Governors' response to Inquiry Report

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Emile Woolf
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Governors' response to Inquiry Report

Postby Emile Woolf » Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:56 pm

I left the SES 19 years ago, after being a member for 27 years. I attended an interview with Mr Townend accompanied by my wife and two of my sons, both of whom had been at the receiving end of systematic and brutal physical and mental abuse at the hands of St Vedast teachers.

I have read the statement of the governing body in response to Mr Townend's findings and note that the Governors accept Mr Townend's findings on these matters.

That many pupils speak of their time at the schools as a happy one is completely irrelevant to the circumstances that compelled the Governors, in the face of unremitting internet pressure following decades of wilful blindness, to instruct Mr Townend to conduct his own independent investigation. This investigation has unreservedly vindicated the complaints and allegations, brought by a significant number of former pupils, of unreasonable, unlawful and criminal assault.

That the Governors should say that this is deeply regretted, and that they hope "now that the facts have been established" that there will be a period of reconciliation which they will support in every way they can, is not only specious but grossly insulting to the intelligence of the victims. There is absolutely nothing that Mr Townend uncovered as "facts" that any remotely conscientious governing body worthy of the name could not have discovered for itself if, over twenty years ago, it had taken on board the evidence that was staring it in the face. The Governors' acquiescence in the shameful conduct of the teachers and the Headmaster, if not actively condoning it, disqualifies them from offering any regrets that merit serious consideration.

These expressions of regret are being offered by Governors who were guilty of gross dereliction of their collective and individual responsibilities over the past twenty-one years and more. Mr Townend has made it clear that at the relevant time the Governors paid no more than lip service to their duties and were in fact acting under the pervasive sway of Leon MacLaren as "senior tutor" of the SES.

I am well aware of the beneficial influence on my own life of many aspects of the teaching which I imbibed as a member of the SES. The injunction that stands out most prominently is that taking personal responsibility for one's actions is the imperative of any citizen.

At very least I would have expected that the schools and SES would now, in the light of Mr Townend's clear findings, a) guarantee that the sham of a governing body that has presided since the inception of the schools would now be terminated and be replaced by Governors unconnected to the SES and appointed by parents collectively; b) ensure that those teachers found factually to have been guilty of this monstrous conduct, still engaged to teach in the schools today, would have their contracts terminated forthwith; and c) ensure Mr Debenham's Chairmanship of the Education Renaissance Trust charity is immediately terminated.

Then and only then can the reconciliation overtures be taken seriously. Failing this the present day schools will remain irremediably tainted by the terrible shadow of past misdeeds. This is not a case of retribution being sought. Nor is it uttered on behalf of my sons or any of the other victims. It is a personal view of what responsibility in action demands in the light of Mr Townend's findings.

Emile Woolf

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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:03 am

Hear Hear!

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ET
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Postby ET » Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:32 am

I couldn't agree more! Unfortunately I doubt very much that the Governors are reading this website, or the one set up by the Pupils and Parents Inquiry Action Group (whoever they may be, see my separate post).

I am at a loss as to how we can get them to listen to us when their response to the report is effectively a two-finger salute at us all.

Matthew
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Postby Matthew » Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:26 pm

ET wrote:I couldn't agree more! Unfortunately I doubt very much that the Governors are reading this website

Hi ET, a copy of Emile's statement was also sent to the Governors.

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ET
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Postby ET » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:36 am

Glad to hear it! Let's hope they read it.

Matthew
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Postby Matthew » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:50 am

Mrs Betts has confirmed it's receipt and that its been passed on to them. They all know Emile personally so I'm sure they will read it.

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Keir
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Postby Keir » Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:17 pm

Beautifully articulated Emile, thankyou.

As for whether they can ignore something that is right infront of them........(cough)...remind me what the inquiry was about again?.

K


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