Social mobility tsar: Pupils will bring knives to school if you don't enforce uniform code

24 January 2022, 10:54 | Updated: 24 January 2022, 11:31

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Social mobility tsar Katharine Birbalsingh has claimed that without strict uniform policies children in inner city schools would bring in knives.

The chair of the Social Mobility Commission, appointed in October last year, told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast "the reason we have rules that can sometimes seem a bit pedantic to the public is so the children don't misbehave in big ways".

Ms Birbalsingh has been dubbed the UK's "strictest headteacher" after setting up Michaela School in Wembley, London, in 2014.

READ MORE: Cummings to meet Sue Gray as No10 police give 'damning evidence' to partygate probe

READ MORE: 'I've not suffered Islamophobia in the Tory party': Minister hits back as PM orders probe

She explained that when these rules are in place it allows pupils to "rebel” by pulling "their shirts out" and making "their ties fat and short".

She said: "That's what children do, they rebel, and you want them to be able to and you want them to do it with things that don't really matter because at the end of the day whether their tie is long or short isn't really going to make a big difference.

"But they feel they are rebelling, you tell them off and you make it into a big deal and say 'come on now make that tie long' and that's the thing you argue over.

"Depending on your intake or where you are, so in the inner city for instance, if you don't have uniforms then they rebel by bringing in knives."

Ms Birbalsingh said while some people may find this an "extreme" view, "I promise you if you don't have rules about the little things the big things become an increasing problem".

She added: "It's like how you look after the pennies and pounds take care of themselves, it's the same issue here.

"It's broken windows theory... if a derelict house doesn't have any broken windows, it will continue not having any broken windows, you just need to break one window and the rest of the windows will get broken within a week.

"It's the same idea, you're looking after the tiny things so the big things don't become an issue."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

'I don't like Clive!' Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I don't like Clive!': Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts experience with 'micromanaging' boss

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts working with 'micromanaging' boss

Dominic Raab said it would be Sue Gray's "prerogative" to "name and shame" politicians who were issued with fines

'Boris didn't get away with Partygate': Raab says it's up to Sue Gray to name and shame

Kit Malthouse said "we believe the law should be blind"

Minister slaps down police chief who said shoplifters stealing to eat should be spared

Caller hosting Ukrainian refugees admits she regrets it

Caller regrets hosting Ukrainian refugees as it has cost 'hundreds of pounds'

Liz Truss explained plans to alter parts of the Northern Ireland protocol

'We don’t want to scrap NI protocol, just the bits that don’t work': Truss tells LBC

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of senior officials soars by 125%

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of managers soars by 125%

Tony Danker said potentially two million Brits are skipping meals

'Do something to help,' CBI chief tells Sunak as millions of Brits forced to skip meals

Brexit isn't being 'held against' UK in Eurovision, says world's first lecturer on the contest

Brexit isn't being 'held against' UK in Eurovision, says world's first lecturer on contest

Daniel Barnett reacts to 'bizarre' tribunal ruling that calling man bald is sex harassment

Daniel Barnett reacts to 'bizarre' tribunal ruling that calling man bald is sex harassment

Rees-Mogg said Khan is not providing "value" for Londoners

'Hunky dory for him, tough on tax payers': Mogg hits out at Khan's US trip

Nick Ferrari reflects on his trip on the PM's plane

LBC Views: Boris got a warm welcome in Finland, but would it be the same in Finchley?

Lisa Nandy: Tory MP's 'Brits can't cook' comment shows govt's 'living on another planet'

Lisa Nandy: Tory MP's 'Brits can't cook' comment shows govt's 'living on another planet'

This was the Eurovision question from Nick Ferrari that stumped Boris Johnson

This was the Eurovision question from Nick Ferrari that stumped Boris Johnson

Exclusive
Boris Johnson has refused to say what would happen if Sir Keir Starmer quit in an interview with LBC's Nick Ferrari

PM refuses four times to answer whether he'd quit if Keir resigns

The Minister for Prisons has said she will do "everything in her power" to stop serial killer Levi Bellfield from marrying a prison pen pal

Prison Minister says 'evil monster' Levi Bellfield should be stopped from marrying in jail