Islamic fundamentalists are allegedly plotting to convert Birmingham schools so that children are taught according to strict Islamic codes by ousting teachers through a dirty tricks campaign and replacing them with radicals.
The city council and the Birmingham Mail have received documents which purport to show that jihadists – or those fighting against non-Muslims - are targeting schools and orchestrating false allegations against staff, including non-Muslims, in an operation dubbed Trojan Horse.
Meanwhile, West Midlands Police have reopened a fraud investigation at one school named in the supposed leaked letter - and Ofsted is currently conducting a snap inspection at another.
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Investigation: There have been allegations of faked resignation letters at Adderley Primary School in Birmingham, possibly connected to a reported Trojan Horse operation by Islamic fundamentalists
The documents claim to be leaked written correspondence from one Birmingham fundamentalist to another in Bradford and details plans to roll out Trojan Horse to Bradford as well as Manchester.
The letter states some Birmingham headteachers have already been forced out and predicts others will follow.
Once ousted, the Muslim fundamentalist group allegedly tries to install its own supporters in key positions to encourage the school to educate children on strict Islamic principles, including the segregation of boys and girls in some lessons.
Controversy: One staff member has complained that non-Muslim employees are being discriminated against at Park View School
To achieve the aim some schools apply for Academy status, effectively taking them out of the control of the local education authority, and allowing them to be run on religious lines.
The alleged plot is said to involve recruiting Salafi parents and staff - hard-line followers of Islam - to help spread false allegations about school leaders, including claiming sex education is being promoted to Muslim schoolchildren or Christian prayers.
One passage in the documents states: ‘We have caused a great amount of organised disruption in Birmingham and as a result we now have our own Academies and are on our way to getting rid of more headteachers and taking over their schools.
‘Whilst sometimes the practices we use may not seem the correct way to do things you must remember this is a “Jihad” and as such all means possible to win the war is acceptable.’
Birmingham City Council was sent the documents in December and has alerted West Midlands Police and the Department for Education.
Linked: Saltley school was also named in the documents
This week Ofsted inspectors launched a surprise inspection at Park View Academy in Alum Rock, where it has previously been reported one staff member has complained non-Muslim employees are being discriminated against.
It was also claimed the school was attempting to introduce Islamic studies to the curriculum.
Lindsey Clark, Park View’s executive head, reportedly said faith classes were being organised, but for after-school lessons. She said it was a ‘safeguarding issue’ for children allegedly being hit in local madrasahs.
Meanwhile, police have confirmed to the Birmingham Mail that a fraud investigation has been reopened at Adderley Primary School after the documents came to light. It is understood the investigation centres on allegations of ‘faked’ resignation letters.
Both schools were named in the documents, along with Saltley School.
The documents claim former Saltley headmaster Balwant Bains would ‘soon be sacked’. In fact, the much respected principal resigned last November after a damning Ofsted report criticised his ‘dysfunctional’ relationship with governors
Lindsey Clark, Park View¿s executive head, reportedly said faith classes were being organised, but for after-school lessons
Plot: It's alleged that fundamentalists have tried to force out the head of Regents Park school
An alleged plot to oust headteacher Tina Ireland at Regents Park Community School by ‘planting the seed’ of SATs cheating allegations is also detailed in the documents.
The long-serving and respected teacher and her deputy, Michelle McCusker, resigned in October after education chiefs scrapped the primary school’s SATs results following cheating allegations.
The Birmingham Mail has spoken to education figures across Birmingham who have expressed concerns about disruption at a number of city schools with a high Muslim pupil population over the past two years.
Meanwhile, Peter Hay, Strategic Director for People at Birmingham City Council, alerted city councillors to the anonymous documents on February 10 and revealed some heads had also received them.
He told them: ‘Those head teachers who have seen these documents have found them disturbing and have passed them on to the local authority.
The letter and documents currently reaching some head teachers are very similar to material received by senior officers and politicians in the
council late last year.
council late last year.
‘We take all such matters very seriously and promptly and properly considered the allegations with colleagues in West Midlands Police, Equalities, Birmingham audit and legal staff.
‘The city council is taking this matter very seriously and has already initiated an investigation by Birmingham Audit.
‘I am sure you will understand that I am not in a position to share the details of that, but can reassure you that this matter is under review by senior councillors and officers.
‘The council is deeply committed to its core purpose of fairness and democracy and will do everything it can to deliver a better city for all.
‘Those who choose anonymity and fear as their methods should not be allowed to detract from their commitment.’
West Midlands Police is being kept updated on the council inquiry.
Superintendent Sue Southern, the Head of Prevent & Protect West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: ‘In December 2013 Birmingham City Council brought the content of a letter they were investigating to the attention of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit requesting we make an assessment of whether any criminal offences had been committed.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of the serious allegations made in relation to some schools in the Birmingham area, including Park View, which are now being investigated by Birmingham City Council and West Midlands police.
‘We will not hesitate to take firm action if necessary. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.’
The documents allegedly feature correspondence from one Birmingham Muslim fundamentalist to another in Bradford.
They detail a five point guide for taking over a school and encourage rolling out Trojan Horse to Bradford and then Manchester, cities with rapidly growing Muslim populations.
The documents outline alleged successful plots being carried out against a number of Birmingham headteachers.
The documents also give a step-by-step guide for targeting other under-performing schools with dirty tricks methods, involving the spreading of lies about the school heads.
Once forced out, hard-line Muslim supporters move in and push through plans to make the schools academies.
The academy status, as promoted by schools minister Michael Gove, allows them to be run out of the control of the local authority, with funding provided direct from central Government.
The secret documents state: ‘Operation “Trojan Horse” has been very carefully thought through and is tried and tested within Birmingham, implementing it in Bradford will not be difficult for you.’
Trojan Horse, the documents state, has been fine-tuned so that it is ‘totally invisible to the naked eye and allows us to operate under the radar.
‘I have detailed the plan we have in Birmingham and how well it has worked and you will see how easy the whole process is to get the head teacher out and our own person in.’
The documents state schools with poor Ofsted reports and with large Muslim student populations should be targeted for takeover.
They add: ‘The poor performing schools are easy to disrupt, the better performing with strong head teachers is much harder and so we have to manufacture a strong enough reason, but rest assured we have not failed yet, no matter how difficult removing the head teacher may be. You just have to be clever and find the most appropriate way to deal with the school.’
The documents add: ‘This is all about causing the maximum amount of organised chaos and we have fine-tuned this as part of operation Trojan Horse. You must identify what the head’s strengths are and build a case of disruption around that.’