'Islamic takeover plot' at six Birmingham schools

"Concerted efforts" have been made to run six Birmingham schools in line with strict Islamic principles, headteachers have warned.

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Islamic plot claims 'innuendo and rumour'

The governing body of three schools being investigated over an alleged Islamic takeover plot has denied any wrongdoing and said some claims made against its staff "are so incredible as to not warrant further reply".

In a statement, the trust said the "heightened climate" around the allegations was giving licence "to a small number of people to air their opinions about Park View Academy and cite them, unchallenged, as 'proof' of the 'plot'"

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


Whistleblower: No equality at 'Islamic takeover' school

The whistleblower spoke to ITV News Midlands Correspondent Rupert Evelyn. Credit: ITV News

A former staff member at Park View Academy has spoken out over an alleged 'Islamic takeover' at the Birmingham school, which they claim was led by senior members of the leadership team.

Among a range of complaints about the treatment of staff and pupils, the anonymous whistleblower told ITV News Midlands Correspondent Rupert Everlyn they had been called "slanderous" and "vindictive" after complaining of a lack of equality at the school.

"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.

The teacher also claimed that when they raised alleged homophobia in the school that "wasn't being addressed", they were told by a senior member of staff: "It's what we believe".

Park View Academy is one of 21 schools currently under investigation by Ofsted over the alleged Operation Trojan Horse plot to seize control of governing bodies.

Probe widened over suspected school 'takeover plot'

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has ordered further work before the 'Trojan Horse' reports are published. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has asked for additional work to be carried out by the watchdog before final reports on the schools visited over alleged Islamic takeover plots are published.

The watchdog also announced that it has inspected a further three state primary schools in the city this week, bringing the total number of schools inspected to 21.

Ofsted inspected 15 Birmingham state schools last month at Education Secretary Michael Gove's request, plus inspections of the three schools belonging to the Park View Educational Trust.

It is expected that all 21 inspection reports will be published at the beginning of June.

'Takeover plot' would make some feel 'uncomfortable'

"Concerted efforts" to run six schools in Birmingham as strict Islamic institutions "would make some of us feel uncomfortable", according to a headteachers union.

We ourselves have concerns about what has been going on in around half a dozen of those schools.

It does mean from our point of view that we don't believe that these allegations are a cause for panic, but neither do we believe that they are a source of comfort either, that there have been things going on inside our schools which would make some of us feel uncomfortable, I believe.

– General secretary Russell Hobby, National Association of Head Teachers

Mr Hobby added that there were three key areas that are of "collective concern" by members.

They were; concerns pressure had been put on school leaders to adopt certain philosophies, staff being appointed on religious beliefs and not skills and fears youngsters were not getting their "basic entitlement" to a rounded education.

Read: Concerns of 'Islamic takeover plot' at six schools

Concerns of 'Islamic takeover plot' at six schools

There have been "concerted efforts" to run a small number of Birmingham schools in line with strict Islamic principles, headteachers said.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said it has concerns about actions within six primary and secondary schools in the city.

Members also expressed concerns that school leaders were pressured to adopt certain philosophies and staff were being appointed on their religious beliefs rather than their skills, according the union's general secretary Russell Hobby.

He added that there are fears some youngsters are not getting their "basic entitlement" to a rounded education.

The warning comes as inquiries by several bodies, including West Midlands Police, the Government and Ofsted, continue into allegations of a hardline Muslim takeover plot at a number of Birmingham's schools.


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