A French teacher who condemned 'utterly chaotic' state schools at the Tory Party conference last month has reportedly left her job at an inner city academy in Camberwell, south London.
Katharine Birbalsingh, 37, won a standing ovation at the conference, in which she said teachers were 'blinded by leftist ideology', exams were dumbed down and 'well meaning liberal' teachers refused to discipline black children for fear of being called racist.
According to the Daily Mail, however, Ms Birbalsingh's performance 'horrified her headmistress', who asked her to work from home after the conference 'while her position was reviewed'.
A spokesperson for the Diocese of Southwark, which is responsible for the Church of England-sponsored St Michael and All Angels Academy, said it was concerned that 'the position of the academy should not be misrepresented'.
'Generalisations about teachers and schools can be seen as insulting to many teachers who have worked hard to make a difference to the lives of the young people in their care.'
It also said the Diocese was 'concerned' by Ms Birbalsingh's use of pictures of children from the school during the conference speech and making references to pupils by name.
Having concluded the review, Southwark Diocese has now confirmed the teacher's departure from the school: 'Following discussions between St Michael and All Angels Academy and Katharine Birbalsingh, Ms Birbalsingh is leaving the academy's employment.
'The governing body would like to thank Katharine Birbalsingh for her contribution since she joined the academy in September and wish her well.'
Speaking to the Mail, Ms Birbalsingh was unrepentant about the conference speech: 'I don't regret it, it had to be said. I'm pleased I did it. It was never about me; it was about a school system that is fundamentally broken. I want people to take notice of what I've said and demand change.'
She also said she had obtained consent from the school and parents for the use of the pictures, but it remains unclear how much detail she gave of how and where they would used.
She also denied claims that she intends to launch a career in politics on the back of her performance, saying she intends to return to teaching 'as soon as possible'.
As to the circumstances surrounding her departure from the Academy -- less than two months into the job -- her words indicate that she may have signed a compromise agreement (an agreement compromising any claims against the schoo)l: 'I can't really discuss it. All I can say is that I want to be back in work as soon as possible. It feels very weird, I don't think it's sunk in properly that I'm not in school. I feel like I'm in limbo. All I tried to do was expose a big problem, but people aren't used to hearing honesty.
'People presume that everyone is acting out of self-interest. But all I did was to tell the truth.'
- I'm still glad I spoke out, says teacher sacked after her attack on failing schools (Daily Mail)
- Tory conference speech teacher leaves school (BBC News)
- Compromise agreements (Findlaw.co.uk)
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