I have just come across this forum. I have read a fair amount of the posts
made by various people and it has been a very interesting experience to read
and take in all these hostile reactions towards the St James schools and the
I will not attempt to deny what many of you have experienced nor the views
you are taking towards what st james from your past experiences within it, i
have no reason nor any right to.
However there are a number of things i do take strong objection to, firstly
the fact you are attempting to drag down the reputation of the entire,
current St James organisation.
The many claims of past physical abuse by various teachers such as Mr
Debenham and Mr Barber,
'His leadership oversaw pain and suffering. Perhaps in his retirement
he will now realise from reading this and other accounts that his method did
not work. In fact he caused suffering.'
We were taken out by Mr. Barber and Mr. Southwell to a gravelled
area, and made to do press-ups on our bare fists until they bled, and then
we had to continue doing them on the base of the palms until they too bled.
These sadistic "sports-masters"
I cannot comment on whether these accounts have truth in them for the simple
reason i was not there.
I have however, personally met and talked to Mr Debenham and Mr Barber, both
of whom i feel are very decent and honourable. I do not stand alone in this
view of mine, the many students who have gotten to know them, both like and
have a lot of respect for them.
I am truly sorry and you have my heart felt sympathy if any of the
injustices you've mentioned are as you have put across in your posts.
You've told and expressed your experience of St James education and you are
free to hold what ever views you want towards the teachers you had, the
whole St James education, as well as the S.E.S. And as harsh as this may
sound all of that is history, it is time to move on, there are many other
things which require attention and what some of you are doing are totally
counterproductive as i will explain later on.
The current St James education of what I have experienced of it and from
what i gather from other students of St James, is nothing, absolutely
nothing like what has been described in a number of the posts on this forum.
The teachers in St James are some of the friendliest and caring I've met in
my school career thus far.
I feel the ethos of the school is good, we are taught to serve each other
during lunch, to accept each other, not to cause pain to others, bullying is
dealt with most severely in the school. St James tries to provide a good
working environment and most importantly it holds a person's character above
As Mr Boddy has said there will be an independant investigation into all of
these alleged abuses and i hope that the result will be fair and
constructive. On behalf of all the pupils of St James schools however I
would like ask for there not to be anymore hostile comments towards St
James. But rather for anyone who wishes to make their feelings known, to
talk to the governers of the school, one of the headmasters or go through
the independant investigation.
By making these comments in public and the idea to 'shame them'
is something I strongly object to.
Every time they had an even we could let parents of current and
potential pupils know the shameful heritage of abuse. We could even leaflets
parents collecting their children from the school....
By dragging down St Jame's reputation you are also affecting the current
students within it. Some are happy with what St James has offered them and
have been brought up in St james from the junior school. How do you think
they would feel if suddenly all they've made St James out to be as, is all
thrown into doubt by these comments?
Just say all the ugly comments about the St James organisation were an
entirely accurate description of St James 20 or 30 years ago, something
which is still to be investigated by an independant inquiry.
By dragging up the past in public you are going to ruin the ethos of the
school and any good feelings pupils have for it. Its going to be hard for
pupils now and in the future to be proud of a school if it is surrounded by
hostile comments about its history. The St James schools now should be seen
for what they are; good schools that provide a sound education which targets
not only the academic or sporty side of a person but the character inside.
They should not have their reputation tainted by hostile comments laced with
hostility and personal opinions that have arisen from events that have long
By all means share your personal experiences with St James, good or bad, and
im sure there would be a lot of sympathy for what you say. However plainly
hostile comments and comments which are designed to 'get their own back' at
the St James organisation are incredibly selfish and shallow.
One last point,
seems to me the current students couldn't give a rat's arse for the
experiences of past students. Maybe "empathy" isn't part of the SES
No I don't think you really have come across the term stereotyping have you?
I'm curious how many current St James students have you talked to? Or were
you refering to little children who are still only interested in running
around jumping on each other?
Thankyou for your time and patience if you've read this far.