'Be interested in what matters' UK's strictest headteacher shrugs off Churchill quote row


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Katharine Birbalsingh, who is the founder and head teacher of Michaela Community School, has been at the centre of a recent Twitter spat. The events in question focus on a controversial photograph of Ms Birbalsingh walking past a quote on the wall of her school that has been attributed to Winston Churchill. However, Ms Birbalsingh has faced numerous challenges on the Twitter sphere that Winston Churchill never said that particular quote.

The quote read: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it’s the courage that counts, Winston Churchill.”

The photograph drew the ire of Andrew Scott, a journalist with the Times, whose eagle eyes spotted an inaccuracy.

He posted a tweet that showed a picture of Ms Birbalsingh walking past the quote that was painted on a white wall.

Times journalist Andrew Scott hit out at the Headmistress with a tweet that read: “Britain’s strictest Head teacher has a fake Churchill quote on her school wall.

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Ms Birbalsingh responded to this and said: “Ha ha ha! Barry is funny.

“But that’s the point, be interested in the things that matter!

“Stop being distracted by the stuff that doesn’t.”

Another Twitter user, called Clive Wright, wrote: “Teacher, passionate about transforming the lives of the children in a deprived community.

“She sets up a school that achieves extraordinary outcomes for these pupils.

“But, yeah, this quote on a wall is wrong.”

The woman at the centre of the controversy, Ms Birbalsingh, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours.

In October 2021, Birbalsingh was appointed chair of the Social Mobility Commission.



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