EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Daffy
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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby Daffy » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:59 am

Any more views, anyone...?

My reasoning for agreeing to unsticky the thread was similar to that expressed by woodgreen. If it had been a request from a contributor well down this thread I'd have said no, but it came from someone to whom we all owe a big debt of gratitude for being among the very first to go public with his experiences. It's worth recalling what this and the similar posts near the top of this thread eventually led to: the expansion of this forum, the pressure on the SES and St James and the Inquiry that resulted in St James being condemned for illegal acts against children.

To ensure that the thread is easier to find I've added a link to this thread in the still-stickied 'Welcome to ses-forums.org'. It's at the top as follows:

"I'm new to this site and don't know where to start reading. What do you recommend?

The best place to start is where the forum began: 'Experiences at St Vedast (now St. James) and the S.E.S' "

That said, if there's still a strong view against unstickying the thread, I'm still open to reviewing this change. So far though, there haven't been many opinions expressed either way.

How do people feel about this as an alternative?

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby ET » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:31 pm

That sounds like a great alternative, Daffy. Thanks for taking everyone's views into account, and coming up with such a fair solution.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby morrigan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:46 pm

Yes, it needs to be easily available - it's IMO a serious and important one to read and to contribute to.

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby Tom Grubb » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:19 am

I agree with your proposal, Daffy.

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby LongTimeDead » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:24 am

These discussions are interesting, informative and cathartic for many. I wonder if it is time to start a thread for 'where to next?'

To re-cap: St V was a brutish experience; was violent, unjust and unjustified; Debenham et al have continually lied about what went on; Boddy used an inquiry set up by him, with his terms of reference as an exercise in PR - even then not all info uncovered has been made public.......

For example..... where in the punishment book is the record of a whole class being canned at 92 Queensgate [after a music lesson with Noel Skinner - perhaps we shouldn't have turned the stereo up to 11 when he was writing on the board]...... where is the record of a student getting four strokes then standing up, believing the punishment was over, to receive two more on the forearms..... Where are the records of the early days when people like PH, RG etc received more than forty strokes in a term...... pretty good demonstration that corporal punishment does not work. And while we are on the topic, do not forget that Debenham did not always use a cane. Sometimes he preferred a short leather bound officer's stick that he kept in his cupboard next to the officer's hat.

Yeah, I was there from the start....... there was no 'duty of care' being exercised by the staff -their only duty was to the supposed ideals of a a sixty a day chain smoker and a bunch of acolytes getting off on having access to 'special knowledge' that made them better than everybody else. They are no better than anyone: they are all charlatans.

I'm curious that very few of the original students from St V seem to have made comment on this site..... like many of them I attended evening classes with the SES..... but left in my teenage years, fostering a healthy disrespect for authority.

For the healing process to continue, justice must be seen to be done. While events of the last few years have inconvenienced the SES and its day schools and led to superficial change, nothing much has changed at the heart of the beast.

The organisation that proclaims to be guided by a search for truth is in fact built on lies. This at least should be demonstrated incontrovertibly in the public domain.

So, my old friends, WHERE TO NEXT?

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby Gerasene Demon » Sat May 28, 2011 12:38 am

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Last edited by Gerasene Demon on Thu May 30, 2013 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Daffy
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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby Daffy » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:06 pm

Back in February there was a discussion about un-stickying this thread. A 'sticky' thread is one that stays at the top of the list of threads even when there hasn't been any recent posts. I unstickied it at the request of one of the 'founding' contributors to this forum.

Since then I've received various messages urging me to re-sticky this thread. The common themes are:

* This thread defines the forum and its purpose
* Despite signposting where to find it in the welcome thread, the casual visitor won't see it
* As a first time visitor, look at the top threads on page 1 and you might not bother coming back

I have found these arguments persuasive, particularly the last one, so I've decided to put it back at the top. I try to balance the interests of individuals with those of the forum generally. Most of the time this means just letting freedom of speech take its course.

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby woodgreen » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:19 pm

Hi Daffy - where were you when the debate was raging a few weeks ago - me and Bluemon were wondering! Just shows, life on this Forum is not easy. I am not convinced that restoring this thread is good for the Forum. Not many new people to the School/SES worldwide,and all it's names, will recognise St. Vedast - that was a long time ago. You might want to re-name it and keep the history, but given what is unfolding i.e.that Boddy was and is a major player I think the Forum needs to focus on what the SES is about now- is it the Ashford School - then use that as the thread - or is it the bigger picture of the SES ( worldwide - many people have joined the Forum from across the world - hence it's effectiveness, and the title of the Forum). So my view is not to restore the St.Vedast thread. Let the Forum evolve as it is doing. kind regards, woodgreen.
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby bluegreen » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:29 pm

I think it should be sticky
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St James Girls School 1977-1981

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby ET » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:44 pm

I think the Forum needs to focus on what the SES is about now


I agree, Woodgreen, but I think it is still important for people who first come to the forum to read this thread and to see that it's here.

There are still many of us who survived the SES schools as children who may not yet have found this forum and all the support it offers.

I'm not disputing the fact that those users of this forum who joined SES as adults have had some dreadfully damaging experiences and many of you have struggled for years to come to terms with those experiences, and I think it is important that we consider what the SES is about now, and try to combat them where we can. However, as many people have said on this forum before me, you chose to join the SES, and entered into the whole thing of your own free will, no matter how that will was abused by the SES itself.

It's important to remember (which is why I have posted about this before) that those of us who suffered as children had no choice in being pushed into the clutches of the SES and sometimes have confused and patchy memories of the abuse we suffered, because we were so young. What this thread can offer to those of us who arrive on this forum for the first time is a chance to read first-hand accounts of experiences we ourselves had, allowing us to feel that our memories are in fact real and that we were (and are) not alone. It's also important to remember that the day schools still exist, and that we can expect to see ex-pupils appearing on here as long as that remains the case.

I personally feel that if one person clicks on this thread and realises that they are not alone, and that there are those of us on here who want to help and support them, then it's worth keeping it sticky.

I do agree, however, that maybe the title of the thread needs to be changed, perhaps to "Experiences at the day schools run by the SES in London" or something similar, so as not to exclude ex-pupils who have more recent memories of being at the schools.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby bluemoon » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:32 pm

I think it would be good if this thread is sticky personally, but I think it is up to those that contributed to it, especially Matthew who started it.

ET wrote (regarding adults in SES):

However, as many people have said on this forum before me, you chose to join the SES, and entered into the whole thing of your own free will, no matter how that will was abused by the SES itself.


Exactly, and we have to take responsibility as adults for joining the SES (SoP) and staying in the organisation of our own choice.

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby observer » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:11 pm

I unintentionally stumbled upon this forum, and the name St. James struck me because I remember passing the "signboard" of this school while on a train in London several years ago. Little did I know that this was a school filled with such a controversial past! I have only read the first few pages of this thread (because it is 40 pages in all!) but I am shocked and disturbed with what has been described. I came from a school (outside the UK and not affiliated with the SES) which still practises corporal punishment today, but it was/is nothing close to what has been described in this forum. In fact, corporal punishment in my former school can even be described as "civil" vis-a-vis what had occurred at St. Vedast/St. James. I'm deeply sorry to hear of the atrocities that some here were put through back then, and I hope those affected have been able to pick themselves up.

To those in modern day St. James, you have been brought up in an environment which has stronger child protection laws and greater reverence to the concept of childhood. I hope you pick the right values in life and enjoy every bit of it.

Cheers to all,
Observer

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby woodgreen » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:49 am

Hi and thanks for posting, observer.

Can you say what "school" you were part of? It might help on this forum, for comparison purposes.

And, don't be afraid to say what your "school" is or was.

As you said - it was not as bad as the SES - so in the spirit of free speech - please do tell. A religious group or similar?Their are lots of religious groups, some are good , some are not. And there is a test - the good stuff against the not so good stuff. ( SES is not good stuff)!

regards , hope your "school" is of the good stuff.

woodgreen
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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby observer » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:36 pm

Hi woodgreen,

I won't name the school for three reasons: (1) it would deviate from the context of this thread (2) the main gist of my message was to send my well wishes to affected parties (3) the school is not located in the UK, so naming it won't do any good anyway. But thank you for your interest, nonetheless.

For comparison purposes, it is not a religious group (so this may not be a good comparison after all). It is just an ordinary school that sticks to "traditional" discipline methods, but unlike what took place in SES, discipline is/was measured and controlled. You can't just hit a child/student without proper reason, administrative procedures and authorisation (although other physical punishments are more liberally meted out). I am thankful I had no bad experiences there.

Regards,
Observer

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Re: EXPERIENCES AT ST. VEDAST (now St. James) AND THE S.E.S

Postby ET » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:46 pm

Hi Observer,

Only just read your post, but thank you so much for your kind words.

For some of us, life is a daily struggle still, even after all these years. What many people fail to understand about child abuse is that the "child" has to live the rest of their life forever changed. Some of us act out, some of us go to pieces, some of us find the strangest things difficult to cope with, none of us "get over it".

The SES assertion that our experiences are "all in the past" is insulting and misleading. For many of us, they are very much still in the present.

Please excuse me ranting here, but I'm witnessing one of my siblings struggling right now and feeling a lot of anger towards our abusers.

Thank you for your support - coming from a completely unrelated stranger, it means an awful lot.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.


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