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‘Trojan horse’ Trust members resign

18 July 2014

PA

Out of the door: the former Education Secretary, Michael Gove, leaves 10 Downing Street on Tuesday morning. He was strongly criticised in the trustees' resignation statement 

Out of the door: the former Education Secretary, Michael Gove, leaves 10 Downing Street on Tuesday morning. He was strongly criticised in the ...

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 May).

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 their education."

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 June).

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. 

 

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