Islington Council employed ‘racist’ headteacher

Anupe Hanch disgraced former head teacher of Gearies Junior School, in Gants Hill.

Anupe Hanch disgraced former head teacher of Gearies Junior School, in Gants Hill. - Credit: Archant

‘Bullying’ head struck off for unprofessional conduct

A former primary school headteacher struck off for “unacceptable professional conduct” has been employed by Islington Council since January last year, the Gazette can reveal.

Anupe Hanch, 49, was the head of Gearies Junior School in Ilford, Essex, for seven years, where she “bullied” staff and students in more than 50 incidents, according to the report.

When referring to her Muslim colleagues, she said: “I’m not going to be like those Muslims taking a day off for Eid.”

She later said, “if we have any more Muslims in here it’s going to start looking like Al Jazeera” while checking CVs in applications for a job at the school.

She told a member of staff that she would like to “chop off her head” and asked a special needs pupil “Do you want to become a paedophile?” following an incident with another student.

The allegations first emerged in May 2012. Mrs Hanch has been employed by Islington School Improvement Service since January 2014 as a teaching and learning consultant.

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The service’s head of primary school improvement submitted written evidence of Mrs Hanch’s “exemplary” coaching of teachers to The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel reviewing the allegations on May 7.

Mrs Hanch denied the allegations but was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct in May and banned from teaching for life last week.

A spokesman for Islington Council said: “Anupe Hanch was employed as a consultant on a fixed-term contract which has not been renewed.”

The council refused to confirm whether Mrs Hanch was still working for the authority.

Cllr Caroline Russell, Islington Council’s Green Party opposition, said: “I cannot understand how Anupe Hanche came to be employed by Islington Council in the first place. Surely questions were asked when she was recruited?

“Answers to these questions should have revealed the on-going professional conduct issue and so the question arises of why did the recruitment go ahead? If these questions were not asked it raises serious questions about recruitment practice at the council.

“Either way it doesn’t look great for the council and someone who has now been barred permanently from teaching has been advising Islington Schools on school improvement.”

Ken Muller, Islington representative for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said:

“There should be no place for anyone like Anupe Hanch, with her record of bullying, intimidation and racism towards staff and students while employed as a head teacher in Redbridge, anywhere near an Islington school or the borough’s education service.

“It is unfortunate that she was ever employed as a consultant on a fixed-term contract and Islington NUT is pleased that this contract has not been renewed.”