I was enormously impressed by Katharine Birbalsingh’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference. It pointed up the failings of modern education in Britain clearly and concisely. She deserved her standing ovation.
What she didn’t deserve is what happened next. The school that she works for – a Church of England school, no less – took the stance that the Burmese government might adopt, and sent her to “work from home” whilst her “case is reviewed”.
That is utterly disgraceful. Cranmer has the story and links to press reports here Teacher who spoke at Tory conference ‘suspended’ by Head
And, apparently, the head teacher at the school is a Blairite political activist and has allowed her school to be involved in Labour Party campaigning, which underlines the unfairness of the way Katharine Birbalsingh has been treated.
As a small contribution, I have written to the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education as follows:
Re: Katharine Birbalsingh
The press is reporting that Katharine Birbalsingh is being treated as a political dissident by one of your schools, St Michael and All Angels Academy Church of England School.
The Church should surely fight against fascism in all its forms. I trust that you will therefore intervene to right this injustice as soon as possible.
The truth of what Ms Birbalsingh has said is illustrated by the St Michael and All Angels Academy website. Click on “Latest News” and you are rewarded with the message, “This page is currently been updated, check back again soon.” You might like to ask the Head of English at the school to reflect upon that sentence and the example that it sets.
I’ll report back if I get a response. Which I doubt.