Failing 'Trojan Horse' schools threaten Ofsted with legal action
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Monday 09 June 2014
Three of the schools declared failing as a result of the Birmingham “Trojan Horse” investigation today rejected the findings and warned they would take legal action to declare the verdict null and void.
The three - Park Vale, Golden Hillock and Nansen primary school - are all academies and run by the Park View Educational Trust.
They were the first today to confirm that they had been declared inadequate and put into special measures. In all, six are expected to be declared failing when education standards watchdog Ofsted publishes the results of the 21 inspections it has carried out.
As a result, Education Secretary Michael Gove is expected to announce he will remove their governing bodies and put in new sponsors to run the schools. Some governors could be banned for life if they are found to have been lax in protecting their pupils from extremism
In a statement, Dave Hughes, vice-chairman of the Park View Educational Trust, said: “Our schools do not tolerate or promote extremism of any kind.”
He added: “We believe the decision to place our schools in special measures was the result of undue political influence, to allow the Secretary of State to intervene directly in their running. We believe that this political influence was exerted based on a belief in an extremist plot within our schools for which today’s Ofsted reports find absolutely no evidence.”
On the question of boys and girls being segregated for lessons, also raised by inspectors, he insisted that this happened in PE lessons, in common with many other schools throughout the country.
Park View also stated that any suggestion that girls received an inferior education could be refuted by the fact that 42 of Park View’s 61 prefects were girls, and that in both Golden Hillock and Park Vale, girls performed better in exams than boys. Park Vale had been declared “outstanding” just two years ago with the best GCSE results for a school with its intake in the country.
Ofsted is expected today to declare six schools failing and 12 in need of improvement. A further three schools, which published their reports last week, Ninestiles, Washwood Heath and Small Heath, were given a clean bill of health.
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