School inspectors have put five schools in special measures after deeming them "inadequate" and putting pupils at risk of extremism. After an unprecedented 21 Ofsted inspections of Birmingham schools, following fears of a "Trojan horse" plot to turn schools into recruiting grounds for extremists surfaced earlier this year, inspectors on Monday released reports that found evidence of religious conservatism including the setting-up of a madrassa using school funds, the cancellation of Christmas celebrations, the removal of arts and music lessons, and an inability to develop an "understanding of the different customs, traditions or religions that exist in Britain".
At Oldknow academy which has 600 pupils on its roll, inspectors found that school governors had used the primary school's budget to subsidise a trip to Saudi Arabia "for only Muslim staff and pupils". The Middle East country does not allow non-Muslims to its holy sites.
Staff at the academy, which has links with a school in Saudi Arabia, could not tell inspectors whether certain teaching materials had been properly vetted and said that the content in the newly introduced second Islamic assembly was not properly monitored.