Sunday, October 10, 2010

Even More Damn Katherine Birbalsingh

Here's the points she made in interview (I've copied them shamelessly from The Telegraph, without any permission)

* Lack of discipline is rife, because staff fear being labelled racist if they attempt to tackle bad behaviour by black pupils.

* Britain's state education system is an "international disgrace" which is incapable of reaching the "absurdly low" target of pupils achieving five grade Cs at GCSE.

* Mixed ability teaching, where bright students are taught alongside the less able, is "insane" because it means no pupils can receive the teaching they require.

* Ofsted's inspection criteria are so skewed and prescriptive, they can lead to great and inspirational teachers being labelled as underperforming.

* The fashion for "group teaching" in some schools prevents teachers setting out classroom desks in traditional rows, forcing them to be arranged in groups so pupils can work in pairs or teams.

* If you did not have chaos in our classrooms then everyone could get five Cs at GCSE. But instead we say 'It's not their fault – they come from a council estate, they're from a single parent family,' or 'They're black.'

I'm rather hoping that she will hurry up and say something that I don't agree with. Maybe she could go back to Marxism or something?


Anonymous said...

In the absence of links in the main post allow me to provide some:

This is the summary of the situation

This is a set of extracts from the teachers blog posts

Unfortunately the source posts for the source blog have been taken down

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chalk, How did I never know about you before? Have just been laughing and crying at the excerpt of your book and will be buying it asap.

It's great Ms. Birbalsingh has your support - you might consider having a chat with Wendy Davies and Dave Waite on the FaceBook page as they seem to feel that writing a blog is an evil act.

Also, if I were Ms Birbalsingh I certainly would not be going back into school today unless I had clear assurances from the head and board of governors that they were going to support me as publicly as they criticised me. Still not clear what the criticism was - given your experience in schools maybe you could explain it to me?

rogerh said...

One week ago I saw posters advertising lessons in "Physics", "Chemistry", "Maths", "Spoken English". I also met children of 5 who can speak good English and count and do sums. I also saw teachers giving lessons in ordinary homes. Plainly these Asian children and their parents believe (probably rightly) these efforts will get them a decent job and a better life.

Back home HMG could easily promote such efforts but does not do so for the very good reason that our economy can barely provide decent jobs and homes for the educated and socialised children we have - let alone the masses who are not well educated or socialised. Such money and effort would be wasted and merely create a better educated unemployed undercclass.

Meanwhile our middle classes are busy investing in more and more expensive educational efforts to ensure their children grab whatever good jobs remain. I suspect our lunch is being eaten....

Don said...

Mixed ability teaching is deperately unfair on bright pupils who are not stretched or pushed to the extent of their abilities, and have no real incentive to give of their best: everything gets reduced to averages, or in the worst schools, to the lowest common denominator.

Small wonder that amongst pupils nowadays, it's not generally considered "cool" to do well at school.

marc said...

I didn't realise that she was "to miss with love", I had read her blog for a while now

Anonymous said...


But she's in a 'failing' school. It is, very publically, known to be shite.

It is also in a gang-ridden catchment area.

Can we pleeeeeeease stop generalising about all state schools.

Yes, there are problems in some. But there are loads of bloody good ones too. Anyone care to mention them?

Anonymous said...

I must say I feel a great deal of respect for this woman, standing up and being counted in such a public way at huge risk to her career.

Anonymous said...

"Here are.." surely Mr Chalk ??

Surely the use of "Here's..." is just the sort of deterioration she is fighting against ?

But I agree - Katherine Birbalsingh rocks, and I speak as a Guardian reader.