Social mobility tsar: ‘White teachers should teach ethnic minority children God Save the King’


Katharine Birbalsingh won a standing ovation at the Conservative Party conference after she filed a scathing indictment in 2010 against “extremely chaotic” state schools.

Shortly after, however, she was sent home from her school in Camberwell, south London, after her speech and lost her job as a deputy head teacher at the inner-city academy.

The former Marxist turned conservative was the surprising star of the Tory conference as she exposed an education system in which children were “lost in a sea of ​​bureaucracy.”

She said schools were paralyzed by rankings, exams were watered down and “well-meaning liberal” teachers refused to punish black children for fear of being called racist.

The Oxford University graduate also admitted that she had voted Conservative for the first time after spending ten years working in public schools and supporting Labour.

She was born in New Zealand, the eldest of two daughters of Frank Birbalsingh, an academic, and his wife, Norma, a nurse.

After leaving Oxford, she began working in inner-city schools in South London. After resigning in 2010, she wrote several books before becoming head of the Michaela Community School in Wembley, having founded the school in 2014 with Suella Braverman, who is now a Tory MP.

She was dubbed the “Tiger Headmistress” because of the way she runs her school, where 7th graders are taught how to sit properly in a chair.

New students are also shown how to quickly walk to classes in one file and how to focus on the teacher and teach good behavior as soon as they arrive, while cell phones are banned.

They are told to tuck in their shirts and pick up crumbs from the floor after dinner at a boot camp, where students are taught how to ‘behave the Michaela way’.

She was voted among the 20 most influential people in British education in 2017 and was awarded a CBE for services to education in 2020.

In October 2021, she was appointed chair of the Social Mobility Committee.

She has never spoken about her private life publicly, except for her parents, and reportedly has no children who previously said she is “completely committed” to her job.