Two convicted of running an illegal school in west London

Two people have been prosecuted for running an illegal school in a legal first.

.

The landmark case was the first prosecution against an unregistered independent school in England and Wales.

Head teacher Beatrix Bernhardt, 38, and director Nacerdine Talbi, 47, were convicted of running the Al-Istiqamah Learning Centre in Southall, west London.

.

They were given a three-month curfew between 9pm and 6am, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Bernhardt was fined £400 plus an £85 victim surcharge and Talbi was fined £300 plus an £85 victim surcharge.

They were also found guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court of conducting an unregistered independent educational institution. The institution was fined £100.

.

Ofsted inspected the school in October and November last year and found almost 60 children aged between five and 11 being taught at the centre.

Photos of lesson plans and homework diaries taken by inspectors showed the centre was being run as a school.

,

The centre claimed it simply provided tuition to home-schooled children. Ofsted's unregistered schools team issued a warning notice to the centre telling it to cease illegal operation.

When it continued to operate the investigation was passed to the CPS, which gained authorisation from the Education Secretary to bring charges.

.

Lynette Woodrow, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the complex casework unit at the CPS, said:

This is the first prosecution of its kind against an unregistered school in England and Wales.

It is a criminal offence to run an unregistered school and we will take steps to prosecute those responsible where there is the evidence to do so.

– LYNETTE WOODROW, CPS

I am glad the courts have recognised our serious concerns about unregistered schools.

These schools deny children a proper education and leave them at risk of harm and, in some instances, radicalisation. We hope that today's judgment sends out a message to all those running such schools that they will face justice. We will continue to investigate and expose illegal, unregistered schools and where we find them, play our part in making sure they are closed or become properly registered.

– AMANDA SPIELMAN, CHIEF INSPECTOR OF SCHOOLS

itv.com
school in west London
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
9 views in july
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
An EE customer has said she was stalked by an ex-partner who worked at the firm, after he accessed her personal data without permission. Francesca Bonafede's number was switched to a new handset and her address and bank details were accessed. She said the company failed to take the data breach seriously and she had to involve police. EE "sincerely apologised" to Ms Bonafede, and said the employee no longer worked for the company. 'They didn't seem concerne...
Society
West Ham say they have handed over all of their evidence to the police after completing a "thorough and immediate" investigation into racist abuse shouted at Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The incident happened during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. "The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a...
Society
A body seen in the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered, investigators said. Remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night. The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination, t...
Society
The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, would meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. It would be Mr Trump's second visit to Britain since his election, having jetted in amid swathes of protest last July. I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. The meeting...
Society
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 but released on licence in May 2017 Credit: PA Officials are investigating a report that disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris walked onto the grounds of a primary school and waved at pupils. The convicted sex offender went onto the premises of Oldfield Primary School near his home in Bray, Maidenhead, to talk to a sculptor working in the grounds, the Daily Mirror reported. Harris, who was jailed fo...
Crime
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was stabbed to death. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, at 7.52pm on Tuesday following reports of a stabbing. A 19-year-old man was found with stab injuries and died at the scene at 8.36pm despite paramedics battling to save his life. The stabbing took place less than half a mile from Prince George's primary school, Thomas's B...
Society
The girl, who has been named Roman by nurses, was found at around 10pm on Thursday in the park in Roman Road in East Ham.  Police said Roman was wrapped in a white towel and placed in the shopping bag on the ground next to a bench in the small children's play park.  The baby was rushed to hospital where she was in a stable condition on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.  Roman was discovered by grandmother-of-one Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, just 100...
Society
The operation to recover the doomed plane carrying Emiliano Sala off Guernsey could be hampered by days of poor weather as the man brought in by the footballer's family to find him said he could be in the wreckage. The English Channel is being battered by torrential ran, 40mph winds and 10ft waves with the poor conditions set to continue - and worsen - until the end of the week, MailOnline can reveal today. The families of the £15million striker and his pi...
Society
Train passengers are being warned of major disruption after overhead electric wires were damaged near one of London’s busiest stations. Network Rail said services travelling to and from Liverpool Street could be cancelled or revised until 8am on Thursday. Wires between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, east London, were damaged, with the outage impacting Greater Anglia, London Overground, Stansted Express and Transport for London Rail services. Passenger...