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Good evening. Teachers and pupils have hit back at allegations that
Muslim extremists are trying to take over their school in Birmingham.
They claim the education and futures of young people are being damaged by
the controversy. Our special correspondent Peter Wilson spent the
day at Park View Academy and has this exclusive report.
The gates and fences surrounding Park View can seem intimidating. But
it's exactly the same as any modern school. They take security
seriously. We're the first TV camera team to be allowed inside to see the
school for ourselves. Good morning. Good morning.
Park View school is in Alum Rock. One of the most deprived areas of
Birmingham. At one time, the exam results were amongst the poorest in
Britain. Now these children are getting top grades. But this academy
school has been accused by some of becoming increasingly strict along
Islamic principles. These year eight pupils appeared to be segregated.
Girls seperated from the boys. Children sit wherever they want to
sit. I think boys and girls in any school in the country will
automatically sit with the other girls, automatically sit with other
boys. I don't stop these girls or boys sitting anywhere. They just sit
where they like. The white headscarves are the approved hijabs.
But I was told they're not compulsory. It's your choice if you
want to wear it or not. It's not like you have to be forced to wear
it. No matter what you do or what you wear, you are treated equally.
Miss Bibi, wearing the purple headscarf, is a science teacher.
It's exam time. This revision class had boys and girls sat together. The
school is being investigated by the City Council, Ofsted and the
government. These teenagers claim the allegations of extremism could
affected their job prospects in the future. I was very proud of the
school. That we had done so well in such a harsh environment. This area
being a very deprived area. And all of a sudden, it got this bad
publiccity. And I would have a feeling that people would stereotype
me in some kind of way. There is no extremists being taught here. I
mean, there is RE lessons. All religions are taught equally. We do
community cohesion. All religions coming together. People of different
cultures come and live together. But for months, allegations, like
thunder, have been rolling around this school. The best way of our
pupils avoiding becoming extremists is to give them a proper and true
appreciation of their faith. Why, then, have we heard these
allegations about bullying? Even Christianity being denigrated in
assemblies? I have no idea why people would choose to make those
allegations. Clearly, some of them are disgruntled ex`members of staff.
When you are taking a school from one which has very low expectations
of pupils to incredibly high expectations of pupils, some people
along the way are going to be uncomfortable with that. Park view
School has become the symbol for the whole Trojan Horse saga. `` Park
View. 25 Birmingham schools being investigated, with 21 of them
currently waiting for Inspection reports from Ofsted. Children and
staff today were ignoring all of that and trying to concentrate on
passing their exams. Peter's here in the studio. What are
your feelings tonight after spending a long time at the school today? It
is a very impressive school. They wanted to be transparent and I felt
that I was able to go where ever I wanted, ask questions, meet pupils
and get a real feeling for what was going on there. And the school
itself says, if it has caused any problems, it is because it has
reflected parents' wishes, 98% of those pupils come from Muslim
families. What is likely to happen next?
We will get the Ofsted report into the school and others, getting an
understanding what is behind some of these allegations and some real
facts, but this is a huge political story and will only get bigger.
Thank you. The fund started by teenage cancer
patient Stephen Sutton has tonight talked ?3.7 million. `` has to know
went over ?3.7 million. Donations have poured in since the 19`year`old
from Staffordshire died yesterday morning.
Across Burntwood, a flurry of yellow ribbons have appeared overnight to
remember Stephen Sutton. But it's his old school that has become the
focal point for tributes. Although Stephen insisted his life be
measured by achievements, and not time, across an hour, Burntwood
sheared their thoughts on there now famous son. `` shared. He's been
absolutely awesome. We're so proud of him. I think, as a nation, we are
proud of him as well. He just lived his life to the full and tried to
raise as much money for Teenage Cancer Trust. It's just amazing. And
I think his memory should live on. I live over near Worcester, but I've
come over. As I was in the area, I couldn't have not driven those extra
few miles to pay tribute to somebody that is touched millions, really.
Amongst the sadness, there are signs that Stephen's spirit lives on.
Stephen's keeping us going. Because we know that is what Stephen would
have wanted us to do. There are plans for the troll tattoo that
Stephen insisted on to become an unofficial symbol for fundraising in
Burntwood. But today was about Remembering the local lad who gave
so much. He's brought it back together. And hopefully, it will be
for the good. Do you know what I mean? He will not be forgotten
about. He will be carried on. For everybody here. Throughout our time,
the message from Burntwood was the same. Stephen Sutton inspired many
and made his hometown crowd. A 19`year`old who has left a truly
remarkable legacy. That's all for tonight. We'll be back in Breakfast
tomorrow morning from six. So it's goodnight from me and I'll leave you
with the weather now from Rebecca Wood.
Thank you. It has certainly been a pleasant day to day, temperatures
making it up to the 20s widely. As we head through the next few days,
those temperatures are going to continue to climb. Tomorrow promises
to be pleasant as well. Fine and dry with brightness and temperatures
really starting to climb. Overnight tonight, we do have some patchy
cloud about, which will help keep temperatures up a little, and where
we get pockets of clear skies, temperatures will fall. Like wind,
so it could drop to chilly temperatures in the countryside, but
these values are for towns and cities, so a mild night. Starting
off tomorrow, chilly start, then it starts to brighten up, good spells
sunshine through the day, loud here and there, but not at all with
temperatures up into the 20s, possibly 21 and 22 with light wind,
and the National forecast next, I will
prospect for the weekend, which shows we keep it fine, dry and warm.
And we can leave you with the national picture.
More warm weather on the way, today almost felt like June across the
country. Temperatures did hover around 22 degrees, the average for