Trojan Horse row: Teachers suspended for refusing to impose strict Islamic model
Governing body at Bradford college removed after employing Trojan Horse ‘ringleader’ as adviser
Paul Gallagher is a reporter for the Independent and Independent on Sunday having joined the group in 2012. He has previously worked for the European Voice, Daily Mirror and the Observer and been based in Brussels, Belfast, Tokyo and London.
Wednesday 11 June 2014
Teachers at a school in Bradford were suspended after a battle with governors who wanted to model the college on the academy at the centre of the “Trojan Horse” plot in Birmingham, The Independent can reveal.
Jennifer McIntosh, principal at Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College, has faced attempts to oust her and her deputy amid fears that hardline Muslims were promoting an Islamic agenda at the secular school.
It is understood that there was a battle at the school between staff and governors over paying Tahir Alam, chair of governors at Park View Academy in Birmingham, to provide governance training at the Bradford college.
Mr Alam has been accused of being the Trojan Horse “ringleader”, where hardliners in some Birmingham schools have been accused of imposing strict Islamic ideology, according to a report published this week by Oftsed’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw. The trust that runs Park View rejected Ofsted’s findings saying the report was politically motivated.
The schools’ inspectorate has turned its attention from Birmingham to Laisterdyke College and Carlton Bolling College in Bradford, both secular, mainly Muslim secondary schools. Independent Bradford councillor Faisal Khan was today accused by a council colleague of “wanting to turn Laisterdyke into Park View” and having led a “concerted effort” to drive Mrs McIntosh and her deputy head out.
Mr Khan has been filmed describing how he and fellow governors worked “for a number of years” to “change the head teacher” at Bradford schools.
Mrs McIntosh’s relationship with governors broke down this year and in April the entire governing body at the mainly Muslim secondary college, including Mr Khan and fellow Bradford councillor Ghazanfer Khaliq, was removed by the local authority with the approval of Education Secretary Michael Gove. The authority had concerns over the governors’ “actions and effectiveness” following a critical Ofsted inspection.
An anonymous source at Laisterdyke said: “Over recent months there have been ongoing battles between the governors and Jennifer McIntosh which I have witnessed first-hand. The tactics used at the school are reminiscent of those employed in Operation Trojan Horse, with governors constantly questioning decisions, school results and vociferous complaints from the community.”
Mr Khan said some members of staff at Laisterdyke were suspended during his time as a governor for “ignoring instructions from governors”. He said: “The senior leadership… were not cooperating with governors and sought to actively undermine the governing body.”
Mr Khan also said Mr Alam was paid to carry out governance training at the school and denied that there had been any dispute between the school leadership and governors over payment for the work.
Mr Khan said: “Tahir Alam came to Laisterdyke to carry out governance training, online training and evaluation training. We were getting bogged down with pages and pages of documents that hid what was really going on at the school. We [the governing body] were all removed for trying to hold the school to account.”
Mr Khan, who is chair of governors at Carlton Bolling, which Ofsted inspectors are due to visit in the coming weeks, said suggestions that the governing body was trying to impose a strict Islamic ethos on the school were wrong. Mr Khan said: “It’s just completely false. It feels like a witch hunt.”
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Budget 2015: George Osborne to axe subsidies for higher income earners in social housing
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
£22000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To contribute to the day-to-da...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: It is also essential that you p...
£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Edinburgh city centre scho...
£30000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An independent boys' school sit...