Katharine Birbalsingh
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Teacher Katharine Birbalsingh on her Tory conference speech

17 November 2010 Last updated at 10:32 GMT

Katharine Birbalsingh was a deputy head in an inner city London school but everything changed at the Conservative Party Conference where she received a standing ovation following her speech on a "culture of excuses" in state education.

She no longer works as a teacher but she continues to highlight problems she sees in British schools.

The former teacher says competition is needed in the classroom and adds: "Children need to be allowed to fail so that in the end they can succeed."

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