Thomas Bridge 09 June 2014

Cameron calls for ‘robust response’ to alleged Trojan Horse schools

Education inspectors Ofsted will today publish the findings of ‘Trojan Horse’ investigations into alleged extremism in 21 Birmingham schools.

Prime minister David Cameron this morning revealed plans to grant Ofsted powers to inspect schools ‘at no notice’ and demanded a ‘robust response’ to reports of Islamic extremism in Birmingham schools made in a ‘Trojan Horse’ letter late last year.

A special meeting of the Government’s Extremism Taskforce – whose members include communities secretary Eric Pickles - was held this morning to discuss the implications of the school review.

Findings from the Education Funding Agency suggest inspection notice periods were used to put on ‘hastily arranged shows of cultural inclusivity’.

According to reports, up to six of the inspected schools will be deemed ‘inadequate’ by inspectors. This morning, three schools were placed into special measures.

A statement from Park View Educational Trust said it ‘wholeheartedly’ disputed the ‘inadequate’ rating awarded to Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen schools.

Cameron said: ‘Protecting our children is one of the first duties of government and that is why the issue of alleged Islamist extremism in Birmingham schools demands a robust response.

‘The Education Secretary will now ask Sir Michael Wilshaw to look into allowing any school to be inspected at no notice, stopping schools having the opportunity to cover up activities which have no place in our society.

Education secretary Michael Gove said: ‘We have to ensure children are safe in our schools. Evidence uncovered in Birmingham clearly indicates that schools have used the notice they have been given of inspections to evade proper scrutiny. Sir Michael Wilshaw will now examine the practicalities of moving to a position where all schools know they may face an unannounced inspection.’

Photo: Frederic Legrand/Shutterstock.com

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