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Trojan Horse: Birmingham schools 'plot' probe widened

14 April 2014 Last updated at 21:29 BST

An investigation into an alleged bid by Muslims to take over the governance of some schools in Birmingham has been widened by the city council.

The authority said 25 schools were now under the spotlight and it was considering more than 200 submissions, many emails or calls from staff, parents or governors.

Separately, Ofsted inspectors have visited 15 Birmingham schools in the weeks after the allegations came to light.

Concerns were first raised last year after an anonymous letter emerged, outlining the alleged plot, dubbed "Operation Trojan Horse".

The council's investigation, running in parallel with a separate inquiry by the Department for Education, is due to reveal its initial findings in May.

Council Leader Sir Albert Bore said a former head teacher, Ian Kershaw, had been appointed as chief adviser on the investigation.

Councillor Brigid Jones, in charge of children and family services, said the allegations included the conduct of some staff and what was being taught to children at some schools.

The Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Rev David Urquhart, said it was important Muslims were not "misrepresented", while Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi, of the Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, said there was a danger Muslims could be "demonised".

Dave Hughes, a governor at Park View Academy, a school named as part of the investigation, said it deserved more support than it had so far received.

Dr Mohammed Naseem, of Birmingham Central Mosque, said the investigation, based on an unsigned and anonymous letter had been given more credence than it deserved.

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