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News - 14 April 2014

25 schools probed over alleged takeover plot.

Birmingham City Council said it had received more than 200 reports in relation to its inquiry concerning its investigation into an alleged hard-line Islamist takeover of Birmingham schools, This investigation has now has widened with 25 schools now under the spotlight including primaries, secondary and academies.

The leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore, said: "No, I don't believe there is a plot, but there are issues we need to look at and look at very carefully - issues perhaps around how a governing body behaves, perhaps what is said and done around the school."

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said an "urgent resolution" was needed, with parents looking for places for the new term.

The council's investigation, running in parallel to a separate inquiry by the Department for Education (DfE), is due to initially report back in May.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the accounts of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“Separately, Ofsted inspectors were sent in to 15 Birmingham schools in the weeks after the allegations came to light. Concerns were raised last year when an undated and anonymous letter emerged outlining the alleged plot, dubbed "Operation Trojan Horse".”

The letter was apparently penned by someone in Birmingham to a contact in Bradford. It claimed the plan aimed to make schools adhere to more Islamic principles and had already brought about leadership changes at four schools.

Brigid Jones, Birmingham council's cabinet member for children and family services has denied claims from some Muslim parents that a freeze on the recruitment of school governors, while it investigated the claims, was effectively a message that Muslim governors were not welcome.

So far Ofsted has carried out inspections in 18 schools. The Department for Education had instigated 15 of these inspections - in addition to three already carried out by Ofsted.

These are a particular type of unannounced inspection - called Section 8 inspections - which are not about the general standard of education, but are in response to a specific concern.

These inspection reports, looking for evidence of whether there really has been unacceptable behaviour, are expected to be published next month. Schools, parents and the wider community will then hear whether action needs to be taken.

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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