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chilly old week, George. Rais thank you. That's all from the BBC
We are victims of a witchhunt, says a governor over claims his school
has been infiltrated by Muslim radicals. This is a completdly
anonymous document which maligns my good work and my good name. The
chair of governors speaks to us exclusively after the alleg`tions
earlier this month. Under trial in Birmingham, ` new
prosthetic limb that could transform the lives of thousands of alputees.
Although I was active beford, I am even more active now. All aboard the
heritage railway clocking up record numbers across the Cotswolds.
It is the biggest game in the club's history. Join me livd at
Saint Andrews, where Birmingham city ladies play in a Champions League
clash. And all of the weather detahls for
you later. Good evening. A school governor says
allegations that he is behind a radical Muslim plot aimed at making
schools work to more Islamic principles are a witchhunt.
Birmingham City Council is currently investigating a letter which claims
the plan, known as Operation Trojan Horse, has already affected
leadership at four schools. The letter names Tahir Alam, ch`irman of
governors at Park View Acaddmy. Officials from the Department for
Education are currently at school, saying they are monitoring serious
allegations. School watchdog Ofsted is also carrying out an inspection.
Our special correspondent Pdter Wilson has this exclusive rdport.
Business as usual at Park vhew, the start of a new school week, but
every weekend stories in thd national papers full of alldgations
and accusations. But teachers, although polite, were making no
comment. I am sure if you make an appointment
they will be happy to talk to you. An unsigned letter known as the
Trojan Horse plot prompted ` series of investigations. It may bd a hoax
but it includes a five`point plan to install radical Muslim governors.
One of the few names mentioned is Tahir Alam. Today he spoke out for
the first time. This document is an signed, undated,
completely anonymous and it maligns my good name and my good work that I
have done in education for lany many years. I do not subscrhbe to
the strategy outlined in thdre so I reject that totally. Are yot an
extremist? That is how you have been painted in some parts of thd media.
I am far from that. I find that amusing because I have a tr`ck
record of working with lots of different organisations and we are
very open and transparent in the way that we do things. If the
authorities were to force you out, what would be lost? It is an
example, it is a trend making institution in that it is a very
deprived area and we have ghven these children hope and opportunity.
The exam results a decade ago where amongst the worst in the cotntry.
Now they are one of the best in the city, with a pass rate of 70%. But
Ofsted are looking closely `t the management of the school, and one MP
believes the authorities should be lifting the lid on how the school is
run. I think we have to wait for the
enquiry, the inspection to take but there are serious concerns that need
to be dealt with before we love forward.
Alum Rock is one of the most deprived areas in Britain. Three
quarters of the pupils recehve free school meals. So what do thd parents
make of the controversy surrounding their children's school?
A lot of kids coming out of this school am aware they are ending up
now, colleges, universities, into decent jobs, compared to whdre they
were before, I think they should lay off the school. Three of us have
been here, it is brilliant `nd I don't believe any of it.
The Education Secretary was in Birmingham last week. It is thought
that the pressure on the City Council and Ofsted to investigate
Park View has come from concerns within his office.
I think it is probably best if we talk about Birmingham on another
occasion because there are inevitable sensitivities about it.
Ofsted won't comment on the latest reports that the school could be
taken over. In a statement the school say they are cooperating
fully with the ongoing investigations but they say they are
disappointed that any detailed purporting to be part of those
investigations is reaching the public before the report is
published. The school says ht will not comment any further.
In another statement, the ldader of Birmingham City Council say they are
reviewing the way schools are run in the city after the anonymous Trojan
horse letter. You are watching Midlands Today from
the BBC. Good to have you whth us this evening. Still ahead, we are
off to the theatre. From Stratford to the west dnd, the
1000th performance of Matilda in insurers the success of the RSC ``
ensures. And we will be looking at some of
the captivating scenes from thousands of pictures of Birmingham
taken by you. A Birmingham professor is tdsting a
revolutionary new implant for patients who have had an amputation
above the knee. If it works and they can control infections, it hs
believed it could help amputee soldiers. Here is our health
correspondent, Michele Padu`no. Nestled near Kington on the
Herefordshire border with W`les there is not much in the wax of
disabled access, particularly when you have your own smallholdhng.
Michael Lloyd had his leg alputated due to bone cancer at just 21. Given
the chance to test a new attachment for an artificial leg, he ldapt at
the chance. It is fabulous. It has changed my
life completely, it is much easier to do even small, everyday tasks. I
can walk as far as I want over hilly ground, nothing stops me.
His thighbone was shortened by three quarters of an inch here at
Birmingham's Royal Orthopaedic Hospital and the attachment grafted
into the bone. Mr Lloyd has antibiotics for infection, but
surgeons see real potential. One of the things about people with
amputations is that they test their limbs to the limit and I wotld not
be surprised if one of thesd did not get into the Paralympics.
Since Mr Lloyd's operation, silver technology has been used to reduce
infection. Professor Grimer believes in future that this type of implant
could combine with limbs th`t move electronically.
This is a standard prosthethc leg. It would fit completely over the
thigh and suction holds it hn place. Patients say they get chafing,
sometimes even pressure sords, and can't wear them for several days.
Michael's now has enough sensation to drive with a clutch.
The first time for 34 years I have driven a manual vehicle and I can
feel the clutch biting. 1960, Massey Ferguson. Almost as old as le but
not quite as good condition. But, never mind horsepower, the
greatest benefit will always be Shanks's pony.
And Michele joins me now. This has clearly helped Michael immensity `
how likely is this to becomd available?
It is early days. They have only treated 60 patients worldwide with
this and clearly at the beghnning it was not working properly. They have
found this new silver technhque which seems to be promising from now
on but the trial will take `nother year to 18 months to finish and only
at that point will the comp`ny, Stanmore implants, know whether they
can take it forward. It could revolutionise the lives of xoung
servicemen and women? Clearly the younger the patient is, the more
they are going to get out of it I believe one of the earliest people
treated was a Falklands war veteran. There is also the possibility that
Paralympians like Oscar Pistorius could use this in future.
It survived two landslides which cost more than ?1.5 million to
repair, but today one of our heritage railways is celebr`ting,
with a record`breaking year for passengers. 86,000 people travelled
on the Gloucestershire Warwhckshire Railway last year, and todax Railway
staff stepped up their camp`ign to attract even more visitors. Bob
Hockenhull reports. This steam train will represent a
renaissance in Cotswold tourism if all goes to plan. The
Gloucestershire Warwickshird Railway has been run by volunteers since the
line closed in 1979. The tr`ck currently runs 12 miles between
Lavant and Cheltenham but today delegates for the tourist industry
heard about ambitious plans to extend the line a further two miles
to Broadway. We are lucky in that the rahlway
corridor has largely been preserved. That is great not just
for the community but for local transport links and for bushnesses
as a whole. Shares in the lhne are being offered to the public to help
pay for the extension. The bridges to Broadway appeal aims to raise
half ?1 million by October. It has already raised ?340,000. It will be
three years before the railway pulls into Broadway station for the first
time since 1960. Before then there is a full schedule is `` of repairs
planned, to be carried out by professionals and volunteers. The
Heritage line has had its sdtbacks, two landslides led to its p`rtial
closure but ?2 million was donated by the public and when it rdopened
last year it carried a record 8 ,000 passengers. It is hoped that opening
the Rhine to roadway will boost the whole area. `` the line. A steam
railway will attract a lot of people and when you get people looking
around and travelling on thd line, it will bring business to the
villages. Once Broadway is reached, the railway enthusiasts hopd they
can extend further to Stratford and then it really will be the
Gloucestershire Warwickshird Railway.
We are victims of a rare `` a witchhunt says a governor over some
claims his school is being infiltrated by Muslim radic`ls.
Shefali will be here shortlx with your detailed weather forec`st. And
also in tonight's program... A big European night at St @ndrew's,
as Birmingham City Ladies t`ke on Arsenal in the Champions Le`gue We
are there live. It is the children's story of an
extraordinary girl with nasty parents that has now become a
massive hit on the West End and Broadway. Matilda the music`l has
just celebrated its 1000 performance with sell`out audiences, but it
began life in Stratford`upon`Avon and its Midlands origins ard now
guaranteeing the success of new projects with the Royal Shakespeare
Company. Here is Joan Cummins. Matilda, the adaptation of ` Roald
Dahl classic by the Royal Shakespeare Company, is plahn to
sell`out audiences across the world and has plans to open in Australia
next year, but the musical journey began in the Midlands.
Mathilde was born in Stratford`upon`Avon. More than
80,000 people saw it in its three`month run and it was
transferred to the West End and New York and more than 1.75 million
people have now seen it, ensuring the success of the RSC.
Everything we put on stage hs made in the area around Stratford.
And RSC adaptation of Les Mhs was transferred in the 80s before it
gained success but the RSC hs determined to hold on to its made in
Stratford production of Mathlda with production profits funding
community RSC projects. The income lets us do things we have `` we
would not be able to do othdrwise, like streaming which had thd second
into schools. `` Richard thd second. The 1000 performance was marked with
a preshow cake for the cast and praise from the delighted atdience.
You cannot watch that and kdep your mouth shut, it is hysterical, I
filled up with tears. There is a great mix of adult and youth, it is
a great mixture. Best thing I have ever seen.
Roald Dahl's widow has watched Matilda's journey and emotionally
told us her husband would h`ve been proud of the RSC's version.
It is a miracle. I mean, yot know, it was the first interpretation of
his works that I think he would be thrilled.
Fabulous, and congratulations. Time for sport, and a big nhght for
Birmingham City Ladies. Dan Pallett is live for us now at St Andrew s.
Yes, European football is b`ck at the home of the Blues. Birmhngham
City Ladies are taking on Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions
League quarterfinal. You can see the girls warming up here. Kick`off is
at 7pm. It is the second tile they have played at St Andrew's `nd
reflects the rising profile of the women's game. Nick Clitherod
reports. It is their moment in the St
Andrew's spotlight, and Birlingham City Ladies are determined to seize
it. Because tonight's game `gainst Arsenal is the biggest the club has
ever faced. I don't think I can explain it. Up
to now it is the furthest wd have got in this competition and to go
further would just be a dre`m come true for people.
Back in November they celebrated their first ever game at St Andrew's
with victory against Zorky Krasnogorsk from Russia. It was a
wonderful night for the plaxers But in the months since Birmingham city
have lost some of their top players to other clubs, while Arsen`l have
brought in other players from Japan. Blues have even lost goalkedper Mary
Earps, who was only modelling their new kit last month. At least Karen
Carney, who joined the club at 1, is still with the Blues. Shd may
have won 85 England caps but right now nothing would give her lore
satisfaction than beating Arsenal, over two legs.
We are not a high spending team but we produce young players and when we
do produce we don't half produce. The team we have got, the
youngsters, in a couple of xears or even one year, the big teams will be
trying to tap them because H know they are that good.
So tonight in true Blues tr`dition Karen and Emily will be aimhng to
keep right on to the end of the road, a road which ends with the
Champions League final in Lhsbon in May.
Let's speak to the proud cltb chair chairman `` chairman. It dods not
get much bigger than this. @re the girls confident? I think we are the
underdogs obviously but over the last three years the top two clubs
are Arsenal and Birmingham. There have been some changes in the
playing staff but we are confident. The first test is tonight. @ few
scores to settle, they just beat you to the league title a coupld of