I spoke to a boy today who wasn’t himself at all. Not concentrating or doing as well as usual. He wanted to tell me about the cameras and journalists all outside his school. He seemed smaller than usual, slumped and defeated. Why should a 9 year old suffer?
-Tutor of child at a Birmingham School
With the continued aggression against schools located in the Muslim majority areas of Birmingham by the triple effort on the part of the woefully compromised Department for Education (DfE), Birmingham City Council and the ideologically-driven Ofsted, backed by a well-oiled media machine, the discriminatory treatment against the Muslim minority has become ever more acute. Today, Ofsted will be announcing their reports regarding the schools in Birmingham, a critical period for children who are taking exams this week. Michael Gove and Ofsted clearly have their priorities, and the children of Birmingham, quite clearly, are not anywhere the top. The children are suffering and the abuse is coming from the media, Government officials and their weapons-grade government bodies.
Media Attack on Islam
The media continues to play their part as they highlight “evil Muslims” in the media. Their sin seems to be campaigning for justice, adhering to Islam and possessing a beard. In the latter case, the Daily Fail reported, that a “heavily bearded” teacher was encouraging women to wear the veil, in his personal capacity on Facebook. The Daily Fail has blatantly attacked the beliefs of a Muslim, as well as the sign of a Muslim (the beard). Imagine the public reaction if statements highlighting tall hats, or curly hair “flowing” from the heads of Orthodox Jews was made in a sinister article aimed at demonising Jews.
The entire article need not warrant a response because, in the end, the dangerous ideology which seems to be the motivating factor for the author comes to the fore when, citing the neocon extremist Douglas Murray, he calls the anti-Muslim “think-tank” Henry Jackson Society, “respected”. The concerted attack on the Muslim community of Birmingham has been driven by the anti-Islam, neoconservative Michael Gove. He is a signatory to the Statement of Principles of the Henry Jackson Society, whose associate director, Douglas Murray, who has declared the Qur’an and Islam “bad” and stated emphatically that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) “is a very bad man”. He has also stated that,
“Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board.”
His world vision, seems to be manifesting itself through the actions of Gove and William Shawcross and their impact on the Muslim minority.
Elsewhere in the media, with the exception of a few examples, instead of Muslim parents, teachers and governors from Birmingham, experts from the “extremism” industry and agenda-driven advisors are called into the comment on the Trojan Hoax plot:
With orders coming from Michael Gove himself, it seems Ofsted, headed by Michael Wilshaw who has previously been highlighted as a Gove lackey , is on a mission to fulfil Gove’s ideological mandate in schools.
A closer analysis of some of the reports gives a feeling that the reports have been tailored to fulfil a mission brief: to place a previously good or outstanding school into special measures. Previously measured, balanced analysis has given way to negative construction of facts and figures.
In Ofsted’s 2013 report, the school was rated “good” in all the key areas. According to the 2013 report,
“Students make good progress from their low and sometimes very low starting points when they join the school in Year 7. By the time they leave they have reached broadly average standards at GCSE, based on five or more good grades including English and mathematics.”
However, nearly less than a year later, Ofsted in their leaked 2014 report state that,
“From well below average starting points in Year 7, students’ progress is not rapid enough across all subjects”
This, despite the fact that percentage achieving five plus A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and maths GCSEs stood at 72%, with the all-schools average at 59.2%. On top of this, according to DfE statists, last updated in March 2014, Saltley School is the best performing school of its type in a 75 mile radius. And yet, the Ofsted felt it necessary to highlight, by race, the “inadequacy” of achievement,
“Students’ overall achievement is inadequate, particularly in mathematics. In 2013, students of Pakistani heritage made inadequate progress in mathematics, science, history and geography.”
Incidentally, the largest ethnic group by some margin, in the school, is Pakistani; how is it possible for the majority of the students to achieve a high average and yet be “inadequate”?
The comment by Ofsted here seems to be traversing the edge of racism.
Even in 2013, in mathematics, children were acknowledged by Ofsted as having made good progress, so why is that specific timeframe (May 2013) now been viewed so negatively? Any perceived under-achievement was viewed with balanced decorum. For instance, it was acknowledged that mathematics results were lower than English, but this was due to the fact that mathematics GCSE was taken a year earlier. The latest report, however strikes any positives with a neutral or negative tone. Is it because everything is now being viewed with Gove-ian spectacles?
A similar story is visible with the quality of teaching. In 2013,
Teaching is good because in most lessons teachers plan work that is stimulating and challenging for all groups of students… In the very best lessons teachers set high expectations for all groups of students including the most able.
And yet in 2014,
Teachers’ expectations of what students should achieve are not high enough.
The entire section provides for a scathing read which seems to defy the DfE statistics on achievement.
Moving on we can again see a huge shift in the style and tone of the reporting. In 2013, the Ofsted report, under the section of leadership and management, stated that,
“All safeguarding procedures are rigorous and meet requirements. Detailed records are maintained and kept up to date”
Yet, moving some 11 months on, the safeguarding discussion has now moved into the “behaviour and safety of pupils” section of the 2014 report, presumably to further drive the grading of that section down, and has graded it as “inadequate”. The entire section seems to be more rigorously analysed, which seems to indicate that either the procedures in the 2013 inspection were considerably lacking or new practices have been introduced guided by a concerted effort to grade the school as low as possible.
The catalogue of questionable practices and procedural irregularities have already been well-document. These include,
a) Inconsistent procedures,
b) Ofsted leaking confidential reports before being quality assured to Andrew Gilligan and the media,
c) Inspectors asking leading, engineered, questions which produce particular answers, making the students uncomfortable,
c) Possible psychological abuse of a child,
d) Selective assessment by the inspectors (taking pictures of a wall about Islam, ignoring posters about multi-cultural societies),
e) Fabricated statements,
e) Anti-Muslim, biased inspectors as judged from their remarks about “beards” and Muslim men (ignoring the fact that schools was in an area in which the demographic was high in Muslims), leading questions asked of students and even innuendo.
The leaked 2014 Ofsted report for Saltley School is yet more evidence of Ofsted’s lack of credibility and bias in reporting. With the reports set to be officially released today, the question remains, given the “ideologically-driven” Ofsted which has been slammed by educationalists as being at odds with British values, prejudiced and selective investigations, how reliable and how indicative of the reality will these reports be?