Much Ado About Not Much, My Post & The Current Pupil's V

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Sam Hyde
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Much Ado About Not Much, My Post & The Current Pupil's V

Postby Sam Hyde » Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:57 pm

Dear all,

I would firstly like to take this opportunity to reinstate my personal views and the intentions of those allied current pupils.

1) We express 100% sympathy, understanding and compassion to those who suffered at St Vedast and early St James. We do not deny the assaults and never have questioned the authenticity of your claims.

2) We joined this BB to shed light on a very 'New St James', speak out against the misinformed assumptions made about our school and its operations and protect the future of what is a very popular new school.

3) Start to subdue the ongoing callous commentary and work towards forming a platform on which we can all relate, learn and move forward. Desmond Tutu calls it Truth and Reconciliation.

Now that?s out of the way, having read the posts this last week and been itching to add to them, I will now reveal the heinous crime that was my 'Unjust Justice!' post.........this is the bit you have all been waiting for!

I can not reveal any of the contents as it resulted in this post being removed last night.

Frankly, if I got suspended for speaking out against him, what rules apply to you others who have constantly belittled, humiliated and brushed me aside? This kind of discrimination is crass, is it not the source of all your concerns, mental and emotional abuse????? Someone told me to look up hypocritical in the dictionary?I need not say anymore on this topic.

By and large, I am very pleased to have been included on this BB, albeit not appreciated for what I/we had to say and I express great disappointment in you all for this reaction. I have mused over possible reasons for this? that is what we do here isn?t it? Just formulate our own 'gospel' explanations. And the one that shines through as being the most viable explanation for you?re pushing us aside and belittling us can only be because we bought to this BB a voice that was not welcome. One of reason, practicality, reality, and ultimately the bomb shell, TRUTH!
When we presented you with an opposition that posed valid and realistic challenges to your arguments, a minority of you childishly insulted and cut us down for our incapability?s. This is a harsh reality but you have exposed yourselves (with few exceptions) as a narrow minded, obsessive and intimidating opposition. People?s hardly fit to be reasoned with!
You accuse St James of indoctrinating, brainwashing and de-sensitizing us. You are guilty as accused, what else does your behaviour demonstrate?
Enough on that. My point has been made.

I leave you now, with a reminder of what our school, ST JAMES INDIPENDANT SCHOOL FOR BOYS, TWICKENHAM is like:

1) There are no-longer any assaults
2) The is NO indoctrination
3) The is NO 'brainwashing'
3b) The SES doesNOT control our school!
4) We are NOT forced to join the SES
5) We are not married away to 'SES Brides' (I know, its totally crazy but it had to be said!)
6) I could do with better English grammar! (cough cough, Mr. Wray???)
7) We are free to say and believe in what we like!
8) The school embraces a multitude of different races and religions (16 faiths!!!), all of whom have no heard of discrepancies with our ethos.
9) Only as little as approx. 15% of the boy's parents are in the SES (that?s 45/301)
10) The schools are excelling at what they do best, developing a caring, considerate and loving character in BOTH boys and girls! This I hope will live on to see another gross annual increase in applications thus extending the current waiting list to similar proportion of any other 'normal' competitive selective secondary school.

I leave you on a good note, if what I said above offends anyone then I apologise in advance. During my time on this BB I have learnt the key is not to take it personally. I have spoken my mind, whether you want to hear what I have to say is up to the moderator to decide. In effect this is my suicide note, bring on the indefinite suspension!!!! Prove my point for me!

To conclude, I solemnly wish you, the Original Ex-Pupils, a peaceful and healing reconciliation process. My thoughts are with you and I would like to see true and fair 'Justice!' served to your cases.

All my love to you all.

Sam xox :Fade-color
thats old now, like me, only 4 weeks to go!!!!!
"I've never let my schooling interfere with my education"

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Postby bella » Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:29 am

I'm curious to see the post that earned you a suspension, Sam - care to PM it to me? It was mentioned in the other thread that people wanting to see the post in question could ask you for it via PM or email.

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Postby a different guest » Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:35 am

Sam - can I point you to my post here ... 2&start=30

which says
Sam wrote
Hence this detail being filed under 'History'......

Hardly history when the influences of the SES are very much current!

The governors are SES, the heads are SES and most of the teachers are SES. SES idealogoy underpins everything the school does and teaches. If not for the SES you would not be learning Sanskrit, pausing in class and girls subjeced to a compulsory study of "Art of Hospitality".

As Bella has pointed out, she would send her child to an SES school because she expects it to be SES, not just the same as the state school down the road.

The excerpt from the Girls School brochure posted by BoeingDriver is telling. If you absolutely nothing about the SES belief system you would think it just a warm bit of 'touchy feely'. However, read it with a bit of pre-knowledge about the SES and you see what the Headmistress is really saying.

The influence is clear and current, not history.

" It is good that our young women should be encouraged to view their potential as limitless, but we must take care to ensure that the spirit of love which is so natural to a woman's heart is inspired to meet the needs of those with whom she lives and works. If we make the mistake of rearing a generation of self-seeking young women we are heading for calamity. Women have the power to create the emotional environment in which a community lives and the need is for a loving and benevolent force, which is directed to the attentive care of all. If we could all concern ourselves more with the quality of our service and less with our personal accomplishments and status, real liberation of the human spirit - with all its amazing creative powers - would emerge. "

ETA: I was going to point Sam's new thread to this post, but I see it's gone.

and also he had gotten the "wife' bit wrong. Sam baby, YOU don't get the child brides, it's the old blokes!

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Postby Stanton » Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:34 am

Glad to receive your post, Sam. I know that sometimes discussions on this BB appear to be going round and round in circles, same old stuff again and again. But it's worth persevering and glad you have done so.

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Postby Daffy » Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:19 pm

As is obvious from my earlier attempt to link to it, Sam's post wasn't particularly offensive in its own right. However, it was an abusive tirade that was the last straw in a week of shouting at other users and hogging the board with excessive and off-topic posts.

As I've said previously several times, we do not aim to censor particular views or individuals (other than Matt Stollar, who is completely verboten in any form). The ultimate test is whether a user is behaving in a manner that is discouraging other users from participating on this board. When someone shouts, rants or hogs the board with large numbers of silly posts, other people are deterred from participating. You can see it when it happens: other people just don't want to join in the conversation any more.

Sam thinks he was suspended for criticising Justice. What utter crap. A number of other users have been highly critical of Justice, but they manage to express their comments in a non-threatening and 'low volume' manner. Other St James pupils have expressed views supportive of the school and do so in a reasoned way. Their views are welcome. Sam will also continue to be welcome here, as long as he doesn't try to drown out other conversation with noise.

bella wrote:I'm curious to see the post that earned you a suspension, Sam - care to PM it to me? It was mentioned in the other thread that people wanting to see the post in question could ask you for it via PM or email.

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Postby Keir » Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:26 pm


Thanks for your views, and I for one am glad that we have recently gained much more insight into the 'new' St James school for boys at least.

I don't remember anyone criticising your information dissemination, just the aggressive and seemingly dismissive manner of it.

You may not be aware of why this should cause great offence to past pupils, but a fullsome exploration of some of the older posts might give you some idea. It is this dismissiveness which we experienced with the bullying and physical abuse all those years ago, and continues with the apparent dismissiveness of the govenors and certain members of your schools staff.

As became clear after all the testosterone had subsided, there was very little disagreement about what was needed from many in the current school and the current SES.

I am delighted that there is a rising chorus of voices from diverse people who cannot be dismissed as rabid fifth columnists, or people with a vindictive streak. It shuts off another avenue for the wandering minds of the staff and governors of your school, and helps them focus on really solving the problem at hand. How do you convince a critical public that a reconcilliation is taking place when you don't think you are in the wrong?

A fool is someone who thinks he is wise, a wise man is someone who knows he is a fool

(paraphrased from memory from SES/St J 'teaching' circa 1980)

The answer might just be right under their noses!

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Postby chittani » Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:31 pm

Hey Sam

I've got to say you have my sympathy. Being regarded as a cult victim isn't easy. Good for you for standing up for your school. None of this reflects on you as a person in any way, so don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

Arguably it's different for an adult SES member like me who joined as an adult - but there's no justification for you to be vilified. Having said that, most of the people on the board are not vilifying you. Don't get put off by the extremists.

The only point I would take issue with is '3b The SES does not control our school.' How can you reasonably assert that? There have been attempts to set up PTAs (despite the denials of this from St James) and people who have called for more non-SES involvement, especially at the top level. All to no avail.

So I'm afraid that although it doesn't add up to you being a dupe of Ming the Merciless, it's not reasonable to say that the SES doesn't control St James. Of course it does. That's the fact whether we like it or not.

You could say with far more justice that the SES supports St James. We've spent many days and evenings painting your walls for you and raising funds for you. We've always seen it as a worthy cause and something we should support. What you haven't said here is that without that, there would be no St James.

While we're all glad the madness of the past is ended, actually I regret some of the changes now going on (rising fees, glossy brochures, smart buildings) that only serve to make it more and more like any other 'posh' English skool - take my money and my child's accent away! St James should remain distinctive and quirky and spiritual; and not turn into a dull finishing school for social climbers.

I reckon you should be out and proud. Say it Sam:


It sounds odd now, I know, but someone has to be the first. Wear the dark suit of accountancy with a look that dares anyone to make something of it.

Sorry Sam, I'm taking the piss a bit. Not of you, but of this situation. But a serious point - St James is unique, and you have to be able to celebrate that.
Last edited by chittani on Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby chittani » Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:43 pm


Great post. Absolutely. Wandering minds is bang on.

My memory of a similar saying:

"He who says he knows, knows not. He who says he knows not, knows not."

There are a lot of stories in the ancient traditions where the person who sets out to tell someone else something suddenly realises he hasn't got a clue, while the one who has previously been seen as ignorant turns out to be the one with maybe something to say. It's a big theme in the Upanishads. My reading is that this is because at the time the philosophers had to deal with a lot of professional spiritual experts who thought they had it all sewn up.

PS I think we used to know each other long ago ... not many Keirs about. Glad to find you're still around.

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Postby Snowman » Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:47 pm


I hardly think that the discussions are going round and round in circles. It may be the same old stuff over and over again but it is that same old stuff which is right at the heart of the problems here. Revisiting the same old stuff is the only way to move the discussion on any further.

Sam and the other St James pupils are presenting the 'New' St James in the best light that they can, and I thank them for their honesty and courage in their efforts. In doing so they have tackled many issues previously raised by contributors and there have been responses. This is not circular but linear discussion - albeit covering old ground at times. Bear in mind that there have been 2+ years of discussions on this BB and there is no way that anyone can read the whole lot and get to grips with all previous discussions.

Debate requires patience and tolerance and we have seen over time that the impatient and the intolerant have been censured for their outbursts. Things can get heated but we need to remain calm if we are to further the discussions at all.


You are more than welcome on this BB but there are some things that I disagree with:

Your 'TRUTH' is your experience and not the facts about the governance of your school of the facts about the SES that controls your school.

Your school is controlled by the SES to the same degree that mine was, the difference being that your school is more covert in how it handles and exercises that control. I know that the experience for pupils at St James now is far better than it was in my day - as you and your colleagues have illustrated so expertly. I do not challenge this and absolutely trust your judgement in this respect.

The Truth is in fact something that belongs to the SES - so we have no right to determine what it might be or to claim that we know it. All we can deal in are facts and your testimonies are full of facts/experiences about the current St James. Try to call them the Truth and you risk the wrath of whatever SES 'cocktail of deities' is the flavour of the moment - karma says you will become a snail.

Bearing in mind the fact that the SES controls St James, is it not right that there should be greater attention to and transparency of:

The links between SES and St James at all levels.
Clarification that all Governors are senior SES members and why this is the case.
Honesty about the nature of the SES community and its dominance of the school executive
Strange relationships between teachers, SES tutors, parents and governors
Pressure from teachers (esp in Girl?s school) to join Foundation groups - ask your opposite class if this is true.
What the SES teaches and in what way it teaches it
Why teachers are suggesting meditation and SES membership to pupils and not asking parents.

These are not issues from the past with no relevance to today?s schools, they continue to this day. I have to agree with ADG that the ?brides? are not for you they are for the older SES men.

The fact that only 15% of parents are members of SES makes it more important that there is greater transparency. Given that statistic, should we expect or push for a PTA and a governing board which represents this?

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Postby chittani » Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:12 pm


Too right. All that you suggest is reasonable and fair.

So long as the SES believes in a distinction between 'us' and 'the world' (shakes head disbelievingly) it is going to be a slow process getting there, because subconsciously 'the world' (that is anyone not 'in School') is opposed to The Truth. That's what makes these people's teeth grind silently as they're talking to you.

In practical terms, what would need to happen is for the principles of St James to be articulated clearly and unambiguously, so that everyone involved could decide that they want to be involved, and they could sign up for it or not. Then it would be open to everyone. As it is no-one on the outside can understand what St James is about because they're not allowed to.

If they want to be an ultra-traditional school vis a vis gender roles, or teach ancient languages, or whatever, then they can just say that and off they go. Anyone who finds it objectionable will leave, and it's a happy ship because we're all pointing the same way.

Let's face it, there are few more ridiculous or offensive ideas (at least to most people) than the Catholic Church's position on artificial contraception, but people are desperate to get into Catholic schools. Why? Because they work, and they say, "We believe this. You don't have to."

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Postby Stanton » Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:02 pm

Very good points - all of them in the last few posts. So long as the connection between SES and St James is transparent, clear and unambiguous, then the day schools can teach what they like and how they like. Parents will understand what they are signing up for. Those who don't like it will have the information they need to stay away. Agree with Chittani - what would be the point of St James schools being the same as other schools? There are enough conventional schools around for any parent to make a choice. St James should offer something different.

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Postby Snowman » Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:20 pm

I am glad to hear your support for these ideas - although they are not new ideas by any means.

The Govs and the SES top-brass have known that the only truly acceptable option is to declare their intentions, goals and ideology and for well-informed parents to make the decision based on that. In practice this is absolutely unworkable.

The schools as a business would not be viable.

This is their BIG problem. They have to either become a school for the SES or ditch their current structure and ethos to become more conventional.

An SES school is always going to struggle to fend off accusations of being cult-like and a conventonal school is going to strangle the supply of new-SES recruits.

I don't see why a more conventional school is such a bad thing. There is proof enough that the SES creation has been fundementally flawed from the outset because of the lunatic principles behind it. In a conventional school you can still teach boys to respect girls, you can still teach Plato, you can still open debate on philosophical issues and you can still offer a vegitarian diet.

Why won't this ever happen?

Because the governors and the SES won't let it - the SES doesn't change and as a result neither can St James. There is too much pride at stake and the egos running the show are far too inflated to allow their precious treasure to be taken away.

So what does that leave? A school for SES children - and so the cult is born again.

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Postby Keir » Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:41 pm

Maybe the most honest approach would be to say why the schools were set up and what their experience has been in total of the experiment of mixing a patchwork of 60/70s philosophy and junior and senior education.

Surely an experimental ethic can be seen as a positive thing, if you can also show that you are not blinding yourself to results that suggest change. Adaptability is a positive message as long as you have a strong idea (tested frequently and retained) of what your core strageies and beliefs are.

The SES and day schools have access to some mighty PR and advertising muscle in their ranks so could presumably make the case most cogently if they cared to. The conclusion one is left with is that they a) don't feel the need to or b) are not 'out' about what they believe.

Maybe if they had kept their connection to the world around them instead of creating an alternate one, they would be more in tune with how to proceed in a way that would satisfy a world only too aware of the difference between fakery and true feeling.

The point has been made about the continuing and somewhat symbiotic link between the SES and ST James, the day school will reflect what is going on in the SES and vice versa. That there has been change is positive. That they are resisting what so many voices are calling for is unfortunate for the SES and St J. It invites charges of hypocrisy, weakness, fear, dishonesty, callousness, impropriety etc and is making the changes that have been made seem so much less significant.

It is time for a meaningful apology. It is time for the resignations of the governors who presided over the school during the time mentioned in the inquiry. It is time for the governors committee to become more representative of the make-up of its intake. It is time for all the teachers mentioned in the private report to apologise, not because they are forced to by a court case, but because they genuinely see the need to recognise their past behaviour and to take ownership of it.

You have nothing to fear but fear itself.

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Postby NYC » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:20 pm

The Governors have posted their decision about what disciplinary action to take with three teachers complained against. It?s at

I do find it just a jaw dropper that the AUTHOR of the original statement from the governors in response to Townend's report was...Roger Pincham! This is laughable. As the Appendix Terms of Reference states, ?Those of the present Governors who were serving Governors between 1975 ? 1985 may have a conflict of interests. Governors with any familial connection with the complainants may also have a conflict of interests.? 10.4

He should have recused himself from active participation on the Board of Governors until after the ?independent internal inquiry? report was released, at the very least. Instead, the man is responding, in his official capacity, to a report that concludes that criminal actions took place under his tenure! Surely the conflict of interest is obvious?

I wonder if Mr. Pincham was on the committee that decided to take no disciplinary action with one teacher and to issue a ?Formal Warning? to another. The third, who ?vigorously contested? complaints made against him at the inquiry will receive a ?Formal Reprimand? and a ?Formal Warning? although Townend ?found the complainants reliable? and that the teacher?s ?treatment of some of his pupils was harsh and occurred because of loss of temper.?

The statement doesn?t say anything about the fourth teacher, who according to the ?Governors Follow Up? tab ?remains employed in an associate school abroad? and whose ?disciplinary approach was found to have been harsh, but not unlawful, in two incidents? before 1985. This former teacher is actually the current head of the Ficino School, correct?
Last edited by NYC on Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby chittani » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:27 pm

I'm glad we all seem to be agreeing on so much. At the end of the day it's not rocket science - there are plenty of models to follow if St James wants to become fully accepted as part of society.

It seems now that the only question is, what will the powers-that-be do? Will they take some positive steps, as outlined by Keir, or will they fail to do so and prove Snowman's view to be prophetic?

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