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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Girls claim discrimination at 'Trojan Horse' school

Some girls at a Birmingham school have told ITV News that teachers have discriminated against them on the basis of their gender.

The students from Park View School - which was among six deemed inadequate by Ofsted for failing to protect pupils from the risks of extremist views - were scared to be identified but said girls were sent home from a tennis tournament because they were too "revealing".

The school claims it has been a victim of "knee-jerk" actions from politicians, as ITV News UK Editor Lucy Manning reports:

Ofsted chief: Inspection plans will 'pick up' problems

Education Secretary Michael Gove's decision to allow unannounced inspections in schools will help uncover problems such as those seen in a number of Birmingham schools, the chief inspector has said.

Asked if Mr Gove should have introduced the measure earlier, Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw said: "We've agreed upon it now, that's the important thing."


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Gove escapes schools row without too much damage

Michael Gove arriving at 10 Downing Street to discuss Ofsted's findings. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

It has not been quite as bad a day for Michael Gove as some would have expected.

Sir Michael Wilshaw did suggest that it was his idea to have unannounced inspections but he did not lay the blame entirely at Michael Gove's door.

He said that headteachers had been concerned that if inspectors did arrive unannounced then he wouldn't be able to be there.

They went to the Department for Education and the department listened to them and did not go along with this idea earlier.

In that sense this isn't so damaging for Michael Gove. Labour have tried to frame this in terms of a failing of his entire academies policy, but there was some support for Mr Gove from Sir Michael who said that structural changes were not at fault.

Call to give councils more control over schools

Councils should be given back more control over schools, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

David Simmonds, chair of the LGA Children and Young People Board, said: "Parents need to know who is accountable for their local school, but under the current system accountability is confusing and fragmented."

"Local authorities know their schools and the communities they serve and strong local oversight by local authorities is needed to spot warning signs where schools are beginning to cause concern and tackle problems before it is too late.

"Councils need powers to intervene in all underperforming schools quickly and effectively without the need to ask permission from Whitehall."

Council leader: Claims 'undermined' relations with public

The leader of Birmingham City Council has told ITV News he is "reassured" that Ofsted's report clearly found no evidence "of a plot or a conspiracy" in relation to any of the city's schools.

Labour Councillor Albert Bore said the release of the Trojan Horse document alleging extremism in some schools had seriously undermined the council with the community.

Governor: Ofsted claims 'whipping up racial hysteria'

The chair of governors at a Luton school deemed inadequate by Ofsted has said the education watchdog's findings were "whipping up racial hysteria".

It is a half-baked, highly politicised report, replete with factual inaccuracies, and based upon an inspection that was abandoned halfway through.

The inspectors come into our school looking for evidence that we promote extremism and intolerance, quizzing nine-year-old children about their attitudes to homosexuality, gay marriage and terrorism.

They found no evidence.

We gave ample evidence of how our school prepares children to participate as active members of British society citing assemblies on topics as diverse as tolerance, love for humanity, law and order, and being British and Muslim.

– Farasat Latif, chair of governors, Olive Tree Primary School


'Dodgy dossier ripped the heart' from communities

Former Respect leader Salma Yaqoob described the 'Trojan Horse' document as a "dodgy dossier".

Allegations of an extreme Islamist plot in a number of Birmingham schools are "ripping the heart" out of the city's communities, a former councillor has said.

Salma Yaqoob, former leader of the Respect Party who previously served on Birmingham City Council, told ITV News: "The reality is no evidence of extremism has been found - that's what people should be shouting following this Ofsted release."

Ms Yaqoob called for an investigation into how the allegations were made without "any truth at the bottom" and called for Michael Gove to apologise to the people of Birmingham.

"These were excellent schools with outstanding results and a huge emphasis on moral, social and cultural activities aimed at inclusivity - not at isolation in the way that is still being reported."

Headteachers 'left to battle rogue governors alone'

Ms Hewitt Clarkson says headteachers currently lack support to challenge governors.

A headteacher at a Birmingham primary school says school leaders currently do not have enough support to tackle governors thought to have extremist views.

Speaking to ITV News after watching today's Commons statement from Education Secretary Michael Gove, Sarah Hewitt Clarkson, head of Anderton Park primary school, said the biggest issue that needed to be addressed was how governors linked to extremism were dealt with.

"At the moment it feels like an individual battle with headteachers trying to get the right governors on a governing body," she said.

Birmingham school trusts set to be taken over

Two Birmingham schools trusts - one of which was at the heart of the alleged Trojan Horse plot by Muslim hardliners - look set to be taken over after "grave concerns" over how they were run.

Oldknow Academy was found to be "taking on the practices of an Islamic faith school". Credit: Google Maps

The Education Funding Agency (EFA), which is responsible for academies, said Park View Educational Trust (PVET) which runs three schools in Birmingham, had breached its funding agreement in a highly anticipated report published today.

A separate report following the inspection of Oldknow Academy in Small Heath found it was "taking on the practices of an Islamic faith school" and had excluded non-Muslim staff and pupils from an annual trip - paid for with public money - to Saudi Arabia.

Young school pupils were also exposed to language like "white prostitute" in assemblies, and Christmas trees were banned, while Muslim religious celebrations were allowed to continue unhindered according to the report.

Immediate reviews of governance along with curriculum changes have now been ordered at both trusts.

The trusts look set to be taken over by other established education providers, with Education Secretary Michael Gove telling MPs today in the House of Commons: "We have already spoken to successful academy providers who are ready to act as sponsors."

Extremism allegations 'ignored for four years'

Tristram Hunt said the department had known for four years about the allegations.

Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt has claimed ministers had been ignoring alleged extremist links in Birmingham schools for four years.

He told Mr Gove that his vow to investigate potentially missed warnings over the issue was "an attempt to evade your own responsibility as secretary of state".

"The truth of the matter is that had you been in charge of the management of your department, these issues would not have arisen in recent years," he said.

"You say you have acted with speed on the issue - the truth is that ministers have been ignoring it for four years."

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