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Park View Academy hits back in Trojan horse row
If the Trojan horse plot – the alleged infiltration of Birmingham's schools by extreme Islamists – has a notional HQ, then Park View academy is it.
Here, it is suggested, in the inner-city area of Alum Rock, is the launchpad for a colonisation of 21 schools across the east of the city by a network of determined fundamentalists seeking to segregate children, harass non-Muslims and lionise al-Qaida.
Though scant evidence has so far emerged, the plot may be real. The council, Ofsted and the former national head of counter-terrorism, Peter Clarke, on behalf of Michael Gove's Department for Education, are all working on separate inquiries prompted by an anonymous letter and testimonies from former staff from Park View and the other institutions. A leaked copy of an Ofsted report into Park View suggests that this week the inspectorate will reverse its 2012 grading of "outstanding" and condemn the academy as "inadequate" for failing to raise its pupils' "awareness of the risks of extremism".
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