‘The problem here is the knee-jerk actions of some politicians’ – Park View Educational Trust responds to Gove’s ‘Trojan Horse’ witch-hunt

Park View School

Verbal statement on Ofsted reports on Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen schools delivered outside Park View School at 09.30 by Dave Hughes, vice chairman of Park View Educational Trust

On behalf of the staff, students and parents who have worked so hard to improve their schools, we are extremely disappointed to confirm that Ofsted have graded Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen schools as inadequate and put them into Special Measures.

We support the role of Ofsted in holding schools to account in a fair and transparent way. But we wholeheartedly dispute the validity of these gradings.

Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen are categorically not inadequate schools.

Our Ofsted inspections were ordered in a climate of suspicion created by the hoax Trojan Horse letter and 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.

Our schools serve some of the most disadvantaged communities in Britain. In spite of this 75 per cent of students at Park View achieved at least 5 good GCSEs last year, including English and Maths. This makes it the best‐performing school of its type in England.

Golden Hillock and Nansen are on course to get their best results ever.

Quite simply this is because we believe our role is to break the link between demographics, deprivation and destiny. We refuse to let our students’ backgrounds limit what they can achieve and who they can become.

The speed and the ferocity with which Park View School, in particular, has been condemned, is truly shocking.

Park View School – where we are standing today – has helped transform the lives of local families by realising their hope and ambition for educational success.

School communities in Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen that have worked hard to turn round failing schools are being condemned, when they should be celebrated.

The problem here is not extremism, or segregation, or religious indoctrination – all the things that Ofsted looked for but failed to find in our schools.

The problem here is that the knee‐jerk actions of some politicians have undermined the great work we do here, and undermined community cohesion everywhere.

They have put Muslim children from these communities at substantial risk of not being accepted as equal, legitimate and valued members of British society.

And they have allowed suspicion to be cast on the aspirations of their parents and anyone else who believes that these children deserve the same rights and excellent standard of education as any other child.

We will now be challenging these reports through appropriate legal channels.

Park View Educational Trust press release, 9 June 2014

See also “Statement from Park View Educational Trust on Ofsted reports on Park View, Golden Hillock and Nansen schools”, Park View Educational Trust press release, 9 June 2014