Muslim school refuses to deal with governors

A MUSLIM school turned away new governors after a council launched a takeover following persistently poor teaching and management.

Staff at Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham refused to co-operate when members of an interim governing board arrived on Thursday, council education bosses have revealed.

Birmingham City Council decided to remove the existing governors at the city’s only Muslim school, replacing them with its own team, after snap Ofsted inspections revealed a “serious decline” in classroom standards.

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The school, in Bordesley Green, is not one of the 25 which have been inspected as part of the city-wide Operation Trojan Horse investigation over allegations of a hardline Muslim plot to seize Birmingham schools.

In a letter to current governor Waseem Yaqub, Peter Hay, the council’s strategic director for people, said: “The time for debate is over, the children in Al-Hijrah need governors that govern the school properly.”

Referring to the blocking of the new governors on site last week, Mr Hay wrote: “Yesterday, the school and governors did not co-operate with the implementation of the new governing body.”

He said the council would try again to install the new leadership on the first day of the new term, urging co-operation from Mr Yaqub and his fellow governors – who no longer have any authority to run the school.

Al-Hijrah was placed in special measures after an inspection in December 2013. A follow-up visit in April found that “governance remains inadequate”.

It said chairman of the board Mr Yaqub had told inspectors he thought the school was being targeted “by a witch hunt”.

Birmingham has been engulfed in a scandal over claims that there have been attempts to force out staff and “Islamise” existing state schools. The council, Department for Education and Ofsted are all investigating.

Bradford was drawn into the row by Birmingham Council leader Sir Albert Bore who claimed that schools in the city were facing similar issues to those in Birmingham. However, this has been denied by education bosses at Bradford Council.