The country’s supposedly strictest headteacher defended her claims that children are “born with original sin” during a performance in Lorraine.
Newly appointed government adviser Katharine Birbalsingh, from London, now the chair of the social mobility committee, was criticized for “inflaming division” in a Twitter spat last week.
The former headmaster of St Michael and All Angels Academy in Camberwell, south London, was on the morning program today and said all children should be taught ‘good from evil’.
However, she was criticized by viewers, who criticized her for her ‘patronising’ tone, with one comment: ‘Teachers’ own ethics and values should not influence education!
“Keep your mind to yourself and stick to the curriculum.”
Newly appointed government adviser Katharine Birbalsingh, now the chair of the Social Mobility Commission, defended her claims today during a performance in Lorraine that children are “born with original sin”.
During her appearance on the program, Katharine argued that children were born with original sin, comparing it to eating a plate of cookies instead of broccoli.
She said, “It’s much harder to do the right thing. Getting on my treadmill is hard, sitting and watching TV is easy.
“It’s not so much that we’re bad or good, it’s that humans are flawed, meaning we’re not perfect.
“All original sin does — I’m not a Christian, I didn’t think I was being provocative at all — I thought I was making a cultural point by saying, ‘Hey, we’re not perfect.'”
Viewers read off the teacher during her appearance on the program, with many calling her “very patronizing”
She continued: ‘Our role as adults is to get involved and help children figure out how to behave properly.
“All adults – teachers and parents, everyone around the child should help him see the difference between right and wrong and help him choose what is right.
“Original sin does not mean that we are all doomed. It just says we’re all trying to eat broccoli and not cookies.’
And Katherine defended her reputation as ‘Britain’s strictest headteacher’, adding: ‘It is very important to use balance with children, but they need to know that they are making a choice, if they are naughty it has a certain consequence.
Katherine also defended her reputation as ‘Britain’s strictest headteacher’, saying that children ‘need to know’ when they are naughty ‘there is some sort of consequence’
‘At school it could be an arrest and at home it could mean taking their video games. You want to be consistent in your approach.
“You want to tell the child, so you explain the difference between right and wrong, so they increasingly choose what’s right and not wrong.”
‘Teachers and parents must work in unison. What we want is for children to be happy and successful. To do that, they must be loved.
“And I promise that children will feel loved when they know that we hold our expectations very, very high.”
The debate raged after Katharine responded to a comment from a social media user that read ‘we are all born bad’.
The teacher, 48, wrote: ‘Exactly. Original sin. Children must be taught right from wrong and then accustomed to choosing good over evil.
That requires love and constant correction from all adults in their lives over the years. Moral education is a good thing.’
The debate raged after Katharine responded to a comment from a social media user that read ‘we are all born bad’
Her comments were labeled “unhelpful” by Saeed Atcha, who served as a youth commissioner for three years before his term expired yesterday. He said he hoped it wasn’t a “sign of things to come.”
He told the Time: ‘When I read the comments, I just thought that the role of the chairman of the committee is not to make such useless comments and stir up division.
‘Social mobility is serious business and very complex and requires people to come together. It’s a tone the committee has used throughout our three years.’
Jessica Oghenegweke, another outgoing commissioner, said she disagreed with Birbalsingh. She said she had always viewed children “in the best light” and any negativity stemmed from a lack of support.
Sammy Wright, school commissioner and deputy director of Southmoor Academy in Sunderland, said she supported Birbalsingh’s point, but thought it was not very well worded.
She said Twitter spats were not helpful for social mobility.
Boris Johnson attends Michaela Community School in Wembley, London in 2015, as children participate in a history lesson
Birbalsingh will “increase opportunities and give everyone the chance to succeed” in her new role, said Liz Truss, the minister for women and equal opportunities.
The former headteacher spoke about state education at the Conservative Party conference in 2010. She later resigned from St Michael and All Angels Academy in Camberwell, south London, to set up Michaela Community School in Wembley, north-west London. .
She believes that education should focus on the teacher and that the ‘adult is the authority in the classroom’.
At her school, teachers do not accept apologies, children must line up and remain silent, and late arrivals are punishable by incarceration.
Following the resignation of previous committee chair Dame Martina Milburn in May 2020, it will be jointly led by Sandra Wallace and Steven Cooper.