No Bradford schools are being specifically investigated over an alleged hardline Islamic plot to force out governors and head teachers out, the city’s education director revealed last night.
In Birmingham the number of schools investigated over the so-called Operation Trojan allegations has now broadened to 25. And yesterday Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore said Bradford had similar issues.
The Telegraph & Argus reported yesterday that Bradford Council had sacked all the governors at Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College in Bradford Moor and replaced them with an Interim Executive Board.
But any links between that move and Operation Trojan Horse have also been denied. Birmingham City Council has appointed a new chief advisor to directly handle at least 200 complaints received in relation to the Operation Trojan Horse allegations.
Its investigation, running in parallel to a separate inquiry by the Department for Education is due to initially report back in May.
Speaking of wider national implications, Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore confirmed it is in contact with Bradford Council about the matter.
Sir Albert added: “There are certainly issues in Bradford which have similarities with the issues being spoken about in Birmingham.”
But Michael Jameson, strategic director of children's services at Bradford Council said there were no direct links between the Birmingham investigation and the city’s schools.
“West Yorkshire Police and Bradford Council are aware of the claims made in an anonymous letter sent to Birmingham Council several months ago,” Mr Jameson said.
“The allegations in the letter are currently being looked into by the authorities in Birmingham.
“However, we work very closely with West Yorkshire Police and will continue to liaise regarding any potential issues that might arise locally.”
Councillor Ralph Berry, the executive for children’s services, added: “Laisterdyke and its current situation was not as a result of any links to the agenda in Birmingham.
“We have been monitoring the school and the role of its governing body as a whole and identified that the governing body was not fulfilling its requirements in moving the school forward quickly enough.”