UK

Britain’s toughest ‘Tiger Headmistress’ is ‘handpicked by Liz Truss as boss of government taskforce’

A tough-talking ‘Tiger Headmistress’ has reportedly been lined up to become the new head of the social mobility commission, an advisory Government body which helps disadvantaged children. 

Katharine Birbalsingh, headteacher and founder of the notoriously uncompromising Michaela Community School in Wembley, north London, has reportedly been eyed up by ministers to help Boris Johnson with plans for ‘levelling up’ in disadvantaged communities. 

She was selected by equalities minister Liz Truss after being one of six candidates interviewed for the position, according to The Times.

But Ms Birbalsingh, who has been dubbed Britain’s strictest headteacher, has insisted that although she applied for the role, she is yet to hear back.

Ms Birbalsingh rose to prominence for previously speaking out against schools teaching ‘white privilege’ and hitting back at the attacks black Conservatives face. 

Katharine Birbalsingh (pictured), headteacher of Michaela Community School in Wembley, has reportedly been lined up to become the new head of the social mobility commission

Responding to the reports on Twitter, she wrote: ‘Applied. Have yet to hear back.’

An Equality Hub spokesperson told MailOnline that they are still in the process of recruiting for the role, and will announce the successful candidate shortly.

It is understood that Ms Birbalsingh would remain head of Michaela Community School, which only opened in 2014, while working with the commission several days a month.

Her job would be to refocus the commission to focus on ‘equality of opportunity’ rather than ‘equality of outcome’, sources reportedly said.

A Whitehall source said: ‘This is important for levelling up.’

An Equality Hub spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We are currently in the process of recruiting for the new Chair of the Social Mobility Commission. We will announce the successful candidate in due course.’ 

The headteacher (pictured) of the notoriously uncompromising Michaela School has reportedly been eyed to help Boris Johnson 'levelling up' disadvantaged communities

The headteacher (pictured) of the notoriously uncompromising Michaela School has reportedly been eyed to help Boris Johnson ‘levelling up’ disadvantaged communities

MailOnline has contacted Katharine Birbalsingh for comment. 

Ms Birbalsingh was subject to ridicule from teacher unions after an appearance at the Tory party conference in 2010 where she promoted a strict, old-fashioned approach to learning.

She credits her father, who received an ‘old-fashioned British education in British Guyana’, with her success.

The headteacher has since spoken out against schools teaching about ‘white privilege’, saying it gives black British children the impression that the education system and society is pitted against them.

In June, she said teachers should avoid talking about race to students and stick to ‘teaching them maths and English’. 

Ms Birbalsingh said the secret to success for a child of ‘any colour’ is to have a family that supports their education, makes them do their homework and will force them ‘off their phones’. 

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, she said: ‘Talking about white privilege all the time actually undermines black children because it tells them that the establishment is against them. 

Ms Birbalsingh was said to be selected by equalities minister Liz Truss (pictured) after being one of six candidates interviewed for the position

Ms Birbalsingh was said to be selected by equalities minister Liz Truss (pictured) after being one of six candidates interviewed for the position

‘We need to move away from these things because they’re divisive and unhelpful and be talking about what matters: How do we make all our schools excellent so that all children, whatever colour they are, can succeed in the classroom’. 

Describing today’s current culture war, she said: ‘On one side we’ve got people saying: ‘Look at the white children, we’re not paying attention to them’ and we’ve got the other side saying: ‘White children are more privileged than black children’. What we ought to be doing is teaching them maths and English. That’s what is important here – and getting them off their phones.’

She added: ‘There is first born privilege for instance, because if you are an only child you’re more likely to do well overall in any country – than if you’re a third born child. We don’t go around teaching children that.’

She spoke out after furious row between Tory and Labour MPs over a landmark report exposing how ‘divisive’ and ‘politically controversial’ terms such as ‘white privilege’ have led to the ‘systemic neglect’ of white working-class children by England’s education system for decades. 

Earlier this year, Ms Birbalsingh also took a swipe at  at ‘woke culture’ for ‘mercilessly attacking’ black conservatives who ‘dare to think for themselves’.

Taking aim at those behind the abuse of race report chairman Tony Sewell, headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh accused ‘leftists’ of driving their own ‘cultural racism’ by attempting to shut down opposing views.

She said: ‘It is always acceptable in our woke culture of 2021 to mercilessly attack black conservatives. 

But Ms Birbalsingh, who has been dubbed Britain's strictest headteacher, has insisted that although she applied for the role, she is yet to hear back

But Ms Birbalsingh, who has been dubbed Britain’s strictest headteacher, has insisted that although she applied for the role, she is yet to hear back

Ms Birbalsingh (pictured) rose to prominence for previously speaking out against schools teaching 'white privilege' and hitting back at the attacks black Conservatives face

Ms Birbalsingh (pictured) rose to prominence for previously speaking out against schools teaching ‘white privilege’ and hitting back at the attacks black Conservatives face

‘They have ‘betrayed’ their leftist masters by daring to think for themselves, when they should be grateful.

‘THAT is institutionalised/cultural racism. And it is everywhere.’

Her comments came in response to a Tweet by another educator who also hit out at the ‘vile abuse’ aimed at those behind the report. 

The report, published in March, said factors such as geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion were found to have more impact on life chances than racism.

The findings drew criticism from the likes Baroness Lawrence, whose son Stephen was murdered by white thugs in 1993, said it had ‘given racists the green light’.

Ms Birbalsingh runs the Michaela Community School, where pupils can get detention for slouching in their chairs, using a mobile phone or wearing makeup or jewellery.  

The school made national headlines in 2016 when a pupil was told he would be given just a sandwich and piece of fruit to eat in ‘lunch isolation’ when his parents did not pay the termly dinner fee.

The school sits in a deprived area of London and the majority of pupils come from families so poor they qualify for the pupil premium grant. 


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button