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
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Retail Lecturer / Assessor / Tutor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Business Studies Tutor / Assessor / Lecturer - Tollerton

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Year 1 Teacher

£12 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education require a year ...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried