Five Birmingham schools named in the Trojan Horse scandal are not showing sufficient signs of improvement, schools inspectorate Ofsted has said in a letter to the Education Secretary (click here to download the letter).
Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw (pictured) has also criticised the local authority – Birmingham City Council – for “not yet effectively sharing information” about the action it is taking.
Improvement plans at the schools are not fit for purpose, the inspectorate said.
The schools were subject to unannounced monitoring inspections after being placed in special measures earlier this year.
Four of the schools inspected were academies – Golden Hillock School, Nansen Primary School, Oldknow Academy and Park View School – and one maintained school, Saltley School and Specialist Science College.
In all cases, the inspectorate found that changes to governance and leadership have been slow.
“The time taken to appoint new trustees and senior leaders means that very little action has been taken to address the serious concerns raised in the previous inspections”, Sir Michael said in an advice note sent to the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan.
Sir Michael also said that the inspections, carried out in September, had shown there had been “very little change” in the “unbalanced” curriculum that was being offered at the schools.
The inspectorate said that plans for curriculum changes had been drawn up, but lacked the detail required “to ensure that effective action will be taken to ‘actively promote’ fundamental British values and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs”.
In one of the schools inspected – Golden Hillock – the inspectorate said that students taking the religious education GCSE had to teach themselves about faiths other than Islam, leaving them at a “significant disadvantage”.
Sir Michael also said that, “despite repeated requests”, Ofsted had yet to be presented with a single integrated plan drawn up by Birmingham City Council in response to the reports into the Trojan Horse scandal from Ofsted, and two others, Peter Clarke and Ian Kershaw.
The inspectorate called on the local authority to share the plan with Ofsted promptly.
Ofsted also said that many staff at the schools remained concerned about leadership, although there was some optimism about change.
In Saltley School, however, the inspectorate said in the monitoring inspection report (see link below) that several staff said there was segregation among teachers along faith lines, and that this had not been addressed by school leaders.
Responding to Ofsted’s letter a Department for Education spokesperson said: “These reports are a snapshot. They reflect the particular circumstances of the schools and the time at which the inspections took place, in some cases just a couple of days into the start of the new school year.
“We are confident that the strong leadership teams we have put in place mean that change will be rapid and effective once it has had more than a few weeks to have an impact.”
The individual ‘special measures monitoring inspection’ reports have been published on the Ofsted website (links below)