The Guardian is reporting claims made to an employment tribunal that the head of a school link to the Trojan horse investigation ordered staff to remove children’s books containing pictures of pigs.
Rizvana Darr, the head of Adderley primary school in east Birmingham, which was linked to the so-called Trojan Horse plot, was said to have told staff to remove or cover up images of pigs on furniture in the school, and to remove books containing pictures of pigs, including popular children’s cartoon character Olivia.
The allegations were made by Yasmin Akhtar, a former teaching assistant at Adderley who is one of four staff members claiming unfair dismissal against the school after it accepted what she says were forged letters of resignation in 2012.
Adderley and its governors have maintained that the resignation letters were part of an effort by the staff members to destabilise the school, as detailed in the Trojan Horse letter that was circulated anonymously in late 2013 but is widely regarded as a hoax.
In her evidence to the tribunal, Akhtar said the headteacher instituted policies at the state primary such as inviting an imam to conduct Friday prayers for boys; holding twice-weekly Islamic assemblies; setting up a prayer room for the exclusive use of Muslims; and converting a pupils’ toilet into a washing facility to be used by Muslims before prayers…
But her claims were disputed by lawyers acting for the school. “You know they are complete nonsense,” Edward Williams, the barrister representing Adderley, said. “No, they are not,” Akhtar replied…
The resignation letters at Adderley were mentioned in the original Trojan Horse letter, which first became public in December 2013, and sparked a series of investigations by the Department for Education, Ofsted and Birmingham city council.
The four women said they told the school they had no intention of quitting and their signatures were forged after they made formal complaints about their treatment at the school with Birmingham local authority.
A handwriting expert has provided a forensic report for the tribunal that strongly suggests none of the four signed their own resignations…
The tribunal is to continue until just before Christmas.
It’s hard to imagine a situation where letters of resignation might actually be forged to cause people to lose their jobs. Extraordinary allegations.
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