Shahzad Tanweer, who killed eight people at Aldgate Tube station on 7 July last year, was a model pupil and showed no sign that he might be radicalised into one of Britain's first home-grown bombers, his school record shows.
The record, obtained by The Independent under the Freedom of Information Act, reveals that English was one of Tanweer's strongest subjects, providing him with the chance to articulate his views, which he evidently relished. He enjoyed studying Romeo and Juliet, contributed well to a "TV debate" on crime and excelled at an assignment examining a newspaper report on violent crime.
Tanweer's report demonstrates that he lacked self-confidence at times. "I would like to see Shahzad have more confidence in himself and his ideas," one teacher observed in a report from his penultimate year. His form tutor added the following year: "He may find a more assertive attitude will help him make stronger contributions in class discussions, although no one who knows him would like to see Shazad [sic] lose his calm and friendly personality."
His maturity was one of the attributes which impressed his teachers most, according to his reports which, apart from his struggles with French and lack of interest in musical theory, contain barely a single negative comment. "He is living proof that hard work at school need not entail giving up everything you enjoy," his Year 9 form tutor observed.
"Despite his achievement he is modest and unassuming." Awarding him an A in his GCSE year, Tanweer's religious studies teacher remarks on his "growing maturity".
Tanweer's parents, Muhammad Mumtaz and Parvaz Akhtar, sent him to Wortley High School, in Leeds, which had notably few pupils belonging to ethnic minorities and was not an obvious choice, being several miles away from their home in Beeston.
In later years there is the occasional hint of Tanweer's indifferent attendance at some classes, including technology and geography, but there were no prolonged absences for religious observances or visits to family in Pakistan and his 83 per cent attendance in Year 11 was creditable.
The immaculate handwriting of his short account of the Jarrow March bears testimony to his unusually fastidious approach to his studies. His file also includes accounts in his own words of how school seems to have stimulated him through his teens. "This year I have had a good year," he wrote in Year 10. "I've enjoyed PE and maths [and] my exam results have been OK."
But sport was clearly the subject that excited him most. He described in his Year 9 report how he competed in the triple jump for Leeds City. "I came second in the Leeds championships and first in the West Yorkshire championships," he reported.Reuse content