Birmingham & Black Country

Trojan Horse: Oldknow Academy to join national chain

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Media captionGovernors at Oldknow Academy were accused of promoting a "narrow, faith-based" ideology

One of five schools placed in special measures by Ofsted as a result of the so-called "Trojan Horse" affair is to join a national academy chain.

Education charity Ark will take over Oldknow Academy from September.

The school, in Small Heath, was rated "inadequate" by the education watchdog, which accused governors of promoting a "narrow, faith-based" ideology.

Ark said Oldknow will "remain a local, non-selective, non-denominational, mixed school".

The charity, which runs 31 schools nationwide, including four in Birmingham, said it will consult with parents, staff and pupils over its plans.

'Strong sponsor'

It said Rebecca Garratt, head of Ark Tindal Primary in Balsall Heath, would lead Oldknow's transition.

Image caption Head teacher Bhupinder Kondal will remain in charge at Oldknow after she was reinstated

Ms Garratt acknowledged Oldknow, which was previously rated "outstanding", had been through a "difficult period".

"Our energy will be focussed on the future and ensuring the best possible education for students," she said.

Chair of governors, Councillor Barry Henley, said the school would "work closely" with Ark "to ensure standards of education are what they should be, and there is effective oversight of what is happening in school".

Headteacher Bhupinder Kondal, who was reinstated in August will stay in charge at Oldknow.

National Association of Head Teachers general secretary Russell Hobby said the union was pleased Oldknow had found "proper help from a strong sponsor".

"The school has been through a difficult time but has a talented principal who will be able to build it back up given patience and support," he said.

The academy was one of 21 schools in Birmingham investigated and it was subsequently found that a small group of governors had tried to "make significant changes to the ethos and culture of the academy without full consultation".

Last month, chief inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw said Oldknow and four other "inadequate" schools had not improved.

He criticised Oldknow's process for recruiting parent governors, despite concerns highlighted in the earlier inspection.

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