Prohibition Orders imposed on teachers at ‘Trojan Horse’ school quashed by High Court

 

Lifetime prohibition orders imposed by the Secretary of State for Education on two teachers at what was Park View School in Birmingham have been overturned by the High Court. Richard Thomas and Louise Price were instructed by the National Union of Teachers.

 

Park View School, in a deprived area of Birmingham, had been lauded as outstanding: A-C achievement at GCSE had risen from 7.2% to 76% and OFSTED recognised that “students make excellent progress in their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development”. However, following publication of what is widely accepted to be a fake letter describing a plan to take over and run Birmingham schools on strict Islamic principles, the school became the centre of a political fight at cabinet level and was subjected to wide-ranging criticism in the press. Before the National College of Teaching and Leadership it was alleged these two teachers had “agreed with others to the inclusion of an undue amount of religious influence in the education of teachers at Park View”. The Panel found against the teachers and recommended to the Secretary of State that lifetime bans be imposed. At the appeal before the High Court, it was argued there had been serious procedural irregularity as a result of wholly inadequate disclosure of exculpatory material. It was also argued the findings were perverse. The Court accepted the first argument and quashed the prohibition orders. In the light of its findings in the first argument, it did not go on to express its view on the second. 

 

Press coverage: BBC, The Guardian, DailyMail

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