Tower Hamlets Council has introduced stricter rules for school appointments after members of the community were left outraged by Ian Mikardo’s decision to employ a rehabilitated killer.
Mayor John Biggs proposed the approach that will take into account the impact employing serious offenders could have on the community.
This comes after Tower Hamlets residents c riticised Ian Mikardo High School for giving a teaching assistant job to Ian Devlin , who was jailed for manslaughter in 2001 at the age of 16.
John said: “Last month I became aware for the first time of the employment of an individual at Ian Mikardo school .
“I ordered an investigation into the council’s role in this appointment and have met with the headteacher of Ian Mikardo school on several occasions to share my view that had it been my choice, I would not have approved this appointment.
“The investigation showed that while in 2011 the council did advise on the legality of the appointment, it did not give a view on the potential impact on community cohesion.
“I want to take steps to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again. I have agreed changes to the way in which the council works with schools to ensure the wider community impact of employment decisions is taken into account at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Schools will now have to seek the views of the director for children’s services, who will then consult the council’s mayor and lead member before expressing the council’s position on the appointment.
The review of the safer recruitment guidance will include fixed-term appointments and clarification will be made on contractors declaring serious convictions.
John said: “This is not a license to reject anyone with a serious conviction. We need to respect the rights of those who have committed crimes, served their time and turned their lives around.
“But from now on, in cases such as this, the wider community impact will be taken into account.”
Ian was found guilty by way of joint enterprise after Bangladeshi father Shiblu Rahman was stabbed and beaten to death on his doorstep at Bromley-by-Bow, not far from the school.
His nine-year jail term was reduced after the Court of Appeal ruled that there was considerable doubt as to whether Ian’s actions were racially motivated.
Following his release, he worked at a construction company that carried out some work at Ian Mikardo, a school that deals with troubled students who struggle in mainstream education.
He was hired by the school in 2011 after officials carried out a “rigorous” process of safeguarding checks and risk assessments.
Headteacher Claire Lillis said in a letter to parents that Ian had been an “exemplary employee” who has worked without incident since he was hired.
In September 2015, Ian appealed for help from the community to support his elderly neighbour Janet Korbo, who finds it difficult to move about.
The teaching assistant had been helping Janet by improving her bathroom to make it more accessible.
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