Edward Malnick, Telegraph (London), May 10, 2014
Schools in Birmingham at the centre of an alleged Islamist plot have been told to expect a “firestorm” when the results of a series of official inspections are published next month.
BBC Radio 4’s Today programme reported that senior officials at Birmingham City Council suggested a report by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, will focus on claims about the governance and leadership at the schools.
However teachers and governors are said to have been told at a meeting this week that the officials had seen no evidence of the alleged “Trojan Horse” plot.
The disclosure comes after the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said it had found “concerted efforts” to infiltrate at least six schools in Birmingham. Head teachers also warned that schools across Britain are likely to have been targeted.
The acknowledgement from the professional body followed a series of exposés by The Telegraph which disclosed how alleged plot had put schools under pressure illegally to segregate classrooms and change teaching to reflect radical Islamic beliefs.
The BBC’s report about the briefing of teachers and governors by senior council officials in Birmingham comes after Ofsted confirmed that its investigation had spread from 18 to 21 schools in the city. The three additional schools are primaries.
In a statement last week, the NAHT said attempts had been made to “alter their character in line with the Islamic faith”, including sidelining parts of the curriculum and attempting to influence the appointment of Muslim staff.
Russell Hobby, its general secretary, warned that the action was unlikely to be “limited to Birmingham”, adding: “I think it is connected into the large cities around the country.”
The statement was the first time a major teachers’ organisation had confirmed that such concerns exist.
The alleged plot involves the alleged takeover of secular state schools and the removal of secular head teachers by radical Muslim staff and governors.
Five non-Muslim heads have left their posts in a tiny area of the city over the past six months.
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has ordered an inquiry into Birmingham schools. An inspection report by the Department for Education, leaked to The Telegraph, found that girls at Park View school were made to sit at the back of the class, GCSE syllabuses were “restricted to comply with a conservative Islamic teaching” and an extremist preacher was invited to speak to children.
Last week it emerged that Tahir Alam, the alleged ringleader of the plot and chairman of governors at Park View, wrote a detailed blueprint for the “Islamisation” of state schools in 2007.