Jewish headteacher who taught Jihadi John says she saw no sign of radicalisation


The Jewish teacher who ran the school attended by the British terrorist known as Jihadi John said she had no idea he was being radicalised.

Jo Shuter, who was headteacher at Quintin Kynaston academy in north-west London, said she knew Mohammed Emwazi as a “quiet, reasonably hardworking young person”.

She told Radio 4’s Today programme: "I am not prepared to say when the radicalisation took place. All I can say is absolutely hand on heart, we had no knowledge of it. If we had, we would have done something about it.”

She said that Emwazi, who has appeared in Islamic State videos in which western hostages have been beheaded, had experienced “adolescent issues” at the school which staff had tried to help him overcome.

Ms Shuter said: “He had some issues with being bullied which we dealt with.

“He wasn’t a particularly socialable young man. He didn’t have a huge group of friends.

"By the time he got into the sixth-form he, to all intents and purposes, was a hardworking aspirational young man who went on to the university that he wanted to go to."

She said she had been unaware that two other pupils had gone to fight for terrorist groups in the Middle East. "Catagorically, no one on the staff was ever told about that," she said.

Ms Shuter left Quintin Kynaston in 2013 and went on to become headteacher at King Solomon School in Redbridge.

She left that post after being banned from teaching for abuse of expenses while at Quintin Kynaston. She is appealing against the ban.

She said that being Jewish had been helpful in her relationship with Muslim pupils at Quintin Kynaston.

"I was a secular Jewish head in a 70 per cent Muslim school. It was a very interesting dynamic that was set up and it allowed us to have conversations that I think were really relevant.

"There was never any sense that any of these young men as I knew them were radicalised while they were in school."

She expressed her shock and horror” at Emwazi’s activities as a member of Islamic State.

"Even now when I'm listening to the news and I hear his name I feel the skin on the back of my neck stand up because it is just so far from what I knew of him and it is so shocking and so horrendous the things that he has done," she said.

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