School in Whitechapel hits back at council amid ‘extremist’ claims

Kobi Nazrul Primary School

Kobi Nazrul Primary School - Credit: Archant

School governors facing the sack over poor exam results at a Whitechapel school have hit back at council criticism amid accusations of Islamic extremism on its board.

An ongoing row over Tower Hamlets Council’s plans to replace all 15 members of the board of governors at Kobi Nazrul Primary School took a strange turn this week, with the board and the council blaming each other for the school’s drop in standards.

Senior members of the board released a statement saying: “At best the local authority has been incompetent and at worst wilfully negligent and complicit in the school’s regrettable decline.”

Board chair Masoom Chowdhury said the council moved the school’s head teacher to another failing school for four days a week in 2012, causing a decline in standards, and said it has since blamed the school to hide this initial mistake.

He said: “The Mayor has used our school for political campaigning. He got involved just in January 2014. In December we wrote to him to ask for a meeting but he didn’t respond.”

Mayor Lutfur Rahman declined to respond to the claim, referring the Advertiser to a council statement.

The picture became murkier still as the BBC reported that the board has been infiltrated by an “Islamic extremist”, after it asked the council for information about possible “Trojan horse” style plots, similar to recent allegations in Birmingham.

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The board denies the allegations around Mohammed Abdul ­Kuddus, a governor and former board chairman who is believed to be a member of Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

A board spokesman said there was “no evidence of anything related to Trojan Horse” and said the BBC was “demonising” Muslims and the school.

The council declined to comment on the allegations, but said its concern about the school was to do with its education standards.

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School chiefs face the sack at ‘failing’ Whitechapel primary