A group of teachers alleged to be behind the so-called “Trojan Horse” scandal have been cleared of professional misconduct, after the Government’s lawyers were found to have made errors in the case.
The five senior staff members from Park View Educational Trust in Birmingham were brought before the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s disciplinary panel over allegations of a plot to “Islamify” schools in the local area.
Their case was dropped by the independent panel, however, which said the lawyers representing the Department for Education had failed to disclose any evidence.
The process had been “called into disrepute”, it said, with 25 witness statements from a previous inquiry “deliberately withheld” from the panel.
In 2014, a number of schools in the Birmingham area were investigated following claims a plot to control them had been set out by hardline Islamists.
Monzoor Hussain, Lindsey Clark and Arshad Hussain, from Park View school; Razwan Faraz a former deputy head teacher at Nansen Primary, and Hardeep Saini, former head teacher at Golden Hillock school were all accused of extremist intentions.
In its ruling on Monday, the disciplinary panel said the 25 withheld witness statements were disclosed at too late a stage by the Department for Education’s own lawyers, however.
A decision to halt proceedings “should only be taken in exceptional circumstances,” it was recognised, but the panel added: “In the particular circumstances relating to this case, there has been an abuse of the process which is of such seriousness that it offends the panel’s sense of justice and propriety.
“What has happened has brought the integrity of the process into disrepute.”
The “stage has been reached where it would be fair and appropriate” for proceedings to be discontinued, it said.
Commenting on behalf of union member Razwan Faraz, Ms Chris Keates, General Secretary of the Nasuwt teachers’ union said:…