Birmingham schools 'Islam plot' letter 'is defamatory'

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An anonymous letter sent to a council outlining an alleged plan to oust head teachers is "defamatory", the leader of Birmingham City Council has said.

The letter claimed the plan aimed to make schools adhere to more Islamic principles.

It claimed the scheme, known as "Operation Trojan Horse", had already influenced leadership change at four schools.

Sir Albert Bore said the letter was "hugely difficult to investigate".

The letter claims there is a plot at four schools to oust head teachers and make schools adhere to more Islamic principles.

'No serious flaws'

Adderley Primary, Saltley School, Park View School and Regents Park Community Primary School, were named in the alleged plot.

In a statement to the education and vulnerable children scrutiny committee Sir Albert said: "The Trojan Horse letter is defamatory.

"From the first receipt of an anonymous letter in my office, [council auditors] has been reviewing all our practice in schools management.

"Their review work to date shows no serious flaws in what we do."

The letter, seen by the BBC, was apparently written by someone in Birmingham to a contact in Bradford, and goes on to outline ways and means by which schools can be taken over.

It was sent to the city council in 2013 and the authority is investigating its claims.

Sir Albert said part of the inquiry would focus on whether the plot was genuine or fake.

If the letter contained the "genuine concerns of a whistle-blower", Sir Albert said the council would "afford the protection necessary to the investigation of those concerns".

But he also said that if the motivation behind the claims in the letter was not based on professional concern "we will act accordingly".

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