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By Pete Moore On August 24th, 2019

Something very significant happened this week.

School pupils received their exam results. At the Michaela School in north west London, pupils are celebrating success. What’s significant is that it’s not private but a free school, i.e. it’s state funded but free of local authority interference. It was set up five years ago by Katherine Birbalsingh. She’s a teacher who, in her own words, “became a conservative after working in the state sector”.

She took on the bureaucracy and the education establishment to set up the school, which takes in poorer pupils, those the state comprehensive system would inevitably fail and leave unemployable. Five years later, her poorer pupils are doing well.

Britain’s strictest school’s first GCSE results are four times better than national average

Britain’s strictest school has received its first ever GCSE results after opening five years ago – and they are four times better than the national average […]

Headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh has come under criticism in the past for her “strict” methods at the free school, which aim to instill private school-esque order in state school children.

The school has a number of unusual rules, including silence in the corridor and it has a strict “no excuses” policy where pupils are given detention for coming to school one minute late.

They are also penalised for not completing homework or if the work is scruffy, for not having the correct stationery , or for tutting, rolling eyes, or “persistently turning around in class” […]

“If a school is too permissive, allowing too many exceptions, it risks creating helplessness, selfishness or dependence in its pupils rather than responsibility, consideration and agency. If a school reduces its standards for poorer pupils because of their poverty or difficult home life, it does them a disservice; frankly, it doesn’t believe in them enough. “

Do read it all. Her ways, traditional, conservative teaching methods, have again been proved effective. The moral relativism, victim culture and indulgence of bad behaviour so rife in the state sector have no place in her school. She expects the best from her pupils and that’s what she’s getting. She knows that background should not be an indicator of what a pupil can do.

The Guardian, that disgusting nest of far-left vipers, described the Michaela School as “controversial” two days ago. There’s nothing controversial about youngsters actually getting an education, something very rare now in this country. What’s controversial to the left is that a woman called Birbalsingh walked off the plantation to expose how generations of children have been failed by a left wing education establishment pushing failed methods.

12 Responses to “THE OLD WAYS ARE BEST”

  1. Yeah, I saw this doing the rounds on the interweb and thought you would pick up on it.

    Traditional, conservative teaching methods, have again been proved effective

    I don’t think there are any ‘traditional, conservative teaching methods’ at all. I think that the school has a strict policy on discipline which it implements and adheres to.

    Wouldn’t the geographical location and ethnic mix of the area the school’s in also torpedo the stereotypes regarding intelligence and criminality connected to ethnicity perpetuated by people like yourself?

  2. Exceptionally interesting

    I think that many kids would benefit – for life – from this type of approach, especially those in inner cities in the US and UK where many social and family influences are so negative

  3. I absolutely agree Phantom. Instilling a sense of discipline and responsibility in a young person is a positive thing.

  4. The Guardian, that disgusting nest of far-left vipers, described the Michaela School as “controversial” two days ago.

    The Guardian article is favourable to the school and contains no criticism whatsoever. Did you trouble to read it?

  5. Peter –

    It’s favorable (how could it be otherwise?), but through a sneer. 50 per cent of a news narrative is in the headline, 40 per cent in the first paragraph. Almost all the rest is just filling space.

  6. 50 per cent of a news narrative is in the headline

    Controversial Michaela free school delights in GCSE success
    Headteacher at school known for its strict behaviour policy says her pupils ‘smashed it’

    There’s no sneer there whatsoever. It’s all a statement of fact and congratulatory.

  7. The Guardian’s takeaway is that the school is “controversial”. Why it’s controversial is unexplained because it’s irrelevant to the narrative. The reader just needs to associate a free school with “controversial”.

  8. The article explains why the school was regarded as controversial when it was set up:

    “Birbalsingh first attracted controversy when, as deputy head at a school in south London, she criticised school behaviour policies in a high-profile speech to the Conservative party conference in 2010. The speech alienated many in the teaching profession and she was left shaken and jobless.”

    I’d say that was a pretty sympathetic take, but you seem determined to see it as a hatchet job.

  9. Controversial is a neutral adjective but you of course can’t have the Guardian praising such a ‘conservative’ idea.

  10. What’s “controversial” about criticising (state) school behaviour policies? They’re a disaster. State education is a catastrophe, a genuine catastrophe. It deserves the severest criticism.

    What The Guardian means by controversial is “we don’t like what she’s doing, showing up the state sector, so neither should you, comrade reader.”

  11. What’s “controversial” about criticising (state) school behaviour policies?

    Nothing, but that’s not what you mean by controversial by your comments above as regards the school as opposed to the comments by the school’s headmistress

    What The Guardian means by controversial is “we don’t like what she’s doing, showing up the state sector, so neither should you, comrade reader.”

    I don’t read that at all. The tone of the piece, including the parts in the headline I’ve itallicised above, is congratulatory and celebratory. As a matter of fact, I think the Tele piece focuses on the ‘controversial’ aspect more.

    BTW, bear in mind that Free Schools are stse funded education too:

    Free schools are all-ability state-funded schools set up in response to what local people say they want and need in order to improve education for children in their community. They are academies by law and so are not under the control of their local authority


    I went to a state funded school too, except it was under the control of the Catholic Controlled and Maintained Schools which wasn’t under the authority of the local authority either, which was staffed by Christian Brothers and lay teachers too who were strict disciplinarians too. I recieved a great education.

    You have ‘that disgusting nest of far-left vipers’ and the ATW ‘Commies’ praising this school and yet you still can’t accept it in good faith.

  12. Sounds like a great school.

    But, wait, if the Guardian and liberal pinkos like Phantom and Paul praise it…I smell a commie conspiracy.