Media Coverage

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:28 am

perhaps they would like the teachers to come forward in a state of contrite apology asking to be flogged


What a delightfully absurd mental picture this comments gives me.

Keir I would hazard a guess that what the police mean is they won't take any action unless a victim goes to them and lays a complaint.

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ET
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Postby ET » Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:34 am

a different guest wrote: I would hazard a guess that what the police mean is they won't take any action unless a victim goes to them and lays a complaint.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the TES article say that the police had had a complaint from a 40-year-old ex-pupil?

That sentence in the ES report is very ambiguous - who do they want to come forward? Us? Or current pupils? If it's the latter, the words "cold day in hell" spring to mind. As I've said before, if the climate of intimidation in the schools is still the same as it was when I was there, then no current pupil will be prepared to complain to the police.
Not to mention another thing I said earlier, which is that while I was in the school I thought I was happy - in other words I didn't realise how screwed up the school was until I moved to another school and realised what school should be like.

I too, like Kier, am suspicious about how far the SES influences the higher ranks of the police force anyway - they seem to have members everywhere.

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Postby ses-surviver » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:51 pm

ET wrote:I too, like Kier, am suspicious about how far the SES influences the higher ranks of the police force anyway - they seem to have members everywhere.


Well in nearly 12 years I never met anyone in SES who had anything to do with the Police. Aren't the policemen too busy doing their absurd masonic studies in order to be able to attend Philosophy classes? and shifts etc would work against regular attendance.

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Postby mm- » Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:50 pm

I cannot find the Evening Standard article anywhere. I would be grateful if someone could either post a full copy or let me know where I can get my hands on the article.

Thanks :B-fly:

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Postby Matthew » Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:59 pm

ET wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the TES article say that the police had had a complaint from a 40-year-old ex-pupil?


TES wrote:A file detailing the assaults which happened in the late 1970s and early 1980s has now been passed to the Metropolitan police.

A police spokesman said its officers were already investigating one allegation of abuse by a 40-year-old former pupil at St James and the inquiry report would be considered.

?There is currently a joint investigation with the police, social services, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and education welfare. Current staff at the school are cooperating fully with the enquiry,? said a spokeswoman.


Evening Standard wrote:Police say no investigation would be launched without individuals coming forward.


So it sounds like the situation with the police changed in the time between them making their two statements.

ET wrote:That sentence in the ES report is very ambiguous - who do they want to come forward? Us? Or current pupils?


I would interpret that as either former or current pupils, or even parents for that matter.

mm wrote:I cannot find the Evening Standard article anywhere. I would be grateful if someone could either post a full copy or let me know where I can get my hands on the article.


The post I made was the full copy.

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Postby sugarloaf » Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:24 pm

Just to try to help clear up some of the ambiguity...

With regards to the events at St J&V, I have been advised that the police will investigate any complaint about a criminal act that a person makes to them. It doesnt have to be made by the victim, but obviously if the victim keeps shtum or cant be contacted then the investigation probably wouldnt get very far.

I'm sure with the full report apparently now with the police, a complaint would be taken seriously.

The possibility of gathering strong enough evidence for a prosecution - especially if the events occured years ago - is another thing altogether.

It goes without saying that this relates to current as well as past pupils, and if there were any concerns about current childrens safety or welfare, the NSPCC, social services, or the Education authority would be approachable, as they would with any normal school.

I doubt whether any Teachers are likely to contact the police and ask to be prosecuted, although I imagine if they did, and their evidence was substantial enough, the Police may well consider a prosecution....

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Postby Keir » Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:51 am

Ah, there's the rub.

How fortunate for them that it takes so long to undo the crap that came with an education at SES/St J, it will be unlikely that they will have cause to unleash their platoon of Legal Crack Troops, no doubt warming their briefs in anticipation as we type.

Still, I will happily lend my testimony to any former pupil who wishes to make a complaint/prosecution about which I have a memory, if it will help.

And to think, all of this because they were too up their own arses to apologise....Now that really is criminal!!

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Postby mgormez » Sat Jan 28, 2006 3:13 am

To keep track of any other publication it is perhaps an idea to subscribe to the free Google news alerts. They will send you an email when a new article appears. Try a combination of search phrases for best results:

http://www.google.com/alerts?hl=en&q=%2 ... Schools%22
Mike Gormez

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non-conformist
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Article from Richmond Guardian 26/01/06

Postby non-conformist » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:09 pm

SCHOOL SAYS SORRY OVER MISTREATMENT

The governors of St James Independent Schools have apologised unreservedly after a report stated that some pupils had been assaulted by teachers in its early years.

The schools, which include St James School for Senior Boys in Cross Deep, Twickenham, commissioned the report following allegations over discipline.

The inquiry, the first of its kind, conducted by James Townend QC, discovered some punishments were "unreasonable and criminal".

He stated in the report: "I am in no doubt that mistreatment of pupils took place in the Boy's School, mainly during the period 1975 to 1985.

"A small number of teachers did not have control of their tempers. As a result I am satisfied several boys were subject to rough handling.

"They were criminally assaulted by being punched in the face or in the stomach, cuffed violently about the head, had blackboard rubbers thrown at them, causing injury in some cases, had cricket balls thrown at them violently when they were not looking at the the thrower and were struck with the end of a gym rope."

The report added the ethos and conduct of the schools has changed.

Roger Pincham, chairman of governors at St James Independent Schools, said they accepted the findings.

He said: "We apologise unreservedly to those whose welfare and happiness were affected by the disciplinary regime at the time.

"Some physical punishments that were lawful at the time were too harsh and too frequent, some acts went beyond lawful punishment and were wholly unacceptable.

"That this could have happened in our schools, even a long time ago, is deeply regrettable.

"The report notes that the schools have modernised and developed since those early years. All forms of punishment ceased more than a decade ago."

The Parents and Pupils Inquiry Action Group welcomed the report, saying the findings vindicated former pupils and parents who have long campaigned for the truth.

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townsend report etc

Postby ross nolan » Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:59 am

I note that the St James school website still carries no report of the enquiry results -- an oversight perhaps ? Incidentally is Boddy the moustachioed gent squinting into the camera on the senior boys school homepage ? Looked up the background to "St Vedast" who turns out to have been an obscure 16 th century bishop (?) who helped another obscure Frankish king secure a bloody military victory and got promoted as a result -- his chronicler found a nice parallel in God having assisted the killing of 185,000 of the 'enemy' in 4 Kings 19 in the Bible -- apparently the good old Christian principle of 'converting' by 'smiting' thine enemies was the inspiration for the schools adopting the good saint .

Little surprise that the local version of St James/St Vedast refers to "loving discipline" as their first means of producing 'fine citizens' from their junior charges.

Another curiosity is the (apparent) disparity in relative academic performance between the Girls and Boys St James schools -- any suggestions of why this might be ? The NZ Ficino school website is interesting as well (only going since 1997) -- some queries about their staffing and educational 'techniques' have been raised (they,like the local -Melbourne,- Erasmus school claim to base themselves on St James.)

Only the Sydney SES/SOP seems to still offer classes in the Economic theories that underpinned the SES -- has anyone any further information on this ?

I met an ex member (1979 -82) of the Melbourne SOP who vaguely remembered some sort of legal action being taken against the school for misrepresentation (at the time they operated out of Latham house in the city) again,any further information on this from anybody ?

Has anyone investigated subpeonaing the 'private report' by Townsend (if any nominal legal action was launched eg for defamation or libel etc ) and/or applying under freedom of information -- any person named or discussed in a report circulated to others , or having reasonable grounds to believe they may be, would probably have standing to get hold of the report or the part concerning them and at least the privacy commissioner,ombudsman, possibly EU human rights commissioner etc might be involved if an application was refused ; such an action can trigger all sorts of beneficial action without legal costs .

Ross.
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erikdr
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Curriculum of school

Postby erikdr » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:58 pm

Only on

Only the Sydney SES/SOP seems to still offer classes in the Economic theories that underpinned the SES -- has anyone any further information on this ?


This is also still a subject in the Dutch schools, both in the SES-following 'SvPFenS' and the original SvF which now has become an independent and more liberal spin-off. Tought as an option and (small part) in the main curriculum - I am almost sure that this main curriculum part is also taught at SES London, dunno about the optional classes.

Of course these theories are and were interpreted from the later Gurdjieff and Vedanta teachings that the School learned, but there IS a line from the one to the other as McLaren's early book Nature of Society shows.
:Fade-color
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<Erik>

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Keir
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Postby Keir » Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:23 pm

Thanks for copying the article Non-conformist, it certainly helps most ex-pupils who don't live in an area that takes the Richmond Guardian to be aware after a lot of arm twisting that the governers unreservedly apologise.

My point was their unwillingness to take the allegations seriously enough at the very beginning, before the cost of an enquiry forced their hands.

Add to that the way that at every opportunity they have ignored the concerns about SES involvement (which has only marginally changed since the bad old days), and have seemingly ducked the issue that some of the governers that were in position during the bad old days are still in place and saying how unthinkable it was that it would happen. Why didn't they know about it? Surely if they were doing their job well they would have made it their business to be aware of it.

By sweeping the implications of the inquiry firmly under the carpet by apologies and pleas of ignorance, it is clear that this is being manipulated into a PR face saving operation by what I imagine to be unrepentant and arrogant people.

But dont worry, I know that they are just acting as any modern day company would. My only trouble with that is the simultaneous bleating about 'fine' behaviour that issues from them. I wish they would/could lead by example instead of the usual 'do as I say not as I do' bollocks.

Call me old fashioned but I think it matters.

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Media coverage

Postby PP inquiry action group » Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:11 am


chrisdevere
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Inquiry action

Postby chrisdevere » Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:34 pm

St V action. why are you so reluctant to show who you are?

It takes no longet to type a brief bio and post it on your whos who page than to update. the media page (which you seem to have managed).

Whilst the schools undoubedtly have something to answer for. Not least their woefull attempt at providing an education. I do feel quite strongly that they at least have a right to know who is critisising them.

If you are a genuine organisation then why the secrecy you could even post who you are on here!? Otherwise you look alot like just another nutter hiding behind the veil of anonimity that the inet can give.
Christopher de Vere
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