This Morning headteacher sparks fury after saying parents should educate children as 'teachers might be tired'

A HEADTEACHER sparked fury among This Morning viewers today after urging parents to educate their children at home because teachers might be too tired.

Katharine Birbalsingh – who has been dubbed the strictest teacher in Britain – insisted parents need to engage with their kids outside of the classroom to ensure they get a rounded education.


The founder of Michaela Community School in Wembley said if parents sit on their phones at home then their kids will too.

Instead she advised them to carry out a range of educational activities from reading to counting peas on dinner plates.

She told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: "My main concern is simply that sometimes parents sort of tick the box and think, 'I've sent my child off to school'.

"And they don't really know what the child is accessing, and sometimes the child will access some really excellent teaching all of the time, and other times the teacher might be absent, the teacher might be tired."

Using the current Covid crisis as an example of how the school environment is from perfect, she continued: "You might have a deputy heading a gym with 120 children because there aren't enough teachers in at the moment because of the Covid situation.

"And obviously, proper teaching isn't able to take place, so – even if everything were perfect, parents need to realise – going to museums, reading with your child, counting the peas on the plate, asking your child, 'what tests do you have this week'? And taking out the test books.

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"Sometimes parents don't feel very confident in doing that but I tell you, you can learn stuff with your child.

"Have them teach you – make the conversation about learning. And that's so important because children want to copy their parents.

"They want to get their respect and if they see you on your phone all the time then they'll go on their phone, wheres if you're reading with them – I always say to parents try and spend half an hour if you can and if you can't, do 10 minutes."

The subject split viewers with some infuriated by Katharine's comments, while others wholeheartedly agreed and praised her methods and views.

One annoyed viewer wrote on Twitter: "What is the point of her being there she is in charge of that school & if teachers are tired that school is not being run properly. Parent work long hours also & they are tired to."

Another posted: "No, school is for learning academic things, home is for love, and morality, playing, and relaxing. If schools & teachers cannot teach then they need to re-train."

However, another enthused: "This is a fantastic teacher and correct on everything they say. Holly and Phil piled on a bit too much. Parents do need to do their bit."

While a fourth wanted her to overhaul the education system, writing: "Great interview with the Head Teacher. Can she take over the running of the education system in this country immediately please."

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