The Guardian is reporting that a teacher who is a British National party (BNP) activist has taken Michael Gove, the education secretary, and the teaching profession’s watchdog to court after he was struck off for life…
Adam Walker was banned from teaching after receiving a suspended sentence for verbally abusing three boys, chasing them in his car and slashing the tyres on their bikes with a Stanley knife.
At the administrative court sitting in Leeds, the 44-year-old said the decision to ban him for life was prejudiced because of his support for the BNP.
Walker, a married father of two from Durham, said the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), the teaching profession’s watchdog, had recommended he should be banned from the classroom for a minimum of two years.
But the punishment was increased to a life ban by a senior official in Gove’s name the next day.
Walker, an IT teacher who qualified in 2000, appeared before a conduct committee in 2010 after he labelled some immigrants “savage animals” on an internet forum using a school laptop.
Gove has used his case as an example of why members of the BNP should be banned from teaching. But no legislation to that effect has come into effect.
Representing himself, Walker told the court: “When this failed to occur, in typical fashion, Mr Gove made a prejudiced decision on their [the NCTL’s] behalf.”
Rory Dunlop, for the respondents, said: “Children look to teachers as their examples … when you have someone not just behaving extremely badly, endangering children, but also failing to take responsibility for that behaviour and lying about it, what kind of example does that set to children?
“It cannot fairly be said that the secretary of state was wrong to decide that the ultimate sanction was necessary for someone who endangered lives then lied repeatedly about it.”
Walker now works for two BNP MEPs. He told the judge he regretted everything that had happened with the children in Tudhoe, County Durham…
The judge said judgment was reserved and the result would be available to the public at a later date.