From Hamid Mahmood to Harry Mason

By Hasnae May


The founder of Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy claims he was discriminated against as he was not shortlisted for an interview after applying for 30 teacher roles to state schools, using his real name.

hamid picHamid Mahmood applied for a teacher of Religious Education role at Langdon Academy in 2014. Despite his exceptional academic background, a first class BA in Abrahamic Religious, a distinction in MA Islam and the West, and a C1 in PGCE, he was not shortlisted.

One year later, on 22 May 2015, Mr Mahmood applied for the same role at Langdon Academy, this time changing his name to Harry Mason, his ethnicity from British-Pakistani to White British and removing any experience or qualifications relating to Islam. Seven hours and five minutes after sending his application ‘Harry Mason’ was offered an interview.

Hamid Story pic

‘Despite teaching many lessons on racism, discrimination and the Holocaust it was only today that I really felt empathy.’ Mr Mahmood said. He further questioned whether these are British values.

Mr Mahmood founded the Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy that is a supplementary school for children aged four to fourteen, in East London.

It is important to rise up against discrimination and take the relevant steps forward in allowing for all British individuals to have the same rights regardless of their differing religious backgrounds.

Mr Mahmood has been a highly respected member of all three academic institutes he attended. His peers describe him as intelligent, dedicated and hard working.

‘Langdon is not the only school and I am not the only one’, said Mr Mahmood.