Two teachers, who are supposedly banned from the profession, have returned to the classroom at the Park View School in Birmingham, which was heart of the so-called Trojan Horse plot to “take over” educational institutions with radical Salafi Islam.
Shakeel Akhtar, the assistant principal of Park View School, and Saqib Malik, director of student progress, have returned to teaching in recent weeks, reports Andrew Gilligan, a journalist who helped break the original story in The Telegraph.
Both men are subject to “interim probation” orders, which are supposed to ensure they are banned from teaching. However, the Department for Education says teachers on the orders are allowed to work in the school, so long as they are supervised.
Over a year after the damming official report into the scandal was published there has been not a single National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) hearing for any alleged plotters, only one person has been barred from becoming a governor and just one has been sacked.
The returning men were members of the “Park Hill Brotherhood” WhatsApp group chat. Peter Clark’s official report into the scandal said the group contained: “Explicit homophobia, highly offensive comments about British service personnel, a stated ambition to increase segregation at the school, disparagement of Muslims in sectors other than their own, scepticism about the truth of reports of the murder of Lee Rigby and the Boston bombings and a constant under current of anti-western, anti-America and anti-Israel sentiment.”
Waheed Saleem, the new chair of governors at Park View, approved the reinstatements. When contacted by The Telegraph he stated that extremism “didn’t exist” and denied there were problems in Birmingham’s schools. He blamed the media from the scandal, comparing it to the The Sun’s “lies” about Hillsborough.
Yesterday, after The Telegraph pressed him about his views and the reinstatements, Saleem announced his resignation.
An anonymous teacher at Park View told The Telegraph: “The re-emergence of these staff at school has caused huge disquiet. They are very influential and loyal to the previous leadership, Tahir and Mozz, and the fear is they will subtly undermine the new leadership. Two people have resigned because they were allowed back.
“At first they were just on administrative duties but in the last few weeks they have been allowed back into direct contact with students, albeit under supervision.”
Both the returning teachers are allies of former principal, Mozz Hussain, who was suspended last July and resigned in February. According to multiple sources he received a payoff of over £30,000 from the school, and around £60,000 in salary for the seven months of his suspension. However, Park View denies this.
Alleged ringleader, Tahir Alam (pictured above), the former chair of governors at Park View, has been giving a lecture justifying his actions, attempting to attend council committees and has launched a new “community interest company.” Just as with the original Trojan Horse school plot, he has been pressuring Salafi parents into complain about sex education and so pressure schools into following Islamist interests.
Peter Clarke, the author of the damming report, told The Telegraph: “I am surprised that in the face of such clear evidence it has taken so long to bring appropriate disciplinary proceedings against some of the individuals concerned in Trojan Horse.”
Earlier this month Birmingham city’s education commissioner Sir Mike Tomlinson said that the anonymous letter that was discovered in 2013, sparking investigations, was in fact “no hoax,” as was widely reported at the time.
He said: “Just look at Peter Clark’s report and evidence, look at the Ofsted reports on those schools, and you will see that what was happening in those schools mirrored what was said in the letter.”