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Teachers get indefinite classroom bans over pupils 'fed a diet of Islam'

Published 19/02/2016

Park View has been renamed the Rockwood Academy
Park View has been renamed the Rockwood Academy

Two teachers who worked at a "Trojan Horse"-linked school where pupils were "fed on a diet of Islam" have been banned from the classroom for life.

Inamulhaq Anwar, aged 34, and 41-year-old Akeel Ahmed had denied a central allegation they had agreed with others, on or before March of 2014, to the inclusion of "an undue amount of religious influence in pupils' education".

At the end of last year a professional standards panel handed both the former staff members at Park View Academy in Alum Rock, Birmingham, interim teaching bans after finding the allegation proven, while a final decision was awaited.

Today the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) announced Mr Anwar would serve an indefinite ban for a minimum period of six years.

His former colleague, Mr Ahmed will serve a ban with a minimum term of three years.

The decision means that neither man is allowed to teach in any school, sixth form college, youth accommodation or children's home in England.

Both Mr Anwar and Mr Ahmed can apply to have the bans set aside but only after the minimum terms have elapsed.

Brian Tytherleigh, the Department for Education (DfE) decision-maker appointed by the Education Secretary, said: "Mr Inamulhaq Anwar is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England.

"He may apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until 18 February 2022, six years from the date of this order at the earliest.

"This is not an automatic right to have the prohibition order removed."

In relation to Mr Ahmed, Mr Tytherleigh added: "He may apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until 18 February 2019, three years from the date of this order at the earliest."

Both men have 28 days to appeal against their bans to the High Court.

Last November an NCTL panel recommended teaching bans, after concluding pupils had been "immersed in orthodox Islamic doctrine" through measures including the use of the school loudspeaker system to broadcast a daily call-to-prayer to Park View's pupils.

The panel also found while there was no formal agreement to change the character of the schools involved, there had been a coordinated attempt at the state-funded schools to include "undue religious influence".

It further found no evidence of Islamic "extremism" at work in the classrooms.

In all, 13 former staff members including ex-headteachers at Park View Educational Trust (PVET) and Oldknow Academy have been facing misconduct hearings, as a result of scandal's fallout.

The panel said it had heard "credible" evidence from a staff member who described Mr Ahmed and Mr Anwar's roles as that of "generals" in contributing to making sure pupils were "fed a diet of Islam" which had in turn "stifled their development as normal teenagers".

The panel also found the men's conduct tended to undermine tolerance and respect for the faith and belief of others.

Separately, Mr Anwar was also found to have breached proper recruitment procedures at Park View's sister school Nansen Primary, in hiring a man he knew personally - Razwan Faraz.

Mr Faraz, former deputy head of Nansen, is currently facing allegations that he breached professional standards of conduct as a teacher in a separate hearing.

Park View - part of PVET - was at the centre of anonymous allegations which claimed there was a wider plot by Muslim hard-liners to take control of several Birmingham schools.

The allegations sparked investigations by several agencies including the DfE and Ofsted.

Following the scandal Park View Academy was placed in special measures by Ofsted. It has since been renamed Rockwood Academy.

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