Newham College principal steps down over teacher’s homophobic rant

Denise Brown-Sackey

Denise Brown-Sackey - Credit: Archant

The principal of Newham College has stepped down from her post after a recording of a homophobic rant by a senior lecturer was published online.

The announcement that Denise Brown-Sackey will step down follows the sacking of performing arts head Mark Walcott last week for his homophobic comments, which were recorded by fellow teachers.

Ms Brown-Sackey took a “leave of absence” after the recording was released by staff who were frustrated that no action had been taken against Dr Walcott.

A spokesman said: “Following a number of anonymous allegations put into the public domain, the corporation board commissioned an independent investigation.

“In order to allow the corporation board to focus on repairing the reputation of the college, Denise Brown has decided to stand down from her post and this has been agreed by the board.”

As of yesterday the college refused to comment on Ms Brown-Sackey’s future at the college.

In the 50 minute recording, from January 2012, Dr Walcott is heard saying: “Boys are becoming gay not because they have a gay gene but because they have gay teachers who are indoctrinating them with their gay mentality.”

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Dr Walcott is also heard claiming he has asked gay teachers to leave schools, and that their sexuality can stop them doing their jobs properly.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who has been following the matter for over a year, said: “The current internal inquiry is wholly inadequate.

“There are many other grave allegations that have not been addressed by the college.

“What’s needed is the intervention of Ofsted and the Education Secretary, Michael Gove.”

He added: “They need to set up an independent inquiry as a matter of urgency.

“The facts need to be established and appropriate remedial action taken.”