*** DEBUG END ***

DfE to bar unsuitable governors

27 June 2014


Allegations: Ghoma Abdrabba faces the press in the offices of the Sanabel Relief Agency in Manchester, in 2006, after the US Treasury Department alleged that the charity's priority was to "provide support to Libyan Islamic Fighting Group jihadist activities"

Allegations: Ghoma Abdrabba faces the press in the offices of the Sanabel Relief Agency in Manchester, in 2006, after the US Treasury Dep...

THE Department for Education (DfE) is planning to introduce new powers to bar unsuitable people from running independent schools, a spokesman said this week. The statement came after the department confirmed that it was urgently investigating claims that the chairman of governors at the privately run Birmingham Muslim School, Ghoma Abdrabba, had been accused by the United States Treasury of misusing charitable funds.

Mr Abdrabba founded the school in 2001, but has since transferred ownership to the Albayan Educational Foundation Ltd. The charity has four trustees, who include Mr Abdrabba, and his wife, Aisha, who remains the head teacher. OFSTED inspectors, who had earlier deemed the school inadequate, upgraded it to adequate last year, but commented on frequent absences and persistent lateness among its 90 pupils. All pupils learn Arabic, and follow an Islamic studies programme.

The Sunday Times reported an allegation from the US Treasury that Mr Abdrabba used a charity organisation to "transfer documents and funds for terrorist activities overseas". In 2006, Libyan-born Mr Abdrabba, a British national, was put on the US's "specially designated nationals" list for allegedly funding the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

The same year, his name was added to a UN Security Council list of individuals suspected of being involved in terrorism, but was removed in 2011 after he was cleared of wrongdoing.

The DfE statement said: "We are looking at this information urgently. It is vital that we ensure that unsuitable people are not managing independent schools. We are introducing new powers to ensure that people whose past conduct demonstrated that they are not suitable to run an independent school can be barred."

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)