Head teachers claim there was an organised campaign to impose a “narrow, faith-based ideology” at some schools in Birmingham, Ofsted has said.
The watchdog has placed five of the city’s schools in special measures after “deeply worrying” findings.
It inspected 21 schools after an anonymous letter alleging a Muslim takeover plot was circulated.
It’s too bad they don’t just require state schools to be secular.
Sir Michael said teachers at some of the schools inspected had reported being unfairly treated due to their faith and gender.
He said inspectors had “uncovered evidence of unfair and opaque recruitment practices, including examples of relatives being appointed to unadvertised senior posts”.
“Although exam results are often good, the curriculum has become too narrow, reflecting the personal views of a small number of governors, rather than the wider community in Birmingham and beyond,” he said.
Funny, isn’t it, an opaque story talking about unfair and opaque recruitment practices in carefully opaque language. It’s opacity all the way down, and not very conducive to understanding.
Ofsted’s key findings at five inadequate schools
- Nansen Primary was criticised for the leadership of the school as well as pupils’ behaviour. Ofsted said: “The governing body has removed some subjects, such as music, from the timetable.” It added that the school “does not prepare pupils adequately for life in modern Britain”.
- Inspectors recommended Oldknow Academy was put in special measures despite being rated outstanding in some categories. The report said a small group of governors was “making significant changes to the ethos and culture of the academy without full consultation”. “They are endeavouring to promote a particular and narrow faith-based ideology in what is a maintained and non-faith academy,” it said.
- Saltley School, previously rated good, was criticised in every area, including governance, teaching standards, pupils’ achievement, safety and leadership. Inspectors also criticised financial management at the school and relationships between senior staff and governors.
- Ofsted found Park View School did not do enough to alert students to the risks of extremism. It said speakers invited to the school were not vetted and pupils were not taught about the safe use of the internet. Pupils are not given adequate preparation for living in a multi-cultural society, it said.
- At Golden Hillock, inspectors concluded leaders and governors were “not doing enough to mitigate against cultural isolation”. Ofsted concluded it “could leave students vulnerable to the risk of marginalisation from wider British society”.
Yet more opacity.
Bhupinder Kondal, principal of Oldknow Academy, said she was removed from her post in January against her will.
Anderson Park head Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson said “none of the contents of the Trojan Horse letter came as a shock”.
Another head teacher, speaking anonymously, told the BBC they had been “bullied” into employing a senior member of staff with no experience.
Arshad Malik, whose son, Imran, attends Park View School, said he believed people were “trying to use this school to push their own agendas”.
“Inspectors came with loaded questions…This issue is a political football,” he said.
Gaafar Tariq, a taxi driver and father-of-five, has two children who attend Nansen Primary School.
The 47-year-old said: “I don’t think there’s any concern about extremism in this area and these reports prove it. I don’t see any problem with this school.”
They said they said they said.