'Trojan Horse' report release urged

Romsey Advertiser: Liam Byrne MP has said media leaks have undermined public confidence in the investigation Liam Byrne MP has said media leaks have undermined public confidence in the investigation

A Labour MP has called for the immediate publication of Ofsted reports conducted amid allegations of a Trojan Horse-style plot by hard-line Muslims to seize control of several Birmingham schools.

In a letter to Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw and Education Secretary Michael Gove, Birmingham Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne said media leaks surrounding the Ofsted reports were undermining public confidence.

Mr Byrne also claimed that any further delay in releasing Ofsted's findings would border on treating the parents of the schools' existing and prospective pupils with contempt.

Commenting on the leaks surrounding the inquiry into the "Trojan Horse" claims, Mr Byrne said: "This investigation is now at risk of descending into a complete shambles.

"The school inspections were completed weeks ago, leaks to the media have multiplied, and quite frankly parents have got a right to know the truth.

"Hundreds of parents now have offers for school places next year. Children are about to start their final term before exams, yet the uncertainty goes on."

In his letter to Mr Gove and Mr Wilshaw, the MP said he did not believe that any further delay could be justified given that inspections were conducted several weeks ago.

He wrote: "Leaks to the media have continued, these leaks are destroying public confidence in the integrity of the process.

"Parents are urgently waiting for news, and quite frankly any further delay comes close to treating them with contempt, and as bystanders in decisions in which they are the most important stakeholders."

Numerous reports, quoting anonymous sources, have claimed Ofsted is poised to place several Birmingham schools into special measures after inspections sparked by an unsigned letter purporting to contain details of the alleged takeover plot.

Claims have also emerged that concerns about the management of a school embroiled in the row were first raised with council officials as early as 2008.

Inquiries into allegations prompted by the "Operation Trojan Horse" letter, which was passed anonymously to council officials and teaching unions, are being conducted by several bodies, including West Midlands Police, the Government and Ofsted.

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