Trojan Horse teachers deny all charges at NCTL hearings

Trojan Horse teachers deny all charges at NCTL hearings

Ten teachers have appeared at disciplinary hearings over allegations of professional misconduct in schools linked to the Trojan Horse scandal.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) hearings, which started last month, will run until Christmas at venues across the West Midlands.

The teachers are from either Park View, Nansen Primary or Golden Hillock schools in Birmingham, all formerly run by the Park View Educational Trust.

They deny allegations relating to “the inclusion of an undue amount of religious influence at the schools”.

The testimony of witnesses at the various hearings has been widely reported in the national media.

The hearings follow five investigations by agencies, including the Department for Education (DfE), Ofsted and West Midlands Police, sparked by an anonymous letter in 2014 that claimed hardline Islamists were plotting to “take over” Birmingham schools.

Only the most serious cases are heard by an NCTL panel as most misconduct cases are dealt with by a school’s internal disciplinary procedures.

A panel of three – which must include a teacher and a lay person – hears evidence before deciding if each allegation has been proven.

Panel members then make a judgment and recommendation to the secretary of state, who makes the final decision. It is then published on the government’s website within two weeks.

If the allegations are proven, the teachers could be banned from the classroom.

A report by the education select committee in March this year said no evidence of systematic extremism or radicalisation was found by any of the various Trojan Horse inquiries.

It also criticised the DfE for its handling of the affair, saying inquires by too many agencies led to a “sense of crisis and confusions”.

The department said the committee report “downplayed the seriousness of events” and “risked undermining the government’s efforts to tackle extremism”.

Tahir Alam, chair of governors at Park View Education Trust before his resignation after the inquiries, has already been banned from having any further involvement with schools.

In the first order of its kind, education secretary Nicky Morgan gave a direction prohibiting Mr Alam from taking part in “the management of an independent school”.

The direction states that he was found to have engaged in “conduct that is aimed at undermining fundamental British values”.

Mr Alam told the Guardian there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations. “All. . . have been put forward on the basis of hearsay and I strongly contest them.”

NCTL hearings are reserved only for qualified teachers and can remove their teacher status, as well as imposing bans on future work with young people.