesterday in the wake of investigations into allegations of a "Trojan Horse" plot by hard-line Muslims at a number of Birmingham schools.

If no-notice inspections become the routine, we would be opposed to it. It would make it very difficult for our members to engage in school to school support.

Ofsted already has the powers to drop in unannounced if it has concerns. I'm not entirely sure what's achieved by this, other than damaging autonomy in the school system.

– National Association of Head Teachers general secretary Russell Hobby
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