The main victims targeted by the Government’s controversial policy to taint the running of Birmingham schools with a brush of extremism resigned last Tuesday in protest at the “coordinated and vicious” campaign to undermine its successful transformation of run down inner city schools.
“We have no regrets, nor do we make any apology, for being part of a dedicated team o professionals who have substantially raised standards,” Park View Educational Trust Chair, Tahir Alam, said.
“We are immensely proud of the role we have played with others in bringing about school improvements at Park View School. It is now one of the highest performing in the city. We have also helped to significantly raise achievement at Golden Hillock and Nansen schools,” Alam added.
Despite its pioneering record, Park View was one of five schools with majority Muslim pupils in Birmingham placed in special measures last month following orchestrated claims based upon what was dubbed as a Trojan House conspiracy that has been discredited as an unsourced fabrication.
“The last four months have seen a vicious and co‐ordinated offensive against the Trust and its schools. The Department for Education, with Ofsted and the Education Funding Agency aided by some sections of the media have undermined the good work of these schools. They have also attempted to rubbish people’s hard‐won reputations.”
“It has been an attack unlike anything any of us could have imagined when we joined Park View as voluntary school governors many years ago, to make a difference to the lives of children in inner‐city,” the PVET Chair said in a statement read at the school gates on July 15.
The mass resignation coincided with Prime Minister, David Cameron, sacking Education Secretary, Michael Gove, who was outspoken in leading the malicious campaign against the schools, His “profound mistrust of Islam is a matter of public record,” Alum said.
“Gove’s demotion today provides us with some reassurance that the Prime Minister has finally acknowledged the profound damage that has been caused by his divisive approach. We hope that the new Secretary of State takes a similar view of (Chief Inspector of Schools) Sir Michael Wilshaw’s role in this fiasco and urgently considers his removal as a first step in restoring the credibility of Ofsted.”
Local Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood, has requested an urgent meeting with Gove’s replacement Nicky Morgan to “make rapid progress on the job of fixing the governance issues in a few Birmingham schools rather than spending valuable time trying to fix a problem of extremism in schools which simply does not exist.”
“What we had under the previous regime was a complete unwillingness to engage in an evidence based discussion about what has really been going on in Birmingham schools. Michael Gove’s belief in the ‘conveyor belt’ from religious conservatism to extremism meant that the whole Trojan Horse debacle has been seen through the prism of national security rather than through the prism of good governance,” Mahmood said.