Britain's strictest headteacher left with no choice but to QUIT after 'apparently abhorrent views' sparked left-wing outrage

Katharine Birbalsingh, head of the Social Mobility Commission has stepped down
Katharine Birbalsingh, head of the Social Mobility Commission has stepped down

A teacher branded 'the UK's toughest head' has quit following controversial public comments

Published

Katharine Birbalsingh, head of the Social Mobility Commission has stepped down after admitting her controversial public comments were “doing more harm than good”.

Birbalsingh, who held her government position for a little more than a year, said some of her remarks and their reception “put the commission in jeopardy”.

Since taking on the role, the strict headteacher has caused a stir by suggesting some people from the poorest families should set their sights lower and saying that female students shunned subjects like physics at A-Level because of the “hard maths”.

Katharine Birbalsingh has made some 'controversial' comments during her role
Katharine Birbalsingh has made some 'controversial' comments during her role

Writing in Schools Week, she said she was leaving because she has “too much baggage”.

“Over this past year, I have become increasingly aware that my propensity to voice opinions that are considered controversial puts the commission in jeopardy,” she said.

“When I gave my inaugural speech in June last year, I spoke about how we often have too narrow a view of social mobility: we often imagine the feel-good rags-to-riches trope of Hollywood movies when there are so many other mobilities we could and should celebrate.

“Of course, that doesn't mean that those who achieve the ambition of going to Oxbridge shouldn't be admired too – only that not everyone has to go to Oxbridge to be admired.

“We had hoped that this new narrative might be received with interest. Instead, the press insisted that I personally believe ''working class people should stay in their lane’.

“Other interesting points were then lost amid the outrage. A tiny apology was published days later, but the damage had already been done. I am still to this day attacked for my apparently abhorrent views on social mobility.”

Minister for Women and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch says she is 'grateful' for Katharine's time
Minister for Women and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch says she is 'grateful' for Katharine's time

Birbalsingh has previously criticised Britain's obsession with a “Dick Whittington model” saying policy makers had been too preoccupied with “the person who is born into a family in social housing and becomes a banker or CEO”.

The Government confirmed that Alun Francis has been named the interim chairman of the Social Mobility Commission.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch said: "I am very grateful to Katharine for her time as chairwoman, and congratulate her on successfully giving the organisation a strong sense of direction and purpose. I know that Alun will continue to build upon her excellent work."