Trojan Horse hearings: Park View teachers banned for ‘undue religious influence’
Two teachers from Park View school in Birmingham have been banned indefinitely from the classroom after being found to have an “undue amount of religious influence” on the school.
Last month, Jahangir Akbar was the first member of staff to face disciplinary action after his school, Oldknow Academy, was implicated in the alleged takeover of the city’s schools by hardline Muslims, known as the Trojan Horse affair.
Both Oldknow, now Ark Chemberlain, and Park View are non-religious schools.
Both Mr Ahmed and Mr Anwar were part of a phone messaging service WhatsApp group message, called Park View Brotherhood, in which a number of contentious messages about the school were sent.
Ahmed was the school’s collective worship co-ordinator from 2009 to 2013 and was in charge of the call to prayer. According to the NCTL’s findings, school assemblies were “extensive” in their use of Arabic and therefore reduced accessibility for non-Muslim pupils.
Ahmed was found to have failed to teach about contraception and safe sex.
The NCTL said: “The reforming of the school curriculum created a number of safeguarding concerns with pupils prevented from receiving proper instruction as to contraception and HIV/AIDs.”
The panel heard Mr Anwar, a contributor to the WhatsApp group, used the social media platform to describe homosexuality as ‘disgusting’ and a ‘filthy crime’, and he was criticised in the NCTL report for failing to respond to other postings “that may also be regarded as unacceptable”.
The panel found Mr Anwar had made a “serious departure” from the personal and professional conduct elements of the teachers’ standards. The NCTL also said he had committed misconduct “seriously affecting” the education and/or wellbeing of pupils.
It also found his actions had undermined the British values of “mutual respect and tolerance of those with other faiths and beliefs”.
The NCTL found both men reformed the curriculum to exclude the “proper teaching” of sex and relationship education.
The panel found all allegations against Mr Ahmed proved. Allegations included organising and/or delivering assemblies and/or meetings of an overly religious nature, encouraging the pupils to pray during the school day, and separating boys from girls. The NCTL said this undermined the tolerance and respect for the faith and beliefs of others.
Allegations of improper recruitment practice from Mr Anwar were also proven, in that he failed to declare a conflict of interest in knowing the deputy headteacher applicant while he was on the recruitment panel, and failed to prevent discrimination in the appointment process the deputy headteacher.
The NCTL also said he undermined the tolerance and/or respect for the faith and beliefs of others, although it was made clear the allegations were in “no way concerned with violent extremism”.
Both men denied all of the allegations.