Trojan head banned from teaching

By Sean Coughlan
Education correspondent

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image captionOldknow Academy was one of the schools caught up in the Trojan Horse allegations

A head teacher accused of misconduct in the so-called Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham has been "prohibited from teaching indefinitely".

But the conduct panel's ruling means Jahangir Akbar can apply after five years to have this ban set aside.

Mr Akbar was accused of trying to "eliminate" the celebration of Christmas in school and "undermining tolerance" of other beliefs.

The tribunal said Mr Akbar's behaviour was "misconduct of a serious nature".

Mr Akbar had been acting head of Oldknow Academy in Small Heath, one of the Birmingham schools caught up in the Trojan Horse claims of a takeover by groups promoting a hard-line Muslim agenda.

'Public trust'

The National College for Teaching and Leadership began a series of misconduct hearings in the autumn - and Mr Akbar was found guilty in December.

With the announcement of the prohibition order, he becomes the first to face sanctions.

The professional conduct panel, acting on behalf of the education secretary, concluded that Mr Akbar had "failed to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviours".

Mr Akbar was found to have narrowed the range of religious education and "cultural events", such as downplaying the celebration of Christmas and cancelling "non-Islamic" events.

The panel concluded that this "tended to undermine tolerance" and "respect for the faith and beliefs of others".

When a parent challenged Mr Akbar about his daughter's education, he was found to have shouted at the parent and "reacted inappropriately".

But a number of claims against Mr Akbar were rejected.

The panel did not accept accusations that he had tried to "exclude the proper teaching of sex and relationship education" or that he had tried to reduce the amount of music and art.

The panel did not find evidence of gender segregation or that he was "reforming the school curriculum to include greater emphasis on religion".

And the misconduct panel said it had not found that Mr Akbar was "promoting religious extremism".

But the panel concluded that his "conduct was incompatible with being a teacher".

The ruling means that Mr Akbar is banned from teaching in any school or educational setting, but he will be able to apply for this to be lifted in five years.

"This should allow Mr Akbar sufficient time to demonstrate his understanding of, and ability to implement, a balanced and broadly based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural and mental development of pupils."

Oldknow School has subsequently been renamed as Ark Chamberlain Primary Academy.

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