Bargepoles and Such

One to Watch, Methinks

Over at Samizdata, Natalie Solent provides a brief overview of the Katharine Birbalsingh saga, which may be of interest. Ms Birbalsingh is a deputy head teacher and former blogger whose first-hand account of state schooling and its dysfunction roused the Conservative conference and upset her employer, resulting in a brief suspension.

At a time when school discipline can be subject to racial quotas, Ms Birbalsingh is inclined to note, and say, things like this:

If you keep telling teachers that they’re racist for trying to discipline black boys and if you keep telling heads that they’re racist for trying to exclude black boys, in the end, the schools stop reprimanding these children. When the lawyers argue against a school and readmit a black boy, who do we think suffers the most? It’s all the other black boys who now look to this invincible child and copy his bad example. Black children underachieve because of what the well-meaning liberal does to him.

Here’s a taste of Ms Birbalsingh in action:

Readers may not be surprised to learn that Ms Birbalsingh’s disgruntled employer, Dr Irene Bishop, has political leanings more common to the teaching profession and has been more than willing to indulge them.

As Ross notes at Unenlightened Commentary,

So speaking at a party conference is too political but inviting one party to actually use school premises is perfectly fine.

Laban Tall has more.

On Ms Birbalsingh’s hasty suspension, Cranmer adds the following,

One can scarcely think of little else that the school could have done to establish the truth of every word Ms Birbalsingh spoke… And so Ms Birbalsingh sits ‘working from home’, while her governing body considers whether or not her Toryism is as perverse as theft, cheating in exams or allegations of paedophilia. Certainly, by sending her home, they equate speaking at a Conservative Party conference with gross professional misconduct.

Then asks,

How does a deputy head teacher who has blown the whistle on a sclerotic culture of excuses, criticised low standards, derided arbitrary targets and league tables, disparaged political correctness and poured scorn over the pervasive ‘leftist ideology’ in state education ever again command the respect of a staffroom populated with pathological Socialists?

It will, I think, be interesting to find out.


Ah. Ms Birbalsingh’s fellow educators really don’t want realism heresy in their midst. How righteous they must be.

Tom Paine asks,

Are teachers free to have and to express non-left political views or not?

Seems not.