Trojan Horse scandal disruption 'may have hit exam grades of pupils'


There is a risk that the exam grades of pupils at schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse scandal may have been affected as a result of the disruption caused by the affair, it has been suggested.

Sir Mike Tomlinson, education commissioner for Birmingham, said there was undoubtedly an impact on the education of some children in the city.

He also said he had banned the term "Trojan Horse" amid concerns that it was having an impact on the morale of teachers.

The so-called Trojan Horse plot, which came to light in 2014, centred on an alleged move by a small group of hardline Muslims to seize control of a small number of Birmingham schools.

The allegations sparked investigations by several agencies including the Department for Education and Ofsted.

Sir Mike was appointed commissioner to work with Birmingham City Council and oversee improvements to education in the city.

Speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, he said: "I've been talking to a lot of young people in the schools concerned; they are very, very ambitious for themselves. 

"Parents are ambitious for them. What they wanted was a good education. They didn't want all of what was happening around them. 

"That has undoubtedly disrupted the education and possible achievement of a number of young people coming into this year's examinations, sadly."

After the session, on combating extremism in inner city schools, Sir Mike said: "All I am saying there is a risk, that's all. Whether the risk materialises, we will know some time in the autumn."

Sir Mike also told delegates that there is no a very high proportion of outstanding and good schools in Birmingham, and that overall performance is above the national average.

On why he has banned the term "Trojan Horse", Sir Mike said: "The term that was originally used about the letter is not in official use now. It has disappeared as a term, we refer more broadly to schools that are vulnerable."

"It wasn't helpful to the schools, it wasn't helpful to the city. It's not used any more."

He added: "Some of the schools that were first of all caught up in that, it was ultimately proven that they weren't involved at all. 

"Secondly, without a doubt, that term was beginning to have an adverse impact on the morale of teachers in Birmingham and equally an impact on the recruitment of people to Birmingham. Not just to the schools but the authority itself."