Trojan Horse: Park View Educational Trust board resigns

image captionPark View Educational Trust chairman Tahir Alam said he was proud of the trustees' work

The board of trustees at the centre of the alleged "Trojan Horse" Muslim takeover plot has resigned.

Park View Educational Trust chairman Tahir Alam said the decision had been made in the interests of the children.

The trust has been in the spotlight since allegations emerged about hardline Muslims trying to extend their influence in schools.

It ran Park View Academy, Nansen Primary and Golden Hillock schools in Birmingham.

'Vicious' attack

Mr Alam said he and his colleagues were proud of the work they had done to "turn failing east Birmingham schools around".

But he said a "co-ordinated and vicious" attack by former Education Secretary Michael Gove and the Department for Education had left the three-member board with no choice but to step down.

image captionMr Alam said members of the Park View Educational Trust board had been left with no choice but to step down

"We have no regrets, nor do we make any apologies for being part of a dedicated team of professionals who have substantially raised standards," he said.

Mr Alam blamed Mr Gove as "the driving force" behind Park View school being put into special measures and said his "profound mistrust of Islam is a matter of public record".

'Point of destruction'

He said Mr 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".

He said the removal of Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw should also be considered.

Mr Alam said in four months "the proud reputation of Park View School" had been brought "to the point of destruction".

A statement from the trust said three new members, mutually agreed with the Department for Education, would be appointed to replace Mr Alam, Dave Hughes and Nicola Benyahia.

Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne said Waverley School head teacher Kamal Hanif, Greet Primary head teacher Pat Smart and King Edwards VI Five Ways head teacher Yvonne Wilkinson, had agreed to serve on the new trust.

"It was right for the current governors to step down so we can get cracking with a brilliant new team of outstanding education experts and parents to take the school forward," he said.

'Organised campaign'

News of the board's resignation comes after a survey of 72 Golden Hillock workers revealed 57 wanted to sever ties with the Park View Educational Trust and 60 thought the governing body did not represent the views of staff.

The survey was conducted by union representatives.

Ofsted inspected 21 schools in response to the Trojan Horse allegations and branded Park View, Nansen and Golden Hillock inadequate.

The inspectors' report said head teachers had been "marginalised or forced out of their jobs", and there was evidence of an "organised campaign to target certain schools".

Sir Michael said "a culture of fear and intimidation has taken grip" in some schools.

A Department for Education statement said: "We are aware of the decision of the Park View Educational Trust to stand down.

"There will be three outstanding heads on the trust, whose immediate task for the new trustees will be to address the areas for improvement raised by the Education Funding Agency and Ofsted reports and move it towards a successful sponsor."

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