Parents protest at plan to replace governors at Al-Hijrah school in Bordesley Green
Ofsted inspection revealed serious decline in classroom standards and allegations of poor teaching and management on city’s only Muslim school.
Parents of pupils at Birmingham’s only Muslim school have protested over plans to replace its board of governors following persistent allegations of poor teaching and management.
The parents of youngsters at Al-Hijrah School in Bordesley Green showed their anger at moves by Birmingham City Council to remove the existing governors and replace them with its own team, after Ofsted snap inspections revealed a “serious decline” in classroom standards.
About 30 adults took part in the protest outside the school with men and woman standing separately.
Banners highlighting the school’s achievements were also emblazoned on the school’s perimeter fencing.
The school 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.
Al-Hijrah was placed in special measures after an inspection in December 2013, but after a follow-up visit in April this year Ofsted found “governance remains inadequate”.
Among the criticisms, inspectors said the the governing board were “not addressing the key weaknesses across the school”.
School staff refused to co-operate when members of an interim governing board arrived on Thursday, according to council education bosses.
Pointing to a breakdown in the school’s relationship with the council, Ofsted said: “Recent attempts by a local authority officer to visit the school have been thwarted by senior leaders.”
The report also revealed questions over the school’s finances and alleged the governors had commissioned architects to design a new school building, despite a current budget deficit running at £400,000.
Ofsted said the school’s improvement plan to dig itself out of financial trouble was “not fit for purpose”, but also criticised the council for having “not been able to support or challenge the school”.
The school, which caters for four to 16-year-olds, receives taxpayer money as a voluntary aided school.