Birmingham council
Birmingham City Council (Reuters)

Council authorities in Birmingham are investigating an alleged plot by Islamic fundamentalists to take over schools in the city.

A letter sent to Birmingham City Council late last year outlines the plot called 'Operation Trojan Horse', and claims that four schools have already been "taken over".

The letter suggests turning parents in areas with large Salafist conservative Muslim populations against teachers by telling them "that the school is corrupting their children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children pray Christian prayers and mixed swimming and sports".

It describes the operation as a "long-term plan and one which we are sure will lead to great success in taking over a number of schools and ensuring they are run on strict Islamic principles".

Apparently written from one fundamentalist to another, it describes how the plan has proved a success in four Birmingham schools, and could be followed in Bradford, where headteachers would be forced out, and the schools turned into academies through lobbying.

They wrote: "We have caused a great amount of organised disruption in Birmingham and as a result now have our own academies and are on the way to getting rid of more headteachers and taking over their schools. Whilst sometimes the practices we use may not seem the correct way to do things you must remember that this is say 'jihad' and as such using all measures possible to win the war is acceptable."

The letter names Adderley Primary, Saltley School, Park View School and Regents Park Community Primary School, as schools where they have already had "success".

There was a surprise Ofsted inspection of Park View last week over claims that non-Muslim employees were being discriminated against. Police have re-opened an investigation at Adderley Primary over "faked" resignation letters from staff.

The heads of Satley School and Regents Park Primary both quit over the summer after the relationship between the leadership and governors at Satley broke down, and allegations of SAT cheating at Regents Park.

The letter outlines a plan to "plant the seed" of SAT cheating at Regents Park Primary.

One of the alleged plotters, Tahir Alam – a former chair of the education committee of the Muslim Council of Britain - denounced the letter to the Guardian as "a malicious fabrication and completely untrue."

Birmingham Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe told the Independent that Trojan Horse was not the first plot by religious groups to destabilise local schools.

McCabe told the Independent: "This is not the first time this has happened. The difference here is the suggestion in the paper, and I know no different, that this is some sort of concerted organisation and strategy paper. I know heads that have been suspended or driven out because of the enormous pressure they are put under by certain groups or cliques trying to usurp them."

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We are aware of the serious allegations made in relation to some local authority schools and an academy in Birmingham, and are in close contact with a number of parties, including the police, the council and teaching unions. Birmingham City Council are investigating all these allegations and we are also looking specifically at the Park View academy.

"All schools are subject to a tough inspection framework and must meet the high standards and requirements rightly expected. We will not hesitate to take firm action if these are not being met – in particular where we become aware of issues of concern in an academy we will move quickly to resolve these. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."