Ex-Oldknow Academy head Jahangir Akbar found GUILTY of trying to Islamise education


An exclusive from the Birmingham Mail. HT Terry

The former acting principal of a Trojan Horse -linked Birmingham school has been found guilty of trying to Islamise pupils’ education.

A panel found Jahangir Akbar, previously acting head of Oldknow Academy in Small Heath, guilty of professional misconduct and bringing the teaching profession into disrepute.

Mr Akbar could now face a lifetime ban from the classroom following the outcome of the disciplinary hearing held by the government’s National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL).

Mr Akbar faced a number of allegations which have been upheld, including agreeing with others to the inclusion of an undue amount of religious influence on pupils’ education.

The panel ruled that he “decreased the diversity” of religious education and banned the celebration of non-Muslim faiths including Christmas and Diwali.

Meanwhile, he allowed pupils to go on a 10-day pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and spent two days celebrating Eid.

The panel ruled he also “reacted inappropriately” after a father complained his child was being bullied following a newspaper article in which he spoke out about his concerns that the school was becoming increasingly Islamic.

It was alleged Mr Akbar responded “good” when he heard the child was being bullied and suggested the family be reported to social services.

John Pemberton, panel chairman, criticised Mr Akbar over the way he conducted himself while giving evidence during the eight-day hearing.

“Throughout the proceedings he was difficult,” said Mr Pemberton, who added that Mr Akbar was persistently reluctant to give “straight answers” during cross examination.

He described Mr Akbar as being “inconsistent and evasive” and said the panel felt as though he used a “deflecting technique” during questioning.

“He was constant in blaming other people for his actions,” added Mr Pemberton. “The panel did not find Mr Akbar to be a credible witness.”

He said Mr Akbar “undermined fundamental British values”; that he was “dishonest in his conduct”; and his actions posed a “safeguarding risk” to pupils.

Mr Akbar’s conduct was of a “serious nature, falling significantly below the standard expected of a teacher”, added Mr Pemberton.

Shortly before the panel announced its decision, Mr Akbar unsuccessfully applied to the panel to have his case adjourned.

He claimed he was being discriminated against because he was a Muslim.

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