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Five teachers cleared in Trojan Horse affair after “abuse of justice” by government lawyers

Five teachers cleared in Trojan Horse affair after “abuse of justice” by government lawyers

Categories: Latest News

Thursday June 01 2017

The Guardian reports that five senior teachers who faced disciplinary hearings over their alleged involvement in the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ plot in Birmingham have been cleared to return to teaching after the proceedings against them were found to have contained an “abuse of justice”.

The five teachers, Lindsey Clark, Monzoor Hussain, Hardeep Saini, Arshad Hussain and Razwan Faraz, were all either principals or senior teachers at schools run by the Park View Educational Trust in Birmingham. They were accused by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) of professional misconduct and allowing an “undue amount of religious influence” in the education of pupils.

The five teachers had their cases discontinued after an independent panel found that key evidence used by lawyers acting for the Department for Education had been repeatedly withheld from them. The department’s external lawyers had withheld the fact that they had access to interview transcripts originating from the Clarke inquiry, which was ordered by former Education Secretary Michael Gove in April 2014.

That inquiry, led by former counter-terrorism chief Peter Clarke, claimed there was a “co-ordinated agenda to impose hardline Sunni Islam” at certain Birmingham schools in its report published in July 2014. This view contrasted sharply with the findings of the Education Select Committee, which later concluded that “one incident apart, no evidence of extremism or radicalisation was found by any of the inquiries in any of the schools involved”.

The independent panel hearing the case at the NCTL said, “It is fundamental to the proper administration of justice that the panel must be able to rely on the regulatory authority acting in a way which ensures the integrity of the process”.

The panel continued, “There has been an abuse of the process which is of such seriousness that it offends the panel’s sense of justice and propriety”.

In response, a spokesperson for the NCTL said, “The NCTL will carefully consider this latest panel hearing before deciding the next steps in this process. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

The verdict brings to an end a saga which has been running since late 2015, when the hearings against the senior teachers were first convened. The outcome also follows on from the High Court overturning lifetime bans against two former Park View teachers, Inamulhaq Anwar and Akeel Ahmed, in October 2016, due to “considerable doubt” about the fairness of the NCTL hearings.


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