Moving schools - taking a child out of St James

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:23 am

Postby Stanton » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:37 pm

May I refer you to a link (on another thread) which details the governors' decision on disciplining teachers?


http://www.iirep.com/page13.htm

stjparent
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:36 pm

Postby stjparent » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:14 pm

Thank you for that link Stanton - very relevant.

A few points -

1) A "commitment to a reconciliation process" is all very well, but clearly from the Channel 4 news piece (and from much of the discussion on other threads on this forum), not enough has been done to date to at least some of the individuals concerned. At the risk of covering ground that is already being covered in other threads, surely "committing to a reconciliation process" 20-30 years after the event is shutting the door after the horse has (long) bolted?

2) I wish to maintain my own anonymity, but I can assure you that I (and other parents) have seen and heard of multiple occasions of over-disciplining, in today's St James. Each one fairly minor, but it all gradually adds up to an overall picture of poor control of staff behaviour - and ref my previous post, when put in the context of a 20 year acceptance (until the inquiry) of major "harsh treatment", the picture suddenly comes into sharp relief.

3) On an ongoing basis, what publicly accountable systems has the school put in place to prevent a reoccurrence? As a parent you are putting the ultimate trust in a school - care of your children and their development. The school HAS to work 110% to justify and build on that trust - and this is where St James/SES has fallen right down. Without even a PTA as a vehicle for reinforcing parent-teacher communications and relations, it doesn't have a hope of rebuilding that trust once parents start digging for information.

User avatar
mike_w
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 10:25 pm
Contact:

Postby mike_w » Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:45 am

Stanton wrote:He's certainly beautiful - where can I get one? Or something else? Ignorance speaking - would like an avatar (as Bagpuss is, I believe) but don't know where the store is?
You need the image as a small graphic, either on your 'puter or on the web somewhere - you then go to your profile (link at the top of the page) and upload or link to the image

http://www.whyaretheydead.net:/phpBB2/p ... ditprofile

Displays a small graphic image below your details in posts. Only one image can be displayed at a time, its width can be no greater than 80 pixels, the height no greater than 80 pixels, and the file size no more than 6 KB.

User avatar
Keir
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:04 am
Location: London

Postby Keir » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:39 pm

Absolutely, stjparent.

I find it incredulous how they STILL do not understand that past pupils do not want to be reconciled to the school/SES, they do not want to rejoin, they want an apology.

They also want assurances, preferably not made by the govenors who oversaw the abuse, but by independent non-SES parents that the same thing is not going on in the schools in any way shape or form. This to include improper use of authority as much as physical and mental abuse.

They also want to see the school being explicit about its links to the SES, with a pro-active education campaign towards potential parents, rather than waiting to be found out.

They havent really listened to a single thing that has been said. All the empty gestures do not mean a thing without addressing the causes of the enquiry, and the abuse before that, rather than the concerns of the press. And that means they have to show that they are listening to us.

We have had experience of what assurances like those Stanton pointed us to meant in the past. Not a thing. Teachers still abused us after reprimands, no perceptible change for the better in our treatment. All for show.

I do hope that they realise that the onus is on them to prove that they are contrite by their actions not by their words alone. They were after all found to have been all but negligent in the discharge of their duty of governing the school. Or does it only count if they are found guilty in a courtroom?

LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN and you will stop exacerbating the problem by making the ex students angry. There is more than enough material on this BB to give you a very good idea of what is required. Sending a letter although a positive step, ignores and invalidates the discussion that has been going on on this board for the last two years.

Maybe, just maybe after real progress has been made to address these concerns, there will be no reason to post.

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

Postby Stanton » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:05 pm

Keir - why not put some of the above as a response to the letter from the governors?

User avatar
Keir
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:04 am
Location: London

Postby Keir » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:57 am

It will be in the letter, I can assure you.

But why wait to be asked? Anyone can write a letter to the governors telling them what is being said, what they believe etc.

My point was that talking about pots is insulting to people who were brutalised. Any rational human being would see that.

Getting the abusers that are still employed by the school to apologise to the governors (who allowed it to go on in the first place) and then be told that they will take part in the reconciliation process, is a very press-aware response to being asked to apologise by the abused. And it still doesn't accomplish what was asked for.

They are not listening, again. just as they did not listen to parents concerns, press accusations, private reports etc etc etc. Nothing has changed.

teacher100
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:06 am

Postby teacher100 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:27 pm

I'm afraid I had to wite something due to severe alarm at reading what has been written here.

I actually cannot believe what is being said.

As a teacher in the senior girls school everyday I am surrounded by quite obviously happy junior school and senior school children.

On Saturday I attended the Old Girls' and Boys' ball where many of my own past pupils came up and said that they could not believe the things that were being written on the website about St James now; how brilliant - their words, not mine - the school was for them because it was so clear to them that the teachers cared about their welfare and were willing to put in 100% to help them, how fantastic the range of activities were that they got to do etc.. etc... In fact I had started to doubt myself because of this website and was enormously relieved to hear this. I have only been at the school 8 years so of course my old pupils left relatively recently. I am not and never would deny that experiences of the older pupils were quite different in some cases.

There is no doubt that awful things happened in the past, and I am heartily sorry for that. There are also issues about transparency which definitely need to be addressed and this is a great opportunity to do that. I have spoken about this issue with several people and intend to do more. I am absolutely against the philosophy in SES being forced down anyone's throat, and St James is not a vehicle to teach this.

However all this talk of deprogramming is frankly utterly ridiculous. If you don't want your children at the school then remove them, but please don't make out that they have been brainwashed and programmed etc.. They really haven't. I'm sorry if you feel differently, but just because the 'Indian element' of St James is present, does not mean it is bad or evil.

Honestly the teachers work so hard, the majority of them are very good, they are extremely caring, and if they are anything like me love their pupils and want the very best for them, and I mean what they want, not what I or anyone else thinks is the best. I'm afraid I can't keep quiet on this issue - the school you are describing is so different to the one I experience day to day.

As for the standard of Maths in the school, you do have a point, we are working on it, don't worry. The maths teaching in the senior girls is very good and sytematic, the GCSE and A-level results are great and, honestly, the standard of Maths in the junior girls' school has risen and is continuing to rise. We actually find that generally the standard is higher than the 11+ intake. ( I can't talk about the boys because I don't have experience). The teaching of Vedic maths is being examined, my own personal view is that conventional methods take a shorter time to teach and are easier to remember, and I have made this view very clear to all concerned.

Please contact me if you really have a huge concern about any of this, I am quite willing to meet anyone who wants to talk including parents. I will listen, sympathise, and take you seriously, but don't necessarily expect me to agree with you!

Oh and before anyone asks, no-one has put me up to this. I can and do think for myself.

Best wishes

teacher 100

[Duplicate post deleted - Daffy]

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

Postby Stanton » Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:11 pm

We are, in many ways, speaking about two different schools here: the early St Vedast and St James and then the later one. Somewhere along the line it was realised that the early schools had been at fault. Maybe it was simply that love was acknowledged. We've heard very little about the cause(s) which has produced such a marked change in the day schools. There has been a great deal of discussion about this change but little indication from those responsible as to why it occurred. Do you know? It's been a significant change so it must have a significant cause.

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

Postby mm- » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:55 am

I am absolutely against the philosophy in SES being forced down anyone's throat, and St James is not a vehicle to teach this.


Dear Teacher100,

Thank you for your post.

Are you saying that you are against the teaching of the SES philosophy at your school or that St James doesn't teach the SES philosophy?

If the latter is the case, then I really have to disagree with you. The schools are run by the SES and what the members of the SES believe is taught to children at the schools. To say or imply that this is not the case is simply untrue and ludicrous.


However all this talk of deprogramming is frankly utterly ridiculous. If you don't want your children at the school then remove them, but please don't make out that they have been brainwashed and programmed etc.. They really haven't. I'm sorry if you feel differently, but just because the 'Indian element' of St James is present, does not mean it is bad or evil.


Children have been subtly indoctrinated into a belief system that many parents are unaware of or do not understand. Some children will have been affected by the use of the meditation techniques used at your school today. Having spoken to a counsellor I am told that my child will have to be de-programmed and will have to be assessed in order to determine how damaged they are.

This is not ridiculous it is the truth, and as a parent I am very angry that teachers at St James do not appreciate the full extent of how harmful the techniques used at the school can be to a child.

The 'indian element' present at the schools today Teacher100 is due to the specific Hindu teachings that the SES believe in and want children at their school to learn. It is about time that the schools were honest about what they believe in and what their ultimate goals are with respect to what is taught at the schools. In my opinion children at St James today are being groomed so that at the age of 16 many will join the foundation groups and in turn become lifelong members of the SES.

parent
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:23 am

Postby parent » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:51 pm

I agree with you wholeheartedly MM.

After removing my child from STJ - Junior School, I am still de-programming! We will get ther - eventually.

teacher100
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:06 am

Postby teacher100 » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:11 pm

Stanton, you are right, I think there has been a gradual chenge over time. I think people are much more reasonable, teachers are properly trained and therefore able to handle children properly, and that atmosphere is more palpably loving. I would absolutely refuse to teach in a school where pupils were in fear or felt they were not free to express their own opinions. I think for the girls school things had already changing significantly 8 years ago when I came. There was absolutely no physical punishment at this time, but I think the schools have also become more relaxed since then, and standards of teaching have improved enormously. I have to say this is largely due to the very committed Headmistress. I'm sure the girls would like to change some things but then what pupils don't.

To MM,

I said that the teachings of SES should not be shoved down people's throats because I don't think anyone of any faith should do that, not because I think the philosophy is intrinsically bad, and of course, the teachers will be influenced by their beliefs, as is everyone.

I know that the aim of the Head teachers is for pupils to appreciate the underlying unity in all faiths, and as a result we have readings from different faiths in assembly and they are also contained in the philosophy course. Yes, the teachers are influenced by the founder's dicovery of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. This simply means that the philosophy of unity. Certainly the girls seem to have a profound respect for the faith and beliefs of others. I have been surprised that people have been so sceptical about this.

May I ask what beliefs you feel you daughter has been subtly indoctrinated with? I am genuinely interested in your reply. I can guarantee this is not anyone's intention.

Remember about a third on the teachers in the senior girls' school are not in the SES. It just wouldn't be possible to do what you are claiming without people finding it very odd, and other teachers wouldn't stand for it either.

I am interested in your comments about meditation. There has been a lot of research to show that meditation is very beneficial in helping concentration. Research has been done in the states and Clint Eastwood (not anything to do with SES) is supporting a 6 million dollar programme to try to make TM available to any child who wants it. I personally find it absolutely great, at the end of a hectic day at work it gives me some much needed rest. Thousands of people meditate, for example may Catholic churches have meditation groups who use the Aramaic mantra ' Maranatha' or ' Come, Lord' . I am not sure who you spoke to about de-programming your child but may I respectfully suggest you get a second opinion to balance the first. If your child is in the Junior School, presumably he/she isn't meditating anyway.

St James is absolutely not a recruiting ground for the SES. If you believe what you read on this site, one would think your daughter would be whipped away to marry some geriatric at 16 and forced to succumb to the teachings of the SES. I am afraid I actually find these comments very funny and so would the sixth form.

Fact: no-one is forced to join the SES. There are girls younger than 16 who attend SES groups within St James, and they have only been asked via their parents who are also in SES. This is not to be exclusive, one of the accusations levelled at the SES, but specifically not to recruit St James pupils. St James doesn't want to do that or be accused of it.

At 16 the girls and boys are asked if they would like to join a philosophy group. Absolutely no pressure is put on them to do this, it is available if they want it. I think this is actually stopping as well, because it is not the intention to 'recruit', and it is important that we are also seen not to do it.
I actually think this is a shame, because I think there should be an opportunity for people to study in this tradition if they want to, but there you go!

Practically all our pupils go to University, choose their own boyfriends/ partners and live happy balnced lives, with or without the SES. This, to the very best of my knowledge, is the truth of the situation, and I am in touch with quite a few of my ex-pupils who would verify this.

I am afraid there has been a lot of scaremongering on this website. I realise there are people who deserve an apology for what happened to them at the hands of St James and the SES, but I cannot emphasise enough that I have not had negative experiences, and much that one might have considered to be wrong in the past has changed completely. I also think that people in the two organisations were on the whole always well intentioned, although that doesn't excuse the ignorance and behaviour that went on.

Anyway, I expect that's enough for you to be going on with. I would be very happy to talk with you. I am quite short, smiley and not scary at all. I would listen to your genuine concerns, as I do believe more transparency is the key to healthy relationships with parents. I think your idea of a PTA is a good one, and will be lobbying for it.

With best wishes,

Teacher 100

daska
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:29 pm
Location: UK

Postby daska » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:30 pm

Teacher 100

As I understand it from the posts here all the girls in the 6th form have felt it necessary to join and remain in SES whereas apparently only a few of the boys have?

Can you shed any light on this?

mgormez
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 9:33 pm
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

Postby mgormez » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:32 pm

Oh Boy! Here we go again.

Teacher 100, if you believe that hopping on ones arse brings about world piece, as the TM movement subsribes to, then frankly I seriously doubt your sanity.

Group touts meditation as cure for ills of Israeli society
http://www.religionnewsblog.com/13645


And to balance your view how good TM is:

Leon Otis, a staff scientist at the Stanford Research Institute, found that after surveying hundreds of meditators, he concluded that "TM may be hazardous to the mental health of a sizable proportion of the people who take up TM." Otis also found that "the longer a person stays in TM and the more committed a person becomes to TM as a way of life, the greater the likelihood that he or she will experience adverse effects." He also noticed that it appeared that those who stuck with TM had more problems than those who started it and dropped out, and that the probability of occurrence of these adverse effects is higher among psychiatric populations. ("Meditation: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives" , ed. Deane H. Shapiro and Roger N. Walsh, New York, Aldine Publishing Co.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_Meditation
Mike Gormez

Planet
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:40 pm

Postby Planet » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:00 pm

teacher100 wrote:Fact: no-one is forced to join the SES. There are girls younger than 16 who attend SES groups within St James, and they have only been asked via their parents who are also in SES. This is not to be exclusive, one of the accusations levelled at the SES, but specifically not to recruit St James pupils. St James doesn't want to do that or be accused of it.

At 16 the girls and boys are asked if they would like to join a philosophy group. Absolutely no pressure is put on them to do this, it is available if they want it. I think this is actually stopping as well, because it is not the intention to 'recruit', and it is important that we are also seen not to do it.
I actually think this is a shame, because I think there should be an opportunity for people to study in this tradition if they want to, but there you go!


What about peer pressure ? Surely there is some ? This applies to all types of groups / organisations / religions of course including just "a philosophy group". At age 16 you should hopefully in many parents minds possibly be thinking about your A?levels etc. and your future and to have just another thing to worry about might be seen as another added stress.
If you didn't join xx group and the majority of your class mates did you'd feel the odd one out wouldn't you.
Inherently SES parents may well like there offspring to join and I can understand that, but like a persons religion this choice should be a completely free choice. However in a potential peer pressure situation while a child / young adult is still at school and at such a vulnerable age can it really be seen as such a free and open choice?

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

Postby Stanton » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:45 pm

Don't know about TM - I just practise a mantra meditation - no hopping around ..... ever! I find it very beneficial as do others


Return to “St James and St Vedast”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests