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Two people sentenced for running unregistered school in London

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Two people sentenced for running unregistered school in London

A headteacher and her father have been sentenced for the second time for running an illegal unregistered school in south London after a crackdown by the schools watchdog Ofsted.

Nadia Ali, the headteacher of Ambassadors Home school, an unregistered private school in Streatham, was sentenced on Monday to eight weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months, two years after a prior conviction for the same offence.

It is only the second time a prison sentence has been handed down in connection with operating an illegal school, out of five successful prosecutions, which Ofsted has said is just “the tip of the iceberg”.

The case dates back to June 2018 when inspectors from Ofsted’s unregistered schools taskforce first visited the school, which was not registered, as required by law. After Ofsted issued a warning, the school applied to register as an independent school with Ali’s father, Arshad Ali, named as proprietor. Ofsted identified serious safeguarding issues during pre-registration checks, including inadequate checks on teachers and no strategy for promoting British values, and said the school, which charged annual fees of £4,500 per pupil, would not meet required standards.

It continued to operate illegally, however, and the headteacher and her father were taken to court for the first time in September 2019. After the first conviction, Ofsted inspectors returned to the school on three occasions and found it was still operating, so further charges were brought.

In addition to the suspended sentence, Ali was also ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work, given a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and a prohibited activity requirement of not running or managing a school, and ordered to pay costs of £500.

Her father was fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £200, while Ambassadors Home School Limited was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500. In an appearance before Westminster magistrates, the pair admitted running the school illegally. Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, welcomed the suspended prison sentence and said Nadia and Arshad Ali had shown “breathtaking arrogance” in continuing to run the school after their first conviction.

“Unregistered schools deny children a proper education and put their safety and wellbeing at risk,” said Spielman. “I hope today’s sentence sends a clear message to all those running unregistered schools that Ofsted will not tire in our efforts to bring them to justice.

“But as I have said many times over the last few years, and as this case demonstrates, we urgently need the legislation to be strengthened so that we can take action against these places quickly and conclusively.”

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Education

FUOYE Clears Air On Death of Final Year Student

By Wole Balogun

Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has cleared the air on the death of a final-year student of the institution’s Department of Geology, Ola Opeyemi Benjamin, who died in his room after leaving the examination hall where he sat for one of his papers.
Recall that on Sunday, the Ivory Tower’s management had debunked a rumour that went around that some students collapsed and later died during their examinations on the campus.
In a press release signed by Wole Balogun, Special Adviser on Media Matters to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abayomi Sunday Fasina, the Management had debunked the fake news, as totally unfounded.
However, in a related development, the Acting Head of Department of Geology, Dr. A Oyelami, on Monday afternoon, brought it to the notice of the Management that a student of the institution, Ola Opeyemi Benjamin, died in his room on Saturday, November, 26, 2022 after leaving the examination hall hale and hearty.
In the letter made available to the University media team, and entitled: “Notification of the Demise of Ola Opeyemi Benjamin (GLY/2017/1059)”, the department disclosed that the incident of the death of the final year student had nothing to do with students allegedly collapsing in the exam hall, as the death of the deceased happened in his own room.
The memo from the Geology Department reads in part: “With grief, l write to inform you that we lost one of our final year students, Ola Opeyemi Benjamin, with matric no: GLY/2017/2059, who died shortly after the afternoon examination held at the new faculty of science auditorium on Saturday 26th, November 2022. I wish to inform you that the late student finished the said examination quite early and he was hale and hearty as at the time he left the examination hall.
The news of his sudden demise filtered in early Sunday morning and the circumstances surrounding the death was sketchy even as l write this letter. The department is proposing to send delegates on a condolence visit to the family after work today.”.
The University Management registers its condolences to the family and the University community.

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Education

HND Graduates To Start Teaching In Polytechnics- NBTE

The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) said on Monday that holders of Higher National Diploma (HND) would soon be employed as Assistant Lecturers in Polytechnics and Monotechnics.

The Executive Secretary of the Board, Prof. Idris Bugaje, disclosed this while speaking in Kaduna on Sunday.

Bugaje revealed that currently only degree holders were being employed in polytechnics as assistant lecturers.

He lamented that HND holders were relegated as technicians and technologists in laboratories and workshops in the polytechnic sector, which he described as “gross injustice”.

“Why should somebody from the university system come and midwife over a different system and become lords over them?

“The highest product in the polytechnics is the HND, as such, the best of these graduates should be employed as assistant lecturers and grow within the systems to have their Master’s degree.

“They can rise through the ranks to become Chief Lecturers and eventually become Rectors of their respective institutions.

The NBTE boss said that the scenario would change with the new Scheme of Service for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector.

He said that the scheme of service was awaiting approval by the Head of Service hopefully by the end of 2022 or early 2023.

He commended the Federal Ministry of Education for the support in ensuring the new scheme of service was developed and submitted to the Head of Service for approval.

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Education

Uniabuja ASUU Protest ‘Half Salary’

The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), University of Abuja branch, on Friday staged a peaceful protest at the institution’s Mini Campus over withheld salaries.

The union members staged the protest following the ‘No Work No Pay’ policy and court order that mandated the lecturers back to classes.

Dr Kassim Umaru,  ASUU branch Chairman, during the protest said that decision reached immediately after its congress called on well meaning Nigerians to urge the Federal Government to honour the union’s demands.

Umaru said that university lecturers were not casual staffers and could not be paid half salary, adding that the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU would decide on an action if the government failed to address the issues.

He called on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, to honour agreement reached with the union, adding that the union was forced to the classroom through a court injunction.

“We are here this afternoon to show our displeasure to the Federal Government that it is not all over by forcing us through court injunction ànd intimidating us by holding our salaries.

“We are not going to give up untill the Federal Government do the needful by paying our withdrew salaries and also honouring the agreement signed in 2020.

“The government has signed several agreements with our union, not once, not twice, not three times, but refused to honour the agreement.

“We are telling the public, traditional rulers, religious leaders, well meaning Nigerians, students and parents that all is not well in the Nigerian universities,” he said.

The chairman said that the people should pressure the government to do the needful by honouring the agreement and paying their salaries.

He stressed that lecturers were not casual workers and should be paid.

”We are frustrated and we can no longer take it, enough is enough and we are not going to give up.

“We are not going to take it and we are registering our displeasure that Nigerians should know that anything that happens, ASUU should not be called for anything.

“The speaker has intervened and we have given him the honour, but the Federal Government should do what it has said.

“If the Federal Government is adamant, the NEC of the union will go back to drawing board, access all the issues and we will take the necessary action,” he threatened.

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