Muslim teacher claims using ‘white name’ got him job interview at Newham school

Hamid Mahmood

Hamid Mahmood - Credit: Archant

A Muslim teacher has claimed he was only able to secure a job interview at an East Ham school after pretending to be a “white British applicant”.

Hamid claims he was only offered an interview after changing his name to Harry Mason

Hamid claims he was only offered an interview after changing his name to Harry Mason - Credit: Archant

Hamid Mahmood changed his name to “Harry Mason” on his CV when applying to a Religious Studies teaching post at Langdon Academy for a second time, because he wanted to see if his “race or religion had anything to do with the constant rejections”.

The experienced teacher said he was “shocked” after receiving a job interview hours after applying with a different identity, claiming the outcome shows his “fears of discrimination are true”.

However, a spokesman for Langdon Academy, Sussex Road, East Ham, has rejected Mr Mahmood’s claims stating the academy has “a proud record of equal opportunities recruitment”.

Mr Mahmood told the Recorder that he had been turned down from thirty teaching posts in the last year despite having a first class Master’s degree and a distinction in his teaching qualification.

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Mr Mahmood, from Walthamstow, who has taught at Islamic schools for eight years, was also turned down for a teaching position at Langdon Academy in March last year.

Constant rejections from other schools prompted him to re-apply for the same position at Langdon when it reappeared in May, only this time with a different identity.

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The 30-year-old claimed he changed his name and “deleted any reference to Islam” but said “no other changes were made to the CV”.

He added: “Before I applied last year, I called them up and they seemed very positive about the application, but then when I applied I didn’t hear back. I’m also sure that nobody else was hired because they re-advertised the job a month later in April.

“So, when the same position came up this year in May, I decided to apply again but this time I changed my name to Harry Mason and took out any reference to Islam.”

Mr Mahmood said he was invited for an interview seven hours after applying for the role.

“They responded so quickly I was shocked. I’ve wanted to teach for a long time so I went out and got a degree, I then did a Master’s degree in history followed by my PGCE,” he said.

“But at the end of the day, it looks like my degree didn’t matter because it was really based on ethnicity and faith and this is something I am really saddened by.”

However, a spokesman for the school, which forms one half of the Brampton Manor Trust alongside Brampton Manor Academy, has “refuted” the allegation “entirely”.

“At Langdon Academy we are proud of the wide cultural and ethnic diversity of our staff and confident in our recruitment procedures,” he said.

“During 2014-15 we recruited more staff of Islamic faith than any other religious domination, including both new appointments to our Senior Leadership Team. The head of our Religious Education is also an Asian Muslim.

“Our formal complaints procedure is available on our website at and, should Mr Mahmood wish to contact us directly, we would be happy to go through this with him.”

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