Since she spoke at the Conservative conference, Katharine Birbalsingh has gone from strength to strength. Hardly a day goes by without her name cropping up in the media. She now writes regularly for the Telegraph and following her recent appearance in front of the Education Select Committee, Quentin Letts described her as 'the most exciting voice on education since Chris Woodhead'. That’s some accolade!
For Miss Birbalsingh, there’s only one dark cloud. Because of what she said, she’s lost her job as deputy head of St Michael and All Angels Church of England Academy in Southwark.
Why? In the eyes of the state educational establishment, she committed two cardinal sins, for which she must be punished. One, as a front-line professional, she spoke the truth without the usual mitigating spin. And two, in doing so, she placed the interests of her pupils, and young people generally, above her own self-interest.
This, above all, is what the system fears: free-thinking insiders who dare to speak out. Too much of this and the whole Stalinist system of ‘progressive’ lies and deceit (including the ideological nonsense disseminated in teacher training colleges) will almost certainly crumble. As Melanie Phillips pointed out in the Daily Mail, Katharine Birbalsingh is not the first such victim of the system.
Almost twenty years ago, two outstanding history teachers in East Sussex, Dr Anthony Freeman and Chris McGovern, headed a steady stream of professional critics who suffered short term persecution for their honesty. Nothing has changed since then.
So what can we, as ordinary citizens, do? Not much, unfortunately. One thing we can all do is to show the totalitarians who dominate state education what a pathetic minority they are – that most people care about free speech, honest debate and above all, the education and welfare of future generations.
So please support the Katharine Birbalsingh Defence Fund. Above all, the right of teachers (and students in teacher training colleges) to speak freely, without fear of recrimination, must be defended and enforced.
If you would like to help, please make cheques payable to the Katharine Birbalsingh Defence Fund, c/o 18 Westlands Grove, York YO31 1EF. Electronic transfers can be made to the Katharine Birbalsingh Defence Fund, HSBC Bank, Account Number 04355970, Sort Code 40-47-31.
‘Kill one, frighten 10,000.’ This old adage still stands, though in state education, they don’t kill people, they just deprive them of their livelihoods and security – a very effective threat. This anti-democratic practice must be stopped. What better time to do it?