Free Thinking: I agree with Katharine

Joe Kirby's blog


‘Free at last! Free at last! For more than a decade I have been fighting for my freedom and I have finally taken it back.’

Katharine Birbalsingh, 2010

For over a decade now, I’ve loved learning, teaching and thinking about education. I got hooked in 2003/4, when I taught in a primary school. Since starting secondary English, I’ve read enough to write some 200,000 words on education, decided to make teaching my lifelong vocation, and had one big realisation: on how schools can change children’s life chances, I agree with Katharine.

I agree with her that strict discipline, cultural capital and knowledge-led instruction are the best paths to academic achievement for pupils, and I’ve seen first-hand how well her behaviour system works. I agree with her that performance-related pay would destroy school culture and ethos, and I’m encouraged by her strong stand against it. I agree with her that OFSTED

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