Free school in Wembley bans colourful umbrellas

Katherine Birbalsingh meeting new pupils at a special welcome event (pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Katherine Birbalsingh meeting new pupils at a special welcome event (pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant


A new free school in Wembley has banned students from using colourful umbrellas to install good discipline.

Students at Michaela Community School in North End Road, can only use black or navy blue telescopic umbrellas if they are to stay within its strict uniform guidelines.

The school is the brainchild of Katherine Birbalsingh, a teacher who launched a scathing attack on the standard of education at a Conservative party conference back in 2010.

Her speech cost the mother-of-one her job at a school in south London.

Explaining why she introduced the ban she told the Times: “I’m very much a believer that appropriate and respectful presentation teaches good discipline which will benefit students later in life.

“When you get the basics right, you can concentrate on more important things like teaching.”

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Adding that a disciplinary procedure for those who do not follow the rules policy will not be necessary, she said: “We won’t have pupils coming into school with crazy coloured umbrellas because it is not befitting with the school uniform.”

The school will open its doors to 120 year seven pupils for the very first time next Monday, and will later accommodate 840 pupils between the ages of 11 and 18 once it reaches full capacity.

It aims to deliver values in education commonly found in private schools to young people by providing a “highly academic” curriculum and strong discipline.

It will be the only free school to open up in Brent this year after Gladstone School and The Gateway Academy missed its deadline to secure premises in time for the next academic year.

An open day for prospective year sevens for 2015 will be held on October 6.