Government intervenes at school ‘taken over’ by Muslim radicals

March 22, 2014

 

The Birmingham school at the centre of an alleged campaign of “Islamisation” by Muslim radicals is to be placed in “special measures” by the Government’s education watchdog in a move that could see its head teacher and governors removed. Park View, previously rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, will be downgraded to “inadequate”, the lowest possible score, in the category of leadership and management, senior education sources said. This enables Ofsted to place the school in special measures, allowing the watchdog, if it wishes, to remove the school’s entire leadership.

The move, described as “seismic” by senior educational sources, follows a highly unusual two Ofsted inspections in the past three weeks at the school, the alleged victim of a campaign by Islamists called a “Trojan Horse” to remove secular head teachers and install Islamic practices in Birmingham state schools. The disclosure comes as parents and school governors and staff describe in detail how the campaign has destabilised and undermined successful schools.

At the supposedly non-religious primary school, Oldknow, anti-Christian chanting has been reportedly led by one of their teachers at assembly, as well as conducting weekly Friday prayers, school trips to Mecca subsidised from public funds and Oldknow like Nansen Primary has the requirement that all pupils learn Arabic (this is almost unheard of at primary level). Oldknow’s highly successful non-Muslim head teacher has been driven from her post for resisting the “Islamising agenda”. At another successful primary school, Springfield, the head teacher received death threats, had his car tyres slashed and is under “non-stop attack” by radical governors.

Several sources said their schools had repeatedly appealed to Birmingham city council and the education inspectorate Ofsted for help, but were ignored.

According to the Telegraph one of the alleged leaders of the Trojan Horse plot is Tahir Alam, an Ofsted inspector and a “specialist in school governance” at Birmingham city council. Mr Alam says the plot is a fabrication and denies any involvement. Officials from the Department for Education were sent to three of the schools allegedly targeted: Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen Primary. All three state schools are run by Park View Education Trust, whose chairman is Mr Alam. The deputy head of Nansen Razwan Faraz is the brother of a convicted terrorist and is the administrator of an organisation called “Educational Activists” dedicated to pursuing what has been called an “Islamising agenda” in Birmingham schools.

The Department of Education confirmed that its officials were sent into Park View as part of an “ongoing investigation” into “serious allegations”. Officials are also expected to carry out a snap inspection at Nansen and Golden Hillock.

Hard-line teachers were recruited with some of the teachers telling pupils that music was sinful and as a consequence the children started to refuse to take the music lesson even though it is compulsory on the National Curriculum.

 

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10716855/Government-intervenes-at-school-taken-over-by-Muslim-radicals.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-26482599

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/07/alleged-plot-birmingham-schools-islamic-principles

Alleged plot to ‘take over’ and run schools on strict Islamic principles

March 7, 2014

 

An alleged plot to oust some Birmingham head teachers and make their schools adhere to more Islamic principles is being investigated. A letter detailing the plan, known as “Operation Trojan Horse”, claims responsibility for leadership changes at four schools.

These schools are Adderley Primary, Saltley School, Park View School and Regents Park Community Primary School.

Saltley’s head teacher resigned last year after a critical Ofsted report. Inspectors said there was a “dysfunctional” relationship between head teacher Balwant Bains and governors which was hindering the school.

The letter, which purports to outline “Operation Trojan Horse”, has subsequently been sent to at least another 12 schools in the city – all believed to be vulnerable to takeover. It states that parents could be encouraged to turn against the leadership team if they are told the school is “corrupting their children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children pray Christian prayers and [carrying out] mixed swimming and sport”. It says: “We have an obligation to our children to fulfil our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles.”

The head teachers of the schools met Birmingham City Council on Thursday to discuss their concerns.

The letter was apparently written by someone in Birmingham to a contact in Bradford, and goes on to outline ways and means by which schools can be taken over. The letter implies these methods have already been put into action and urges the recipient to use Ofsted reports to identify schools in predominantly Muslim areas which are struggling. It says that Salafi parents should be enlisted to help, because they are regarded as a more orthodox branch of Islam and would be more likely to be willing to help.

Although the authorities have been aware of the alleged plot since November, the details have only become public now thanks to the letter which has been widely leaked.

It is unknown whether it’s genuine or a fake, but that’s one of the questions the city council is attempting to answer with its investigation. It was sent to the city council in 2013 and has led to a number of investigations. The Department for Education’s (DfE) Extremist Unit is also involved and the West Midlands Police Counter-Terrorism Unit has also looked into the case after being handed the letter in December 2013 although Supt. Sue Southern, head of the unit, said it was decided the allegations in the letter were “not a matter for the police”.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said it had “received some anonymous letters in February which claimed that an extremist religious group was trying to engineer the sacking of head teachers who did not promote the group’s ideals”. It said it was working with the police, the Department for Education and Birmingham City Council to investigate the claim.

Liam Byrne, Labour MP for Hodge Hill, said he had held urgent talks with Ofsted, City Council officials, the office of Michael Gove and DfE officials.

 

The BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-26482599

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/07/alleged-plot-birmingham-schools-islamic-principles