Friday, October 8, 2010



In the UK, Katharine Birbalsingh, is a top schoolteacher.

She is the daughter of immigrant parents from the Caribbean.

She has recently said that bad behaviour and lack of discipline in UK schools is stopping teachers from getting on with teaching. (Deputy head who dared attack the State school system is sent home)

Birbalsingh, who teaches French, wrote about her experiences anonymously – in a blog that will be turned into a book, To Miss with Love.

She said (head wants to axe bad teachers and drive out the unions):

‘In schools and in society, we need high expectations, of everyone, even if you’re black, or live on a council estate...

‘We need to instil competition amongst the kids and help build their motivation by ensuring they’re not given everything and that they are held to account for what they do.

‘We have a situation where standards have been so dumbed down that even the children know it.

‘When I give them past exam papers to do from 1998, they groan and beg for a 2005 or 6 paper, because they know it’ll be easier.’

‘Exclusion quotas bind our headteachers, league tables have all of us pursuing targets and grades. Instead of teaching properly ... the ordinary child … is lost in a sea of bureaucracy handed down from the well meaning.’

Ranking children by ability was viewed as poisonous by teachers, she said, which meant that pupils ‘live in darkness, without any idea of how they compare to those around them, let alone to those who are educated in the private sector’.

She added: ‘Black underachievement is due in part to the chaos of our classrooms, and in part, to the accusation of racism.

‘If you keep telling teachers that they’re racist for trying to discipline black boys, and if you keep telling heads that they’re racist for trying to exclude black boys, in the end, the schools stop reprimanding these children.

‘Black children underachieve because of what the well-meaning liberal does to him.’

Miss Birbalsingh said the biggest problem in the system was the destruction of behavioural and academic standards.

‘I don’t think ordinary parents have any idea about what goes on in their schools. But it is totally and utterly chaotic. Teachers spend most of their time telling children to sit down or stop disrupting the class rather than teaching.’

Miss Birbalsingh said there was a conspiracy of silence in staffrooms because teachers were too afraid of being branded as failures if they admitted how bad the true picture was.

‘League tables tell you nothing about how good a school really is, just how good the school is at playing the system and picking the easier exams,’ she said.

‘I’d like to see bad teachers getting fired and heads given the powers to discipline children.’


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