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Schools watchdog to meet parents

The head of Ofsted has agreed to meet a group of parents from some of the 21 schools caught up in the so-called Trojan Horse inquiry.

Sir Michael Wilshaw made the pledge after meeting several Birmingham MPs to discuss community concerns at Ofsted reports which found a "culture of fear and intimidation" had developed in some schools.

Inspection reports published last Monday found that ten of the 21 schools require improvement, while five others were rated inadequate and placed in special measures.

The inspections were conducted in March, April and early May after allegations emerged of a plot to take over schools in predominantly Muslim areas by forcing the adoption of strict Islamic practices.

Confirming that Sir Michael is willing to meet with pupils' parents to address their concerns, Ofsted said:"Sir Michael had a constructive meeting this week with a number of Birmingham MPs to discuss the findings from the 21 inspection reports.

"He agreed to consider how best to meet a request from some MPs for him to address the concerns of some of their constituents, including the suggestion of meeting with a small representative group of parents.

"He made it clear that both he and his team are willing to meet with parents and that Ofsted has a key role to play in helping the schools to improve."

In an advice note provided to Education Secretary Michael Gove last Monday, Sir Michael said evidence provided to Ofsted showed some governors had recently exerted "inappropriate influence on policy and the day-to-day running" of several schools in Birmingham.

Sir Michael also claimed Birmingham City Council had failed to support a number of schools in their efforts to keep pupils safe from the potential risks of radicalisation and extremism.

"In several of the schools inspected, children are being badly prepared for life in modern Britain," he said.

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