investigation after it was alleged it claimed £70,000 to pay for loudspeakers to call pupils to Islamic prayer.
When will we learn? When the UK is totally Islamic? Is that what it will take?
A whistleblower claimed Park View School, a secular academy with mostly Muslim pupils in Alum Rock, Birmingham, claimed the sum even though the cost of the equipment was far less.
An investigation into the school has now been launched by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), an arm of the Department for Education (DfE), over misuse of funds, it was reported.
A source familiar with the enquiry told the Sunday Times: ‘The EFA has been provided with evidence to show that although £70,000 was claimed for the speakers, they actually cost much less than half that price.
‘What’s especially strange is why the speakers, which were going to be used to call kids to prayer, were needed at a non-faith school. ‘
Tahir Alam, chairman of the governors at the academy, said the loudspeakers were primarily for functions and performances, not, as suggested, for prayer.
Kahlid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, wants education chiefs to replace the academy’s governing bodies, expressing concern that the school has Islamic study sessions even though there are Sunni mosques nearby.
A DfE spokesman said: ‘Officials from the department are currently visiting Park View as part of ongoing monitoring following serious allegations made in relation to the school.
‘That investigation remains ongoing. Separately, Birmingham City Council’s investigation into allegations made in relation to some local authority schools is also ongoing.
‘All schools are subject to a tough inspection framework and must meet the high standards and requirements rightly expected.
‘We will not hesitate to take firm action if these are not being met — in particular where we become aware of issues of concern in an academy we will move quickly to resolve these.
‘It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.’
There have been concerns about the Islamisation of state schools in Britain following widespread reports of a letter in the media that reportedly unveils a Muslim fundamentalist plot to take over some state schools.
The document — entitled Operation Trojan Horse — originates in Birmingham and was leaked anonymously to a Sunday newspaper – although there has been speculation the letter is fake.
It purports to outline a strategy of identifying schools in Muslim neighbourhoods, ridding them of non-Muslim heads and parachuting in strictly Islamic teachers and removing those who are not, as well as frightening Muslim parents into believing Western education is dangerous for their children.
Park View is one of the schools mentioned. The letter says that Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester — cities with fast-growing Muslim populations – should lead the strategy: ‘We have an obligation to our children to fulfil our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles.’
It declares that hard-line Muslim parents should be identified and turned against head-teachers who are ‘non-believers’.
‘The way to do this is to tell each parent that the school is corrupting their children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children pray Christian prayers and [taking part in] mixed swimming and sport.
Park View Academy was visited by Ofsted this month in a surprise inspection after inspectors deemed leadership ‘inaedquate’.
A former employee at the academy is understood to have claimed that non-Muslim staff were being treated unfairly and that it was trying to teach Islamic studies.
Concerns were also raised that girls were effectively excluded from after-school tennis because they could not be taught by male teachers.
Headmistress Lindsey Clark told a newspaper last month that ‘the governing body have said it should be only female members of staff who taught the girls PE, particularly tennis, where you might have to put your arms across the body to show someone how to play a stroke’.
‘I did introduce an all-female madrasah for about eight students in the evenings,’ she added. ‘That is because there were concerns about children being hit in local madrasahs. It was a safeguarding issue.’