New probe launched into Birmingham Trojan Horse leaks

Officials at the Department for Education and Ofsted are under investigation over leaks in the Trojan Horse inquiry.

Birmingham Council leader Sir Albert Bore said the Cabinet Office was investigating the unauthorised release of information to a national newspaper. He spoke after reports claimed that six city schools were to be put into special measures following the Trojan Horse probe.

“Leaks to the press at this time are in my view wholly reprehensible and completely unacceptable,” Sir Albert said. “A leak inquiry is being undertaken by the Cabinet Office which I understand will be thorough.”

The Sunday Telegraph revealed that six inner city schools would be put into special measures when Ofsted published its findings early next month.

Sir Albert also issued a list of 18 schools visited by Ofsted inspectors after the anonymous Trojan Horse letter revealed details of an organised plot by hard-line Muslims to infiltrate schools and impose strict teaching methods.

On Monday, the council will launch a hotline, email address and postal address for whistleblowers who want to come forward with further information.

Sir Albert also announced further details of a council review of Trojan Horse, to be led by former head teacher Ian Kershaw. As well as senior councillors and officers, the panel will includes Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne, headteacher of Waverlyey Primary School Kamal Hanif, West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Gary Forsyth, Bishop of Birmingham David Urquhart and a representative of Birmingham Central Mosque. Officials from Ofsted and the DfE have also been invited.

The council review is one of three major investigations currently ongoing – with the others carried out by Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw and another commissioned by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove.

Sir Albert said his request for a single co-ordinated inquiry had been rebuffed by Mr Gove – indicating a tension between the City Council and Government. “For whatever reason Michael Gove has gone ahead with his own inquiry led by Peter Clarke,” he said. Sir Albert said he expected full cooperation and a coordinated response from the three separate inquiries and revealed the inquiries would be concluded in July.

The Birmingham schools which have been subject to snap inspections in recent weeks are:

Adderley Primary School, Saltley
Alston Primary School, Saltley
Golden Hillock School, Sparkhill
Gracelands Nursery School, Sparkbrook
Highfield Junior and Infant School, Saltley
Ladypool Primary School, Sparkbrook
Marlborough Junior School, Small Heath
Montgomery Primary Academy, Sparkbrook
Nansen Primary, Saltley
Ninestiles School, Acocks Green
Oldknow Academy, Small Heath
Park View School, Alum Rock
Regents Park Community Primary School, Small Heath
Saltley School and Specialist Science College, Saltley
Small Heath School, Small Heath
Washwood Heath Academy, Stechford
Waverley School, Bordesley Green
Welford Primary School, Handsworth

Birmingham Mail, 23 April 2014