IN A SURPRISE step, announced days before the end of the school
year, members of the Park View Academy Trust - which is responsible
for three Birmingham schools at the centre of the "Trojan horse"
allegations - resigned on Tuesday.
The schools, Park View, Golden Hillock, and Nansen academies,
were placed in special measures last month, after investigations by
OFSTED, the Department for Education (DfE), and the Education
Funding Agency (EFA) of allegations that governors with a
conservative Muslim agenda had improperly interfered in the running
of several Birmingham schools (News, 16
The mass resignation was being taken to spare the schools
further "bitter" pressure, the trustees said. In a statement, Tahir
Alam, who chairs the trustees, said: "We have no regrets and make
no apology for being a dedicated team of professionals who have
substantially raised standards, at the same time ensuring that all
students' culture and their parents' aspirations are reflected in
The statement blamed OFSTED, the DfE, the EFA, and some sections
of the media for "a vicious offensive against the Trust". The
statement strongly criticised the former Secretary of State for
Education Michael Gove (who, coincidentally, lost his job on the
same day, as part of the Prime Minister's Cabinet reshuffle), and
the Chief Inspector of Schools, Michael Wilshaw. Mr Wilshaw should
also be replaced, Mr Alam said.
The statement also included a detailed rejection of particular
allegations. The Anglican vice-chair of the Trust, David Hughes,
strongly criticised the DfE's response to the allegations in an
open letter to Mr Gove in May (News, 20
Birmingham City Council said that it would not be commenting on
the resignations because it has no responsibility for academies.
The report of the group established by the council to review the
allegations was due to present its findings this week, but the
report is not now expected until the end of the week.
A statement from the DfE suggested that the resignations had
been expected. It said that the new trustees would include three
outstanding head teachers, whose priority would be to address the
areas for improvement identified by OFSTED and the EFA, and move it
towards another sponsor.
Bradford council has sought
Government permission to remove the governing body at Carlton
Bolling comprehensive because of concerns raised in recent
inspections, it was reported this week. If the move is approved,
the governors would be replaced by an interim executive
board. The council has already taken similar action over the
city's Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College (News,
13 June). Both schools were inspected by OFSTED in connection
with the "Trojan Horse" allegations.