Trojan Horse schools 'tried to fool inspectors', Ofsted report reveals

Schools at the centre of the alleged takeover plot by hard-line Muslims have rejected the education watchdog’s findings

Schools involved in a so-called Trojan Horse plot attempted to cover up their activities, according to damning findings to be revealed by Ofsted on Monday.

According to the report, due to be released on Monday afternoon, some institutions had put on “hastily arranged shows of cultural inclusivity” to fool inspectors, including in one case a religious education lesson on Christianity.

David Cameron has ordered a “robust response” to the situation –  but the schools at the centre of the alleged takeover plot by hard-line Muslims have rejected the education watchdog’s findings.

Park View Educational Trust, which is at the centre of the investigation, announced that its three schools - Park View Academy, Golden Hillock and Nansen Primary - have all been rated inadequate by Ofsted.

However, vice-chairman David Hughes insisted its three schools “do not tolerate or promote extremism”.

In a statement he said: “Our Ofsted inspections were ordered in a climate of suspicion, created by the hoax Trojan letter and by the anonymous unproven allegations about our schools in the media.

“Ofsted inspectors came to our schools looking for extremism, looking for segregation, looking for proof that our children have religion forced upon them as part of an Islamic plot.

"The Ofsted reports find absolutely no evidence of this because this is categorically not what is happening at our schools. Our schools do not tolerate or promote extremism of any kind. We have made a major commitment to raising all students' awareness of extremism, people who know and have worked with our schools are appalled at the way we have been misrepresented.”

He particularly criticised the representation of Park View Academy, subject to some of the most serious allegations, saying that the speed at which it has been attacked is “truly shocking”.

And he added that the Trust will be seeking to mount a legal challenge to the judgments

Ofsted could step up its use of unannounced visits as a result of the findings; it will also maintain a regular presence in the Birmingham schools involved, reporting directly to the Prime Minister and Education Secretary Michael Gove, who has been at the centre of a political storm over his handling of the situation.

He was forced to apologise to the Prime Minister after a damaging feud with Home Secretary Theresa May, whose closest aide Fiona Cunningham had to resign following a bitter round of briefings and counter-briefings about efforts to combat extremism.

Both ministers will attend a meeting with Mr Cameron and a specially-called session of the cross-government extremism task force to deal with the Birmingham allegations.

The Prime Minister 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."

Ofsted reports into 21 schools that were triggered by the Trojan Horse allegations will be released by the watchdog, with a statement from Sir Michael, the chief inspector of schools.

Mr Gove has asked Sir Michael to look into the practicalities of making all schools subject to the possibility of no-notice inspections by Ofsted to stop the risk of future attempts to influence reports. The Education Secretary will also make a statement to MPs in the House of Commons about the Ofsted investigations.

The previous Ofsted inspections of five of the Trojan Horse schools, rated good or outstanding in 2012 and 2013 gave one or two days' notice.

But this time round, when snap inspections were carried out with less than 30 minutes’ notice, they were found to be inadequate.

Also on Monday, the Education Funding Agency (EFA), which carried out parallel investigations to Ofsted in Birmingham, will present evidence of efforts to persuade its inspectors that a wider range of religious teaching was on offer in at least one school.

Many of the key inspection findings from schools at the centre of the allegations have already been leaked to the media with at least five set to be placed in special measures.

Three schools have already broken cover to say they have been given a clean bill of health, receiving ratings of either "good" or "outstanding".

The allegations of Muslim extremism in Birmingham schools have sparked four separate investigations including by the Department for Education (DfE), Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police.

Earlier this year an undated and unsigned letter, now widely believed to be a hoax, was leaked to the media setting out a five-point plan dubbed Operation Trojan Horse for hard-line Muslims to seize control of schools by installing friendly governors, and forcing out uncooperative headteachers.

Many in the Muslim community have expressed anger over the investigations, with staff at one of the schools inspected branding the inquiries nothing short of "a witch-hunt".

Additional reporting by Press Association

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week