The main findings outlined in Ofsted’s advice note to Michael Gove are:
A culture of fear and intimidation has developed in some of the schools since their previous inspection. Some headteachers, including those with a proud record of raising standards, said that they have been marginalised or forced out of their jobs. As a result, some schools previously judged to be good or outstanding have experienced high levels of staff turbulence, low staff morale and a rapid decline in their overall effectiveness.
Some headteachers reported that there has been an organised campaign to target certain schools in Birmingham in order to alter their character and ethos.
The evidence shows that governors have recently exerted inappropriate influence on policy and the day-to-day running of several schools in Birmingham. In other schools, leaders have struggled to resist attempts by governing bodies to use their powers to change the school in line with governors’ personal views.
Birmingham City Council has failed to support a number of schools in their efforts to keep pupils safe from the potential risks of radicalisation and extremism. It has not dealt adequately with complaints from headteachers about the conduct of governors.
Her Majesty’s Inspectors identified breaches of funding agreements in a number of academies.
In several of the schools inspected, children are being badly prepared for life in modern Britain.