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“Trojan Horse” plot teacher agrees to be struck off after taking new job in Scotland

A HEADTEACHER who was caught up in the “Trojan Horse” plot has now agreed to be struck off after intimidating pupils, parents and staff at her new school in Scotland.

Elizabeth Manley was headteacher at Ladypool Primary, Birmingham, which was identified as one of several to have been taken over by socially-conservative Muslims.

But after making a new start at a primary in Aberdeenshire, Mrs Manley’s aggressive and bizarre behaviour between 2013 – 15 resulted in 30 charges in front of Scotland’s teaching watchdog.

Mrs Manley at her post in Ladypool Primary in Birmingham

She screamed at children, and frightened parents and staff. The head allowed uncontrolled dogs to roam the playground and presided over a classroom kangaroo court during which pupils voted on how one of their peers was to be punished.

In a bizarre incident, she visited an IKEA store in Edinburgh on a school day and bought items for Lumsden Primary without following proper procedures.

Rather than face a hearing of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), Mrs Manley has agreed to a “removal with consent” this week.

Mrs Manley left her post in Birmingham in 2013 shortly the Trojan Horse investigation emerged. Aberdeenshire Council today refused to answer questions about what checks it made before giving her a school leadership role.

The GTCS said the 30 complaints at Lumsden Primary, in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, related to a period between August 2013 and March 2015 and included a case in which a pupil kicked another child and was then made to stand in front of the class.

According to the GTCS, Mrs Manley told classmares to vote on whether he should be, “sent home, given a second chance, get a warning, or call his parents”.

In November 2014 she asked a pupil “who had previously been bitten by a dog” if they could walk her dog during lunchtime.

One another occasion, she entered a classroom to “scream at Pupil 1: ‘What on earth is going on here? Are you going to work? If you are not going to work you can go home, we do not want children like you in this school’.”

Lumsden Primary in Huntly, Aberdeenshire – Google Maps

The outburst was heard by staff in a different room and frightened both the child and his classmates, said the GTCS.

During a meeting with a parent at the school, Mrs Manley left a parent “feeling threatened” when she talked “over the parent and intimidated her when she tried to speak”.

Mrs Manley also “telephoned the home of a parent of pupils…and spoke to her in an aggressive and threatening manner.”

The GTCS said staff found her “to be unapproachable” and that she “presided over a wide decline in the school ethos”.

“Staff informed you that they found you intimidating and were frightened by you Staff felt uncomfortable on several occasions due to your behaviour,” said the GTCS.

One of the most disturbing incidents happened in November 2014 at the school when Mrs Manley “allowed dogs on school premises on several occasions that were not kept under control”.

The GTCS said she had put the “health and safety of pupils and staff…at risk”.

During a public hearing, in 2015, an unnamed mother of pupils at the school gave evidence that the head’s behaviour made her cry during a meeting – even though she was accompanied by two of her children, one just 18 months old.

Although she has now agreed to be struck off, Mrs Manley denied the charges at the earlier hearing. She said: “It was never my intention to intimidate or threaten.”

Mrs Manley took up her previous headteacher post, at Ladypool primary, Birmingham, in Easter 2007.

The school was one of 21 investigated by Ofsted and eventually placed in special measures after the Trojan Horse probe.

In 2014, an anonymous letter was sent to Birmingham City Council which claimed to be a template showing how state schools could be taken over and pushed into adopting a more Islamic culture. The attempt was said to have been going on for two decades.

Ofstead said in relation to Ladypool later the same year: “Nothing has been done to further staff awareness of the risks surrounding forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Staff have not been well trained in teaching sex and relationships education.”

Mrs Manley left the school in 2013 after signing a compromise agreement, a legal arrangement which usually involves a payment in return for agreeing to leave employment.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said in August 2014 that three heads who left schools with links to the Trojan Horse plot should be reinstated or compensated.

They said the three heads – one of them Mrs Manley – left their positions after signing compromise agreements which “without doubt” had “all the hallmarks of Trojan Horse pressures”.

Aberdeenshire Council said it would not comment on any aspect of Mrs Manley’s employment that happened outside their area.

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