Mental & Physical Mistreatment - All in the Past?

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Mental & Physical Mistreatment - All in the Past?

Postby Justice » Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:40 pm

There has been much talk on this Bulletin Board of 'Reconciliation and Closure' and of 'Moving On'.

The Independent Inquiry has deliberately focused on a period of time way in the past, taking evidence largely from those who attended the schools up to approximately 30 years ago.

I would like to put the following question to parents of children who have children at St. James Independent Schools at the present time. as well as to those parents who had children at the schools within the last 5 years:

ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY EXAMPLES OF MENTAL & PHYSICAL MISTREATMENT OF PUPILS BY STAFF HAVING OCCURED AT ST. JAMES INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS WITHIN THE LAST 5 YEARS?

To quote from the Independent Inquiry:

"7.1.3 The other side of this is that undoubtedly some pupils were damaged by their experiences in the schools. I saw some damaged witnesses and heard of others. I cannot say how or by what they were damaged and there is no medical evidence showing that it was the fault of the schools."

If there are none then clearly this is welcome news. But if there are any parents with such evidence, then clearly they have a duty to come forward.

mm-
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: LONDON

Postby mm- » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:02 pm

Justice,

I'm not being funny but I can't see any parents at the schools today coming forward from the schools with allegations of physical or mental mistreatment....especially while their children are still in the school.

With respect to the mental mistreatment I could quote many instances. Do I feel that my child has suffered as a result? well yes I do. Do I feel that the behaviour displayed by my child is different from that of other children the same age and at different schools? Yes, i most definitely do. Is it St James and the teaching that has done that? I think so but how do I prove it. Who will listen anyway?

It wasn't deemed important to include the possible mental mistreatment of children into the scope of the inquiry, what difference if any are a few parents going to make even if they do come forward?

Judging by the turnout at meetings that took place after the Inquiry results were published (at least at the Junior schools), many parents couldn't even be bothered to make an appearance.Parents are hardly able to utter the words SES in the school courtyard, do you honestly think that they are going to call up some reporter and divulge what they know? I dont' think so.

The school weathered the storm very well when 'The Secret Cult' was published. In the grand scheme of things is an Inquiry of this scale (which lets face it was basically a PR excercise for the SES) going to make that much of a difference to all of those who have been adversely affected? I don't think so.

Please bear in mind that many parents are unaware of the SES within the school. Certainly many know nothing of this forum. Those that do know will run as fast as they can and not look back. Months down the line when their children have settled at new schools they will thank their lucky stars that they had such a narrow escape.

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Mental & Physical Mistreatment - All in the Past?

Postby Justice » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:29 pm

Dear MM,

I find your reply deeply alarming.

You say that:

-You could quote many instances of Mental Mistreatment.

-You feel that your child has suffered as a result.

-You feel that the behaviour displayed by your child is different from that of other children the same age at other schools.

-You feel that St. James and the teaching has done that to your child, but how do you prove it and who will listen?

-You ask what difference, if any, are a few parents going to make even if they do come forward?

-You say that many parents are unaware of the SES within the school, and many of them no nothing of this forum, and those that do know will run as fast as they can and not look back.

My advice to you, and to any parent that has similar concerns is as follows:

1. Remove your child from the school immediatly.

2. Inform the Education Authorities and the Police. If you have genuine cause for concern then your complaint will be treated seriously, and your child can be interviewed by skilled and sympathetic professionals in order to establish the truth.

3. Encourage any other parents similarly affected to do the same.

sparks
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 12:17 am

Shocking

Postby sparks » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:07 pm

MM,

I am sorry that your child has suffered. I find your comments about current parents shocking
mm wrote:Judging by the turnout at meetings that took place after the Inquiry results were published (at least at the Junior schools), many parents couldn't even be bothered to make an appearance........

Please bear in mind that many parents are unaware of the SES within the school. Certainly many know nothing of this forum.


The schools have confirmed that at least 2 current teachers were identified by Townend as acting harshly / unlawfully. If my child was at St James I would be livid that the teachers are still there. I would certainly withdraw my child until (at the very least) the teachers were removed.

Deeply depressing if your assessment of the awareness of SES and attitude of current parents is accurate.

I would urge you to talk to the education authorities regarding your own experience. They are closely scruitinising the schools. People must speak out about their experinces.

No one spoke out when I was a child being abused 20 years ago - and I was powerless against the teachers and governors, several of whome are still sitting there at St James as if nothing ever happened!

Please, for the current and next generation of St james children - speak out!!!

mm-
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: LONDON

Postby mm- » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:15 pm

Justice,

The reality of the situation is that removing a child from St James is not as easy as it sounds.

There are many reasons for this. One is that children are very immersed within the school and have formed very close bonds with other children within the school, removing a child suddenly and unexpectedly is not advisable. If a child is young this I am guessing is an easier thing to do because a young child is not as affected as a child say in the later stages of the junior school. An older child questions your motives and is unhappy at the thought of leaving. They are happy there and have no sense of the manipulation that is going on, or what will be expected of them if allowed to go into the senior school.

Practically, for those of us who have to earn a living in order to give our children a private education, it is extremely difficult to remove a child from a school without a place in another. Many schools both state and private have long waiting lists. Of the private schools I have visited some do not have places until September, some will not take children because they have to sit entrance exams which they are ill equipped to take.



In reality will someone believe me if I say,
-that I think that my child has been indoctrinated and hypnotised,
- that I think the pausing done everyday has affected their mental well being,
- that I think the learning of Sanskrit is done in order that the child can translate the scriptures at a later stage,
- that I feel a lesson that is interrupted four times in an hour in order to be still is adversely affecting my child ?
-that I believe that the school is essentially a recruiting ground for the SES.

Will they believe me (one anxious parent) or will they believe a school who seems to be flourishing and has received an outstanding inspection report??

With regards to informing the Education Authorities (namely education welfare at Hammersmith and Fulham), I have done just that. After being pushed from pillar to post I was told that they were unaware of any concerns at the school, that no one had made a complaint and that at the moment there was no ongoing investigation. I also contacted the NSPCC who told me a similar story. No one seems to know anything. At present I have not contacted the police.

sugarloaf
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:40 am

Postby sugarloaf » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:22 pm

Parents are hardly able to utter the words SES in the school courtyard, do you honestly think that they are going to call up some reporter and divulge what they know? I dont' think so.


Why are parents so scared of the SES? I spent 10 years as a child at their school. I was scared of the pain, the random punishments, and the control they had over my entire life.

I was a child.

what could an adult possibly have to fear?

Any parent that knows theres a problem & walks away is leaving another child vulnerable.

(posted before I read your post above, mm. do you mind me asking if your contact with education authority and NSPCC was before or after the inquiry report?)
Last edited by sugarloaf on Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:23 am

Postby Stanton » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:27 pm

You say your children are happy at St James, mm, and yet you want to take them away? Are you listening to your children?

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Mental & Physical Mistreatment - All in the Past?

Postby Justice » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:37 pm

Dear MM,

I find your second reply even more alarming than the first one. To quote you from your reply:


In reality will someone believe me if I say,
-that I think that my child has been indoctrinated and hypnotised,
-that I think the pausing done everyday has affected their mental well being
-that I feel that a lesson that is interrupted four times in an hour in order to be still is adversely affecting my child?
-that I believe that the school is essentially a recruiting ground for the SES


Surely, to do nothing further is not an option. You should complain to the Head of the Education Authority as well as to the Police.

Also, contact Channel 4. If what you say is true then you have to be brave and make yourself heard. Even if you cant find another place for your child until September, how is it possible to have your child remain in this situation for a moment longer?

User avatar
a different guest
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:13 am
Location: Australia

Postby a different guest » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:55 pm

I wonder if the state system is so bad in the UK, or that, like here, it has been more a case of scaremongering that has seen parents drift from state education to private (exacerbated here by increased Federal funding to private schools, while decreasing funding to state schools).

Also I understand that things are 'upside down" in the UK, with parents preffering private for junior, then maybe going state, while here parents are happy for state for primary school, but will seek out (if they have the means) private for secondary.

Anyway, I apologise for not knowing more about the UK system - but MM, in light of what you say, surely your local state school (which here at last, would HAVE to take your child, no 'waiting list' for a kid who lives in the area) would be preferable to St James?

There is also the advantage that going to your local school means that new friends you make will also live locally.

And if your child is behind academically (which parents at the Australian schools have found) a state school is far more likely to have the resources to get the child up to speed. Many of the rich private schools here are really only interested in kids who 'perform', thus making them look "good" schools as they get results.

Can you give some examples on how your child has been affected by the school.

And why are other parents sticking their heads in the sand?

mm-
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: LONDON

Postby mm- » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:05 am

.posted before I read your post above, mm. do you mind me asking if your contact with education authority and NSPCC was before or after the inquiry report?)


I contacted the education authority and NSPCC the week after the TeS story was published.

You say your children are happy at St James, mm, and yet you want to take them away? Are you listening to your children?


No I am not listening to my children. My children are unaware of the pitfalls and dangers that an education at St James poses to them. As a parent I too have been unaware of it until recently. It is very easy to be taken in and duped by this 'happy' place.

I find your second reply even more alarming than the first one


Justice,

I worry for my children and I worry that speaking out while they are still at the school is not a clever thing to do. Believe it or not I am one of the outspoken parents, there are many out there who do not say a word and will not speak to anyone....if they do they will only do so off the record. My main priority is my children and their well being. I am not frightened by the SES or anyone at St James. Unfortunately,I found out about St James and its links with the SES only last term. What can I say? There are no excuses. I am doing the best that I can under the circumstances. I feel guilty every day.

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Mental & Physical Mistreatment - All in the Past?

Postby Justice » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:05 am

Dear MM,

You mentioned that you have been in contact with the Education Authorities at Hammersmith & Fulham and didnt feel your complaint was being dealt with properly.

I sent an email to Rt. Hon. Ruth Kelly, The Secretary of State for Education & Skills detailing my concerns and I would quote from the reply as follows:

I have spoken to Richmond upon Thames Social Services Department who are aware of issues surrounding the school. You may wish to get in touch direct with them. The contact is Kieran Travis on 0208 891 7830.

I am also aware that the Commission for Social Care Inspection are looking into matters relating to the school. The contact at CSCI is Steve Briggs on 01223 771 312.


Can I urge any parent with concerns to contact the above two individuals.

sugarloaf
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:40 am

Postby sugarloaf » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:21 am

Can I urge any parent with concerns to contact the above two individuals.


And if the reply is unsatisfactory you could consider writing directly to Ms Kelly, asking her why the education authority she is responsible for is not taking this seriously. I understand she's feeling a little sensitive with the current press furore about child safety in state schools, so she may be more than usually sensitive to criticism or concerns about child safety in this case.

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:36 am

mm,

I understand your hestitation to remove your children from the schools as I have two young children too and as a parent you are always concerned that what you do may "put them back" in both their studies and their confidence.

I can only talk from my own experience here, but it is my opinion that if a child has a solid foundation at home, then they are generally a lot more robust than we give them credit for. They will make new friends very easily and will after about half a term, settle down and enjoy a new school. Besides which, state education is not as bad as a lot of people think - not only is it much more closely monitored, but it generally prepares the child for a greater variety of social types and exposes them to a wider varieties of cultures. All of these things are highly desireable in one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

Certainly, when the alternative is the sort of indoctrination that you have described, the longer you leave it, the harder it is going to be for your children.

Knowing what you do now, do you ever see yourself being happy sending your children to those schools? If the answer is "no" as I suspect, then why wait...what is going to change...you'll just put yourself through more and more torment and you'll never be able to trust another thing the schools say.

I appologize if you seem to be being given the heavy treatment here, but please believe me, it is because all of us have been through it and have spent too many years undoing the damage - none of us want to see it happen to another generation. Even though it may not seem like it - you have our great sympathy for facing up to a very hard decision and are to be congratulated for not allowing yourself to be led up the garden path as some of the other parents you describe.

In my day, the driving force to send one's children to these schools was because you belonged to the SES yourself...now it seems the driving force for leaving them there is apathy...what a terrible shame.

User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:23 am

Postby Stanton » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:33 pm

MM - if you're not prepared to listen to your children then why seek advice? If one learns anything from this BB it's that those who are now adult were not listened to by their parents when little. You seem to be doing the same. If you really can't bear keeping them at St James then you have no alternative but to remove them forthwith and put them in a state school if a private school is not available.

mm-
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: LONDON

Postby mm- » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:09 pm

MM - if you're not prepared to listen to your children then why seek advice?


Stanton,

I just want to know the truth, if it wasn't for this BB I wouldn't have a clue.

I find your post a little disconcerting. Are you suggesting that I leave my children at St James because they seem to be happy? who in their right mind would do such a thing after reading this BB. They can be happy elsewhere. There is happiness outside of St James.

I am not suggesting that everything about the SES is bad...but I would have just liked to have had the choice as to wether my children should enter the SES world and their belief system. I respect people's choices whatever they wish to believe in or do. However, I do not want it rammed down my childrens throats without being consulted first.

Wether you like it or not the fact is that I, along with many others have not been told of the links St James had with the SES. If I had been told my children wouldn't have gone to St James and I wouldn't be in the position that I find myself in today.The school deliberately withheld this information from parents and sold us a package that on the face of it seemed wonderful but the fact of the matter is that there does seem to be some kind of hidden agenda beneath it all.


Return to “St James and St Vedast”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest