Park View Academy chain teachers face misconduct hearings.
The ex-headteacher of an academy in Birmingham at the heart of the Trojan Horse scandal is alleged to have allowed pupils to be placed “in stress positions” as a punishment, a misconduct panel has heard.
Moz (Monzoor) Hussain faces a host of allegations alongside four other former senior Park View Academy staff, including executive headteacher Lindsey Clark.
Bizarre punishments allegedly carried out at the Park View Academy chain which included Golden Hillock and Nansen schools included being forced to stand in the rain, made to stare at bushes and trees, and sitting on floor tiles.
Also accused are Hardeep Saini, former headteacher of sister school Golden Hillock, Razwan Faraz, the old deputy headteacher of another linked school Nansen Primary, and Arshad Hussain who was an assistant headteacher at Park View in Alum Rock, Birmingham.
All are accused of being guilty of unacceptable professional conduct, but are facing different allegations being heard by a National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) panel.
Mr Saini is alleged to have advised a teacher, at the time under police investigation for having “extreme pornography” on their mobile, “to throw his phone in the canal to make sure there was no problem”.
He is also claimed to have responded “That’s what we believe”, when he was told of a complaint made by a Park View pupil about being taught by a gay teacher.
The ex-head is further accused of failing to take action in his post at Golden Hillock when another teacher is said to have claimed “We have the true religion”.
In Mr Faraz’s case, it is alleged he used the word “kuffars”, in reference to non-Muslims, “in a derogatory manner”.
He is also alleged to have told Park View pupils in or around May of 2013: “Just think, you could be like those poor innocent people in Guantanamo Bay without the opportunity to study.”
The ex-deputy is also accused of submitting an “inaccurate, misleading and dishonest” statement, when he denied all knowledge of the WhatsApp social media group the “Park View Brotherhood”.
Mr Hussain is claimed to have allowed pupils to be subjected to unusual, excessive and disproportionate punishments, including “being made to stand in the rain”, “being made to stare at bushes”, and “being made to sit on floor tiles”.
Also similarly accused of that allegation is Ms Clark, who – through her legal counsel – said she accepted “in part” one fact of the case levelled against her.
“Lindsey Clark does not accept it was unusual or excessive punishment, but accepts that some pupils were placed in detention, and accepts they have to look out towards bushes,” said Katie Langdon.
The five all face a common allegation they agreed to the inclusion of “an undue amount of religious influence in the education of the pupils” at Park View, and – for some of the respondents – the other sister schools.
Among the facts of the NCTL’s case, it is alleged the former teachers applied “improper pressure” on staff who were “unsympathetic” to their aims, appointed staff who were sympathetic to their cause, and encouraged pupils to pray in school through – among other methods – broadcasting a call to prayer on Park View’s loud-speakers.
The hearing in Coventry, which is scheduled to last until December, may also hear over the coming weeks from former Park View pupils, the panel was told.
The allegations are all denied.
Park View was at the heart of accusations of an alleged plot by hardline Muslims to take over several city schools.
Akeel Ahmed and Inamulhaq Anwar who were teachers at Park View are also facing a separate hearing in Solihull.
Mr Ahmed admitted that he shared on a WhatsApp group an offensive video about conspiracy theories of the Lee Rigby murder.
He said it was just one of many videos sent to him which he forwarded “without thinking”.
“Looking back, it was stupid of me, very silly, it’s something I regret a lot,” he said.
The plotters unmasked
The hearing has been told of an online discussion Ahmed had about segregation.
This was in the WhatsApp group the Park View Brotherhood.
Ahmed initiated the debate, during which he said : “I’m only proposing additional segregation during forms as well as RE, PE and Cit (citizenship) “
But under cross-examination he said he made the comments as part of an “educational debate”.
Mr Ahmed said his sex education lessons did include teaching the boys about contraception.
“I taught this in my RE classes so also taught it in the sex education ones too,” he said.
Because it was a long time ago he was being asked to recall, Mr Ahmed said details of exactly what he taught were difficult to remember.
But he confirmed Witness A’s claim that boys were not taught about homosexuality.
“I didn’t teach it because it was the school policy,” he said. But he said at the end of each lesson pupils could ask questions, and no-one asked him about homosexuality.
The tribunals continue