More of the same from Miss Snuffy

Stephen Smith's picture
On the Telegraph website - Katharine Birbalsingh provides another predictable blog :

Sorry - I don't have much to say about it.
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Allan Beavis's picture
Sat, 25/06/2011 - 11:40

There is nothing to say really, apart from her self-caricaturisation, poor grasp of evidence based research (the very real criticisms and failures of the Charter and Swedish Free Schools models are readily available even to a education amateur like myself) and toeing of the party line that fierce competition is key to results.

How is she going to select the disadvantaged kids she is going on about? Will they get into her school if the are poor, disadvantaged but bright? If she doesn't select, then how do the less able keep up with the fierce competition with their peers in the classroom?

I find her every utterance so contradictory, so ill-conceived and so badly articulated that I am beginning to question her competence to govern a school. Or head it. Or both. Which is it?

Stephen Smith's picture
Sat, 25/06/2011 - 13:17

I've had snippets of conversations with her on Twitter, and I tend to feel that she's being a little manipulated by the Telegraph and the Tories (aren't we all ?) - She tries to shock, but the daftness of her statements prevent them from being shocking.

She's like a right wing Penny Red Lite - but lacks Laurie's writing talent, and her ability to leave the readers' jaws dropping with the audacity (and sometimes ridiculousness) of what she prints. Actually maybe she matches her on the ridiculous front.

Janet Downs's picture
Sat, 25/06/2011 - 13:55

Many comments following the blog highlighted the contradictions, muddled thinking and false assertions in Ms Birbalsingh's article. One contributor advised readers that if they wanted to read well-argued opinions rather than parodies they should log-on to the Local Schools Network, and helpfully provided a link to Sir Peter Newsam's critique of Government policy.

As well as Ms Birbalsingh's hectoring blog, there was the ridiculous statement recently made by another Telegraph blogger that the UK state education was one of the worst in the world. No evidence, of course, just an over-confident but erroneous assertion. One begins to wonder whether this venerable broadsheet is starting to dumb-down.

Mark Luscombe's picture
Sun, 26/06/2011 - 08:38

"One contributor advised readers that if they wanted to read well-argued opinions rather than parodies they should log-on to the Local Schools Network, and helpfully provided a link to Sir Peter Newsam’s critique of Government policy."

That'll be me. Actually the debate on the blog is quite a fun pastime for me. I think KB's blog is useful as there are two modes of debate which go on in parallel. Mode 1 the sort of stuff that the blog acts as a dog-whistle for, "Lefty teachers" "Progressives" all that stuff. Mode 2 is a growing body of contributions that are able to present counter arguments based on facts and rational argument not abuse. There are a couple of pro-KB posters who attempt reasonable debate.

All in all The blog is becoming a good debating arena for those of us who are troubled by government policy. The lack of evidence and straw man arguments presented by the host are actually a pretty helpful platform to raise counter arguments if you can be bothered to wade through all the "red teachers under the bed" guff. Best wishes Mark

Keith Turvey's picture
Sat, 25/06/2011 - 15:08

Yes not much to add here but to agree, especially the way Ms Birbalsingh is being manipulated as Stephen points out. Her blog his hardly a great advert for her potential school. What parent would look at her last piece as some kind of vision and say 'Yeh that's what I'm after for my child?' Ritual public humiliation for children if they don't come top. It just shows how out of touch she is in general.

Steve Sarsfield's picture
Sun, 26/06/2011 - 08:15

Actually I am extremely grateful to Katherine Birbalsingh.
It was after reading her utterly perverse ramblings that I first realised that under this coalition government that we were sleepwalking into an educational oblivion.
I have been a compulsive anti-blogger ever since (see my comments aka harrypotter on the DT blogs).
Her views on education seem to vacillate so frequently that it’s often difficult to see the premise of her argument and I am left totally confused by her. However, apart from being billed as Britain’s most controversial teacher she is of course the darling of the right and an attack dog for Gove’s educational reforms. If you want proof of her extreme views and total paranoia look at the link below
Never have I found any evidence that KB was ever actually a good teacher herself and her rise to educational fame appears to rest on her fondness for courting controversial headlines. Ultimately KB has an anachronistic view of teaching and is the poster-girl for the free school policy, one of which she is planning to set up herself in Lambeth.
One thing you quickly realise about KB is her fondness for multiple personalities. She likes to live out fantasy ideas and below is a link that I found enlightening (please do as it reveals much about her alter ego...the supposedly black Bridget Jones)
As far as I am concerned she is really polarizing people’s views on education and rather than lampooning her obsessive and draconian educational theories she needs to be challenged. She continually proposes a model of education that is heavily focused on the needs of the academic minority and ignores ‘The Every Child Matters’ agenda.

Andrew Old's picture
Mon, 27/06/2011 - 10:14

Isn't she saying almost the exact same thing as Francis Gilbert was saying here the other day?

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