'Racist' primary school headmistress who called staff 'f*****g Muslims' banned from teaching for life

Witnesses told an investigatory panel how Anupe Hanch intimidated and bullied her colleagues and pupils during her seven years at the primary school

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The Independent Online

An Essex primary school headmistress has been sacked after it was found she had referred to staff as “f***ing Muslims” and asked a pupil with special educational needs if he “liked touching women’s breasts.”

The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel spent two weeks reviewing evidence on Anupe Hanch, 49, finding her guilty of unacceptable professional conduct at work which resulted in a lifelong teaching ban.

The panel published its report on Friday, in which it details 10 witness accounts of the former-headmistress’ bullying behaviour towards teachers and pupils. 

Hanch, when looking through CVs from Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), told a member of staff that “if we have any more Muslims around here, it’s going to start looking like Al-Jazeera,” the report said.

She was also found guilty of saying “I’m not going to be like those f***ing Muslims taking a day off for Eid,” referring to staff who wanted time off for holidays, the report revealed. Hanch denied the accusation, saying that such words went against everything she believed in. 

The teacher tried to encourage staff and pupils at Gearies Junior School, in Ilford, where she worked for seven years, not to take off religious holidays.

Witnesses described how Hanch regularly treated her colleagues with disrespect and intimidation, and that she shouted and used swear words. In the report, the panel said there was nothing to suggest Hanch’s actions were not deliberate.

The report also stated that she shouted at a child with special educational needs: “do you want to become a paedophile” and asked them “do you like touching women’s breasts?”

In another incident, a witness told the panel how she referred to two mothers of school pupils as “bitches”. She told another witness that a member of staff looked like “a Polish slapper.”

Hanch, who is also a parish councillor in Epping Forest, locked the assistant head in her office for three hours between 4pm and 7pm in 2010 for “no reason.”

One witness told the panel that when she asked for time off to volunteer at the London Olympics, Hanch said “I’m going to have to break down 5,000 years of Islam to get through to her.”

Gearies Junior school has 696 mixed pupils ages three to 11. It was ranked “outstanding” following its last Ofsted inspection in 2014.

Judge Paul Heathcote ruled that: “in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against her, I have decided that Mrs Anupe Hanch shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of her eligibility to teach.”

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