Saturday 28 January 2017

'Sergeant Major' with 'good voice' required to direct detentions at Michaela School - true or a spoof?

Is it a wind-up?  So hard to tell with the Michaela Free School, but this is what appears in Times Education Supplement jobs this week.  It is not currently advertised on the Michaela website and it is unusual to request a CV rather than an application form to be completed with full qualification and employment history as well as safeguarding declaration.

Hoax or real Michaela will get some publicity out of it and headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh (above)  enjoys that as can be seen from the school website.

It says something about the school and its methods that it is hard to tell whether the ad is genuine.

The Chair of Governors of Michaela is Suella Fernandes, Conservative MP for Fareham.

Job details

Job details
Employer Michaela Community School
Location Brent
Salary £22k to £35k – with up to 14 weeks holiday per year
Contract type Full Time
Contract term Permanent
Job dates
Posted New this week
Closing date

Days are 7:30am to 5:30pm, with Friday ending at 3:30pm
Do you like order and discipline?
Do you believe in children being obedient every time?
Do you believe that allowing children to make excuses is unkind?

If you do, then the role of Detention Director at Michaela Community School, could be for you.
This role isn't suited to a would-be counsellor or to someone who wants to be every child's best friend. This role is for someone who believes children need clear, firm discipline. This role is for someone who believes tough love is what children need to become better people and grow into responsible young adults.

We want someone who will analyse data, organise detentions, line-manage staff, be a sergeant major in the detention room, ring parents, be extremely efficient with time and paperwork, have heart-to-heart conversations with pupils and be inspirational.

You do not need any experience, but must be willing to learn on the job. You will need reasonable spoken English, but your written English does not have to be excellent. You must also be
hard-working, willing to get stuck in and own the job like it is the most important thing in the world to you.

We will train you if you are the right person for the job. So don't imagine you cannot do it. If you have presence, passion and a good voice, then we want to meet you!

The salary we are offering is far higher than a job like this would normally pay. This is because we want someone who is truly excellent. Even if we start you at the bottom of the range, the pay will rise quickly if you are good.

You are welcome to visit the school anytime, so please call us on 020 8795 3183 to arrange a visit.
To apply, please send a full CV with a covering letter to


Anonymous said...

Beyond satire, as you say, Martin. Seems that Ms B is another right-wing nonentity who has found a new confidence and inspiration from the success of the subtle and nuanced approach of Herr Trump.

Mike Hine

Anonymous said...

Reading between the lines, it would appear that Birbalsingh is not finding running her common sense, no-nonsense regime as easy as she thought.
Next stage, call in G4S?

Anonymous said...

'Justice for the poor, Freedom from the state', eh?
As 'the poor' are , by definition, powerless, justice for them needs to be guaranteed by the powerful. That's a choice between the rich or the state. But 'the poor' should have freedom from the state so that leaves the rich to guarantee justice for the poor.
That sounds like a great idea!
Voluntary sector courts and policing!
Trickle down justice! The Big Society! Feudalism! It worked so well before and it just might be the Big New Idea the country's been waiting for. Take back control! Tithes not taxes!

But hang on a minute. Maybe Kath means that 'the poor' should compensate for their individual weakness by finding strength in their numbers and unite to seek power and justice by combining together to gain their own freedom.
Now I understand!
Lead us, Red Burble! To the barricades! We have nothing to lose but our private school ethos and our dinner money detentions!

Mike Hine

Philip Grant said...

Is the budget for Ms Birbalsingh's personal Free School not being cut, in the same way as other schools in London and elsewhere?

How can her school afford to pay a salary 'far higher than a job like this would normally pay', when many schools are faced with reducing teacher numbers and increasing class sizes, as a result of Government funding cuts?


Nick Grant said...

Good work Martin. People need to know whether this kind of bullying is passing for education or not in our constituency. This is disgraceful if true.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with the earlier comments. Beyond satire indeed - I am a firm believer in the value of comprehensive education but this dehumanisation of children is appalling. If I lived in Wembley and it was a choice between Michaela and home schooling, I know which it would be.

I think Mike's comments speared the ridiculousness of her position - it's a shame she's being allowed to damage kids with this nonsense, although I suspect the second anonymous commenter was correct and that this is actually a sign of desperation.

I hope the kids aren't taking this kind of pseudo-military nonsense lying down.

Perhaps someone should send a copy of Schools Out: The hidden history of Britain's school students strikes to their isolation room?

Anonymous said...

It's in the TES so it's genuine

Martin Francis said...

Yes that led me to believe that it was genuine as I know they check up on the source etc but I still have a lingering doubt. I have asked Suella Fernandes on Twitter to confirm it is genuine but no response.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Martin.

Anonymous said...

Good work Martin.

Unknown said...

It would be amusing if it wasn't so serious....

Philip Grant said...

... and if the Michaela School can afford to pay its "Sergeant Major" up to £35k a year, how much is it paying its self-appointed Headmistress?

Don't forget that Ms Birbalsingh, a darling of the Conservative Right, was given the go-ahead by Michael Gove and David Cameron to set up her proposed "Free School" in inner-city Lambeth, but it somehow ended up, years later, in an out-of-date office block near Wembley Park Station.

It is not a FREE School, because it is paid for out of our taxes, and diverting money which should have been spent on improving our existing schools in Brent.

ABC said...

Fascinating. We can look forward to an all-through school. Additionally, she worries about her teachers being harmed from pupils from other schools?!

Anonymous said...

Does reasoned critical comment on Wembley Matters count as 'harassment on social media'? If so, I think you harassers should cease forthwith.
And just wait for the exam results to come in if you want some amusement.

Mike Hine