Ousted 'Trojan Horse' schools heads fight for reinstatement
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 20 August 2014
A head teachers’ organisation is calling for reinstatement or compensation for up to 28 senior staff caught up in the Birmingham “Trojan Horse” scandal.
The National Association of Head Teachers said it was investigating 28 further cases, after it successfully negotiated the reinstatement of Bhuniper Kondal as principal at Oldknow Academy, who resigned in January after facing “pressure” from governors.
The school was threatened with the termination of its funding agreement as a result of an inquiry into the affair, during which it was alleged that hard-line Islamists were plotting to take control of city schools.
Rob Kelsall, regional officer of the NAHT, urged the city council to act in the case of three further heads allegedly ousted by Trojan Horse plotters - Balwant Bains at Saltley School, Saeeda Bano at Nansen primary and Liz Manley at Ladypool school. A further 25 cases were being investigated to see if there was any link to the plot.
Ms Kondal said of her return: “To be back doing the job I love is marvellous but it has been a long battle fought with and by my union. I am happy now to be able to focus on the children and work with the new governors to welcome everyone for the new term and pit this behind us.”
Under her headship, the school received an “outstanding” verdict from Ofsted, but it was classified as failing when revisited by the education standards watchdog as part of its inquiry into the affair.
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A spokesman for the Department for Education said Schools Minister Lord Nash “has indicated he will reverse his decision to terminate the funding agreement” subject to receiving plans from a new trust set up to run it for improving the school.
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