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Critical deputy head quits academy

21 October 2010

by Margaret Holness Education Correspondent

KATHARINE BIRBALSINGH has left St Michael and All Angels Church of England Academy, Camberwell, south London, where she had been one of two deputy heads since September this year.

Her departure follows discussions with the school after her appearance at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham earlier this month, where she criticised educational standards and alleged that well-meaning liberal teachers failed to discipline black pupils because they feared being labelled racist (News, 15 October). She was introduced to the conference by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.

A statement from Southwark dio­cese expressed concern that Ms Birbalsingh had projected photo­graphs of academy students on a screen during her speech. The academy’s governors thanked Ms Birbalsingh for her contribution to the academy since September, and confirmed that she had left.

Ms Birbalsingh was unwilling to discuss her departure from the academy in an interview for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, but admitted that she was the author of a previously anony­mous blog, To Miss with Love, based on her experience in inner-London schools. A book based on the blog is due to be published in spring 2011.

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