A TEACHER and British National Party activist has lost his legal challenge against Michael Gove after he was struck off for life.
Former Houghton Kepier teacher Adam Walker took the Education Secretary to court claiming the decision which followed him receiving a suspended jail sentence was “prejudiced” because of his politics.
Walker had been put before Durham Crown Court for verbally abusing three schoolboys, chasing them in his car and slashing the tyres on their bikes with a Stanley knife.
But following a hearing at the Administrative Court sitting in Leeds last month, Judge Clive Heaton QC has handed down a ruling which concluded: “I reject his argument as lacking any credible evidential base at all.”
Mr Walker, 44, a married father-of-two from Durham, had argued the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) – which replaced the General Teaching Council – recommended he should be banned from the classroom for a minimum of two years.
But the punishment was increased to a life ban without review by a senior official, in Mr Gove’s name, the next day.
Mr Walker felt other teachers guilty of serious crimes against children were less harshly treated.
The former IT teacher, who qualified in 2000 and now works for two BNP MEPs, appeared before a conduct committee in 2010 after he labelled some immigrants “savage animals” on an internet forum using a school laptop.
Mr Gove has used his case of an example of why members of the BNP should be banned from teaching, but no legislation has come into effect.
On St George’s Day 2011, Mr Walker got into his Land Rover and chased three unruly boys over the village green in Tudhoe, County Durham, attacked their bike tyres and used threatening behaviour, later lying to police about his involvement.
He received an 18-month suspended jail sentence in September 2012 and was brought before a disciplinary panel at the NCTL last June.
Rory Dunlop, for the Secretary of State, told last month’s hearing children look to teachers as their examples and queried how that could be the case of someone who behaved badly, failed to take responsibility for their actions and lied.
Judge Heaton ruled there was “no evidence” that Mr Gove had intervened in the case and did not find that the life ban was unfair.
The judge also ruled Mr Walker has to pay the respondent’s legal costs.