Jenrick 'pleased' Batley Grammar teacher is returning after 'unacceptable' protests

27 May 2021, 13:06

By Sam Sholli

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has told LBC he is "pleased" the Batley Grammar school teacher is returning to work after the "unacceptable" protests against him.

The teacher, who was suspended after showing students an image depicting the Prophet Muhammad, is being allowed to return to the classroom after an independent investigation found the religious studies teacher did not show the image with the intention of causing offence.

However, the investigation also recommended the school's staff should avoid using similar images going forward out of "respect" for the community as they are "not necessary... to deliver the learning outcomes on the subject of blasphemy".

Robert Jenrick told LBC's Nick Ferrari: "I thought it was very wrong that you saw protests outside that school after the teacher in question did that class."

"We should never have protests outside the gates of our schools intimidating students or teachers."

Mr Jenrick went on to say the "we also believe in free speech in this country" and that he was "pleased" that the teacher is returning to work.

He also said he "would urge people to be as careful as possible not to return to those scenes [of] protest outside the school gates which were completely unacceptable".

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Batley Grammar has rightly set out a plan to move forward from the events of previous weeks.

"We would encourage parents, families and the local community to recognise the findings of the independent investigation - that the teachers who used the images in question had no negative intent - and to welcome and support the trust's comprehensive plan to strengthen its oversight of the curriculum."

READ MORE: Robert Jenrick 'troubled' teacher has 'gone into hiding' over cartoon of Prophet Muhammad