Britain Bans Muslim Teachers And Governors In Alleged “Trojan Horse” Islamic School Takeover Plot


Powers introduced by Education Secretary Michael Gove to ban Birmingham plotters – Razwan Faraz, Monzoor Hussain, Shahid Akmal and Tahir Alam – from all UK schools for life.

LONDON – Teachers and governors involved in the alleged “Trojan Horse” Islamic takeover plot face life-long bans from all schools in Britain under new powers being taken by Michael Gove, reported UK’s The Telegraph.

Gove, the Education Secretary, wants to use the new powers to ensure that anyone found to have been involved in the plot – allegedly designed to Islamise secular state education in Birmingham – is prevented from working in schools elsewhere in the country.

He is also considering removing all state schools in Birmingham from the local education authority’s control, The Telegraph understands.

Tomorrow, Oftsed reports on the 21 Birmingham schools at the centre of the allegations will finally be published. Six are certain to be rated “inadequate” and placed in “special measures”, and about 10 others are likely to be rated as “requiring improvement”, the second-lowest grade.

In a sign of how important the affair has become, Gove will also address the House of Commons on the subject. In a strongly worded statement, written in close consultation with the Prime Minister, he will say that Ofsted’s findings substantiate his and others’ concerns about the schools.

He will make clear that the alleged plot was motivated by Islamist ideology at odds with fundamental British values.

Those schools rated as inadequate face having their governors and leadership removed, subject to various appeals.

However, The Telegraph has learnt that Gove wants to go to further, and to ensure that anyone found to have orchestrated the plot is prevented from managing other schools in future or even starting new ones.

New ministerial powers, expected to come into force later this year, will allow the Education Secretary to impose an indefinite bar on anyone whose conduct has undermined “fundamental British values” including “individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.

Such people would be excluded from any role in the management of any school, state or private.

Those who have been linked to the alleged plot so far include: Tahir Alam, chairman of the trust that runs the three schools at the centre of the affair; Monzoor Hussain, head of Park View School; Razwan Faraz, deputy head of Nansen Primary School; Shahid Akmal, the school’s chairman of governors; and Jahangir Akbar and Achmad da Costa, the acting head and chairman of governors at Oldknow.

All have close links to each other and have been accused of imposing hardline values on their schools, although Alam and the others continue to deny the existence of a plot.

Gove is also contemplating drastic action against Birmingham city council, which could lose responsibility for all schools in the city. However, any such moves are unlikely to be announced until the conclusion of a separate investigation by Peter Clarke, the education commissioner, at the end of July.

The powers to bar teachers and governors for life were not drawn up specifically in response to Trojan Horse. They were part of new Independent Educational Provision in England (Prohibition on Participation in Management) Regulations 2014 that were quietly published in draft form on the Department for Education website in February, before news of the alleged plot became public, with a consultation closing in April.

Academies count as independent schools for the purposes of the new rules.

However, one senior departmental source made clear that Mr Gove was considering invoking them to deal with anyone found to have been involved in Trojan Horse.

The source said: “These powers are not just related to Trojan Horse, but they will be extremely useful for dealing with those implicated in Trojan Horse.

“It is a big widening of the existing power, which only applies to those who can be accused of criminality or professional misconduct. This allows us to act against extremism, whether it is Islamism or the BNP. It is a life ban.”

The new powers greatly widen Mr Gove’s existing powers under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 to ban people from being involved in the management of schools. Under the draft regulations, anyone subjected to a ban will be given two months’ notice and the right to appeal.

The bans will be indefinite, although they can be reconsidered after five years.

In media interviews over the past week, the schools have fiercely disputed Ofsted’s findings, saying they were victims of a political “witch-hunt” and have no links to extremism.

Courtesy UK’s The Telegraph

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