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Key figure in 'Trojan Horse' plot is an Ofsted inspector

Chairman of governors at a school implicated in "Trojan Horse" plot is named as an Ofsted inspector - days before watchdog releases damning reports into the affair

Tahir Alam, chairman of governors at Park View School in Birmingham, is a registered Ofsted inspector.
Tahir Alam, chairman of governors at Park View School in Birmingham, is a registered Ofsted inspector. Photo: BBC

A key figure implicated in the Islamic “Trojan Horse” plot to take over secular state schools in Birmingham is a registered Ofsted inspector, it has emerged.

Tahir Alam, chairman of governors at Park View School in the city, has been registered as an education inspector since 2010, it was revealed.

He was appointed to the role three years after publishing a detailed blueprint that appeared to advocate the introduction of Islamic practices in schools, including covering up girls, gender segregation in some activities and the end of multicultural worship.

Mr Alam has previously branded the alleged Trojan Horse revelations as a “witch-hunt”.

The disclosure is the latest twist in the ongoing investigation over a Muslim plot to infiltrate a series of schools in Birmingham.

Ofsted is expected to publish reports into 21 schools implicated in the affair next week alongside a formal Government response outlining action to be taken in the city.

It is understood that six schools – including Park View – will be branded “inadequate” by the regulator, with serious criticism being made of others.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, is expected to warn that children are being denied a “rounded education” to prepare them for life as British citizens.

In a series of fresh revelations on Monday, the full report into one – unnamed – school was leaked to Sky News. It confirmed the school’s inadequate rating and insisted that staff failed to protect children from extremist views.

"Key safeguarding procedures are not followed,” the report said. “Too little is done to keep students safe from the risks associated with extremist views.

"Some staff, including senior leaders, are concerned about a special perceived unfairness and lack of transparency in the recruitment process and the breadth and balance of the curriculum.”

It also emerged that:

• Separate briefings published by a local political website indicated that other schools will be branded inadequate for failing to teach children about sex and relationships education;

• The parents of pupils at Birmingham’s only Muslim school – Al-Hijrah in the Bordesley Green area, which is not part of the Trojan Horse inquiry – protested outside the school over plans to replace its board of governors following persistent allegations of poor teaching and management;

• A prospective school governor, Keith Townsend, claimed he told Birmingham City Council about the problem six years ago, including cases of governors demanding religious assemblies and time out of lessons for worship, but nothing was done.

A series of investigations by Ofsted, the Department for Education, police and the local council have been launched over alleged attempts by radical figures to seize control of schools in the city.

Some of the claims have centred around Park View – an academy with a large Muslim pupil population that is currently rated as “outstanding”.

Today, it emerged that Mr Alam, who leads the school’s governing body, has been registered as an Ofsted inspector since 2010.

His name appears on a list of inspectors kept by all three private companies tasked with carrying out inspections on behalf of Ofsted around the country.

Tribal – one of the three – insisted he had not worked for them since May last year.

Its website says he "has experience of senior leadership role in a primary school and as a school governance consultant and trainer for the local authority".

CfBT, another contractor, also lists Mr Alam on a document updated in October 2013, saying he has “experience of inspecting independent primary and secondary schools”.

It adds: “He also works as a school governance consultant and trainer for a local authority delivering a range of training programmes on school performance and school improvement.”

Ofsted announced last week that it was scrapping the system of outsourced inspections and bringing the process “in-house” by 2015.

His appointment comes despite the publication of a document in 2007 by the Muslim Council of Britain – co-authored by Mr Alam – into the treatment of Islam in the education system.

It called for state schools to “take account of Muslim sensitivities and sensibilities with respect to sexual morality” with “girlfriend/boyfriend as well as homosexual relationships” treated as “not acceptable practices according to Islamic teachings”.

An Ofsted spokeswoman said: “It is a matter of public record that this individual has worked as an additional inspector and his name appears on the lists of additional inspectors which are published via the Ofsted website.

"Additional inspectors are contracted by our three inspection service providers to undertake inspections on Ofsted’s behalf.”

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