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Ofsted: 'Trojan Horse schools have failed to improve'

Five Birmingham schools declared as failing by inspectors in the wake of the alleged "Trojan Horse" takeover plot by hardline Muslims have still not improved, Ofsted has warned.

It has taken too much time to appoint new governors and senior leaders at these schools, meaning that "very little action" has been taken to address the serious concerns raised about their performance, the watchdog said.

In the first update following inspections earlier this year, Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said that "too much poor practice remained unchallenged during the summer term".

In one case, at Park View Academy, "little had been done" to tackle segregation between the sexes, and encourage boys and girls to sit together in lessons and share ideas, inspectors warned.

The action and improvement plans of all five schools are "not fit for purpose", Sir Michael said.

Four separate probes were conducted into the allegations in Birmingham, which were originally sparked by the ''Trojan Horse'' letter – now widely believed to be a hoax – that referred to an alleged plot by hardline Muslims to seize control of a number of school governing boards in the city.

In June, Ofsted issued a damning verdict on the running of a number of Birmingham's schools and declared five failing, placing them into special measures.

These schools were: Golden Hillock School, Nansen Primary School and Park View Academy - all run by the Park View Educational Trust (PVET), as well as Oldknow Academy and Saltley School.

The Department for Education said the schools would need more time for the changes it had introduced to bed in. 

"These reports are a snapshot," a DfE spokesperson said. "They reflect the particular circumstances of the schools and the time at which the inspections took place, in some cases just a couple of days into the start of the new school year.

"We are confident that the strong leadership teams we have put in place mean that change will be rapid and effective once it has had more than a few weeks to have an impact.”

But Labour's education spokesman Tristram Hunt attacked the government's response saying it had "no plan for tackling the vulnerable situation" faced by the schools.

“It is utterly incomprehensible that six months after these serious concerns became public David Cameron’s government has still not taken action, putting children at risk from radical, hard-line agendas and damaging school standards," Mr Hunt said.

"It is gross negligence from the prime minister and his Tory-led government and they must urgently explain their inaction.

Related stories

Trojan Horse: New school standards branded ‘unlawful’ by Christian charity - August 2014

Trojan Horse: Report finds ‘clear evidence’ of ‘extremism views’ - July 2014

Emergency powers announced to close schools with links to extremism - June 2014

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