Birmingham & Black Country

Trojan Horse: PM backs calls for snap Ofsted inspections

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Media captionDavid Cameron says Birmingham City Council "failed in their duty" to parents over the Islamist extremism schools claims

The prime minister has backed calls for no-notice Ofsted inspections after concerns of an Islamist influence in several Birmingham schools.

Speaking at PMQs, he said the watchdog was best placed to quickly act on concerns from parents.

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said the findings had proved the case for unannounced inspections.

Labour leader Ed Miliband called for an independent system of "local oversight".

Muslims 'isolated'

Five Birmingham schools were branded "inadequate" as part of Ofsted's investigations into the anonymous "Trojan Horse" letter alleging an Islamic takeover plot.

Mr Cameron said "Birmingham City Council failed in their duty to...parents" and Ofsted was best-placed to act on complaints.

Mr Miliband said it was "unrealistic" to monitor parent concerns centrally and called "for a proper system of local oversight, separate from councils, responsible for standards at all schools."

They were speaking ahead of a meeting at Birmingham Community Association in Small Heath, organised by the Hands Off Birmingham Schools group.

Image caption A meeting in Small Heath heard Muslims felt "isolated" by Trojan Horse

Shabina Bano, who has two daughters at indequate-rated Oldknow Academy, said Muslims felt they were "under attack" in the wake of the Trojan Horse inspections.

"It's an attack on us, an attack on our children and we are being isolated," she said.

Bader Zaman was one of about 100 people who attended the meeting and said he had been left "confused" by inspectors' findings.

"I still don't feel I know what was going on in each school," he said.

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