London school run by ‘Britain’s strictest headmistress’ rated outstanding by Ofsted
For the second consecutive time, Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) has awarded the highest rating of “outstanding” to Michaela Community School in Wembley. The North London educational institution is run by a headmistress known to be ‘Britain’s strictest’. Despite facing criticism for its unwavering disciplinary methods, the school has once again achieved this commendable recognition.
According to MyLondon, in May of this year, inspectors visited the school and found that the expectations placed on the students are “exceptionally high” at the Brent school, which means that they “rise to the challenges” given to them and “take their education seriously”. In the report published on July 10, the curriculum was emphasised as “broad and exceptionally rich,” effectively equipping students for their future educational endeavours.
Michaela Community School is a secondary comprehensive school or boys and girls between ages 11 and 19. The headteacher of the school, Katharine Birbalsingh, came into the limelight after an ITV documentary revealed that the kids were punished for not making eye contact, forgetting to bring their pencils and making funny faces. This led to Birbalsingh being known as ‘Britain’s strictest headmistress’.
In the report, inspectors have commended the staff for their unwavering commitment to addressing behaviour or academic work that falls short of expectations. Meanwhile, students demonstrate a strong focus on learning and display resilience when confronted with challenging tasks.
The report also lauds the leadership, describing the school as effectively led and managed. It further notes: “Staff are proud and happy to work here. Leaders make sure that all staff feel valued and part of the school community [and] staff said that the strong sense of teamwork helps to make the workload manageable.”
After an exchange with Labour MP Jess Phillips, who questioned the school’s safeguarding policies, Birbalsingh took to Twitter and stated, “Incredibly, some still think it is justified to question our safeguarding at Michaela because of a silly mistaken tweet. It isn’t. Why do you think it is? Ofsted visited us just days before the Jess Phillips incident. They rated us Outstanding.”
MyLondon reports that previously Birbalsingh had publicly criticised Ofsted on Twitter as she thought it was “making schools worse not better”. She added that the inspectors were “wildly different” and a school can be deemed to have failed if one has “a bee in his bonnet”. She continued to say that the head teachers are “distracted from doing what will improve their school” and should ignore Ofsted.