15/05/2014 Midlands Today


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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




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