Pincham's reply to Open Letter

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Sarah M
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Pincham's reply to Open Letter

Postby Sarah M » Mon May 08, 2006 10:57 am

Matthew, thank you for forwarding Pinchams reply to the signatories of the open letter. I have posted a copy below to keep readers of this board up to date.

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for your signatories' letter dated 30.03.06.

Before dealing with the proposals, there are two points which cannot pass without clarification.

In your letter, paragraph three, you suggest that the current pupils might not be happy or safe. This accusation has no foundation. A visit to the schools, or seeing recent inspection reports would give the lie to these statements. If you phone me I could arrange either or both.

The same paragraph seems to contain the threat that if specified action is not taken, there will be disruption.

I would like you and your group's assurances that this was not what was meant. As you know, there has been graffiti on the school buildings, illegal leafleting of potential parents at Open Days, and illegal entry to the school premises. Again, I would ask you and your group to to confirm that you do not condone these activities, that you have had no part in them and are not threatening the schools with "disruption".

With this assurance in place, the governors would find it easier to accept that your group of signatories genuinely see themselves as part of the St. James community and has the welfare of the current pupils at heart. This of course is the primary duty of the present governors.

Given the above assurances, the governors will consider the several suggestions at their next meeting. (I would however say at this stage that the Inquiry Report did not specifically accuse any of the current teachers of criminal behaviour.)

After a period of years which has seen much evolutionary change and improvement, it is accepted that a fundamental review of the governors of St. James schools would be timely and in order. The expectation is that this will be completed by the end of the Summer Term and implemented in the next academic year.

Looking forward to your assurances on the matter of disruption.

Yours sincerely,

Roger J. Pincham
Chairman of the Board of Governors

Sarah M
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Postby Sarah M » Mon May 08, 2006 11:16 am

In your letter, paragraph three, you suggest that the current pupils might not be happy or safe. This accusation has no foundation.


We know that many parents have already or are in the process of removing their children from the schools because they are not happy and they fear for their safety.

A visit to the schools, or seeing recent inspection reports would give the lie to these statements. If you phone me I could arrange either or both.


We know that St. James is very good at presenting itself as 'a happy place' inspections in the 70's and 80's never spotted the abuse that was going on.

The same paragraph seems to contain the threat that if specified action is not taken, there will be disruption.


A complete misunderstanding of what was written, Matthew was clearly refering to the disruption caused by the need to have an inquiry.

I would like you and your group's assurances that this was not what was meant.


Those that signed the letter are in no way a group, most have never met.

illegal leafleting of potential parents at Open Days, and illegal entry to the school premises.


Leafleting isn't illegal, and what's this about illegal entry to school premises? First I've heard of it. Does anyone know more?

With this assurance in place, the governors would find it easier to accept that your group of signatories genuinely see themselves as part of the St. James community and has the welfare of the current pupils at heart.


I certainly do not see myself as part of the St James School community and am offended by the suggestion. Of course the welfare of current pupils is important but I'm part of this process primarily for my own 'welfare' not theirs.

This of course is the primary duty of the present governors.


If the pupils welfare is your primary concern then RESIGN, you were there when children were suffering, it was your responsibility. I'm amazed current parents entrust you with their children's welfare.

Given the above assurances, the governors will consider the several suggestions at their next meeting.


When's the meeting?

(I would however say at this stage that the Inquiry Report did not specifically accuse any of the current teachers of criminal behaviour.)


David Lacey???

After a period of years which has seen much evolutionary change and improvement, it is accepted that a fundamental review of the governors of St. James schools would be timely and in order.


So a little reshuffle then, no need for nasty resignations or sackings. This is not good enough, this is not taking responsibility for your actions.

BoeingDriver
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Postby BoeingDriver » Mon May 08, 2006 11:23 am

Sarah,

Nicely put.

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ET
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Postby ET » Mon May 08, 2006 11:28 am

Great second post Sarah M, I agree with everything you put.

The bit about us all being part of the St James' Community actually made me feel ill. I am not, nor have I ever been through my own choice, part of anything to do with St James' or the screwed up philosophy behind it.

The governors' obsession with putting us all into a "group" is really starting to get on my nerves - do they not understand the principle of an "open" letter? It's similar to a petition, anyone can sign it.

I will be writing to him in due course to tell him all this.

Anyway, at least there has now been some sort of response, although as always it's not enough. What's the betting that this "review" of the governing body will result in little or no change? Or that they will consider the points made in the letter but not do anything about them?

I know that Matthew has written back to Mr. Pincham to ask him for the date of the meeting mentioned in the letter - I hope he gets a response.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

mm-
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Postby mm- » Mon May 08, 2006 11:43 am

It's about time Roger Pincham did the right thing and resigned, along with other governors and staff members who are responsible for the abuse that took place and for once stopped being so selfish. If they profess to love the schools as much as they say they do they should go now. Simply reshuffling the board of governors with more SES members is not enough. Sadly, it does seem that things have not and will not change.

Yet again we are reminded how some SES members possess the unique ability to misconstrue, twist and distort a simple and genuine letter for their own benefit and to suit themselves.

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Mon May 08, 2006 11:52 am

I've re-read the open letter and cannot fathom Pincham's response. Nice dissection of his response Sarah. Perhaps Matthew can include your observations in his response?

Will these guys ever 'geddit'?
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

Rob Whiteman
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Open letter reply

Postby Rob Whiteman » Mon May 08, 2006 12:57 pm

I can only agree with the rest of the post. The reply appears to represent a wilful disregard for the content of the original letter and the attempt that it made to move things forward. Reconciliation only becomes possible when there is some acceptance that what happened was unaccepatble and wrong followed by a genuine wish to put things right. This is not happening at present. The reply witnesses only to arrogant disregard.

Can we start with an acceptance by the Governors that children were mistreated in the 1970s and 1980s? The action by those teachers who apologised (and thank you to them, I found it helpful) now looks badly out of step with the Governors and the rest of the St James' community but does show a concern for children and a responsibility for one's own actions that is so desperately lacking elsewhere.
Rob
St Vedast 1975-6

1980sstJ
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Postby 1980sstJ » Mon May 08, 2006 1:10 pm

This proves, as if we didn't know before that Roger Pincham is a hateful excuse for a man.

What a deluded, pathetic and dishonest little reply. If ANYTHING was going to galvanise me to make sure justice is done, it is was this contemptuous message from Pincham. I feel even more determined to make sure that people like him will not get away with covering up the criminal child abuse that we suffered at the school including at the hands of teachers that are STILL employed there.

I can't add much to the excellent dissection that has already been made above of his loathsome reply, though "illegal leafletting" was indeed a particular low point.

And while I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree that current pupils' welfare is important, I think that plea is rich coming from him as his actions are harming them more than any campaigner. His and Boddy's actions are prolonging the whole campaign.

And if Pincham or Boddy care about the pupils, why are they continuing to allow Lacey to work there?

Mr Pincham, I salute you. You have renewed my energies and determination to make sure that the child abusers do not get away with what they did. They and those who protected and continue to protect them will be called to account.

Thanks for the energy boost.

Free
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Postby Free » Mon May 08, 2006 5:26 pm

<delete>
Last edited by Free on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

1980sstJ
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Postby 1980sstJ » Mon May 08, 2006 9:19 pm

So, they are lying and playing dirty to try and defend the abuse that they allowed to happen at their school and to try and defend that they still employ some of the abusers.

Hardly surprising that they have taken this dirty tactic. Boddy did not rise to the top of the spin tree with Maggie without knowing how to play dirty.

But I guarantee you Boddy, we will prevail. You will ALWAYS be wrong and we will ALWAYS be right. So we will win and show up the abusers for who they are, and you for who you are for continuing to employ them.

sugarloaf
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Postby sugarloaf » Mon May 08, 2006 10:57 pm

Pincham stated in his reply
After a period of years which has seen much evolutionary change and improvement, it is accepted that a fundamental review of the governors of St. James schools would be timely and in order. The expectation is that this will be completed by the end of the Summer Term and implemented in the next academic year.

So the Governors are going to have a major review of themselves, which will be completed in two months time? No doubt The SES strategy is to allow any governors in positions of responsibility during the years of abuse to quietly retire, with dignity. While their replacements - fresh SES blood, untainted by the abuse, can step in and continue to directly control the school.

Chittani - can you enlighten us? Is this the big change that you are saying is already taking place behind the scenes?

Very clever ! seriously - I mean it. For the first time they're doing something that strategically makes sense - It will be very,very difficult to criticise the governing board if its made up of new members not directly connected to the abuse.

As Sarah said:
So a little reshuffle then, no need for nasty resignations or sackings. This is not good enough, this is not taking responsibility for your actions.

And shes right. They should not be allowed to get away with this
There are only four things that are being called for, all in my view exceptionally reasonable considering the circumstances:

1. implicated governors to show they accept responsibility by resigning
2. teachers found guilty of criminal acts to be sacked
3. the school to genuinly consult with parents over reform to the school governance
4. St James to be transparent about what it is and what it does.

Their response is a resounding 'no' to each and every one of these. If nothing is done to prevent it - its looking like within only 8 weeks or so they will have manouvred themselves into a position where theyre much more likely to be able to get away with it.

The question has to be: are we going to let them get away with it?

sparks
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Postby sparks » Mon May 08, 2006 11:42 pm

sugarloaf wrote:
The question has to be: are we going to let them get away with it?


NO!

I will be writing to Pincham in response to his letter and I urge others to do the same.

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Ben W
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Re: Pincham's reply to Open Letter

Postby Ben W » Tue May 09, 2006 1:09 am

Roger J. Pincham
Chairman of the Board of Governors wrote:
The expectation is that this will be completed by the end of the Summer Term and implemented in the next academic year.


Please note the precise wording - "implemented in the next academic year". Accordingly, it will be possible for existing governors to remain in place until the last day of the next year - i.e. it might be 13 months from now before governors change.

Ben
Child member of SES from around 1967 to around 1977; Strongly involved in Sunday Schools ; Five brothers and sisters went to ST V and St J in the worst years

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Tue May 09, 2006 10:57 am

Personally I call for Roger Pincham to resign.

In many ways the most serious indictment from Townend is that there was no effective governance of the schools in place during the time abuses occurred.

Pincham thought the schools were happy then just as he believes they are happy now. How am I supposed to trust a man's judgement when he failed to recognise what was going on in the schools for which he was responsible at the time it was happening and at the time it was brought to his attention at least by the national press, if not by some parents also? I can not believe that he is capable himself of convincingly leading through the changes to goverance necessary for St James to develop as it needs to in response to its history.

Also with David Boddy being a senior member of the SES and spin doctor for the SES at the time the abuses were happening in the St James's schools, how are we supposed to trust that he has the necessary objectivity to lead the St James through this period of change?

This is about trust and Mr Pincham has already neglected his responsibilities in the past but somehow we are supposed to trust him to carry through these changes effectively. I think not.

It is time for a new Chair of the Board of Governors and someone who is independent both of the past and the SES.

Bonsai

daska
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Postby daska » Tue May 09, 2006 12:43 pm

I found Pincham's letter offensive and personally insulting. I have nothing but contempt for a man who can write to a group of people who have been personally harmed by his brown nosed obedience to the man who instigated the physical and emotional abuse of them as children, accuse them of 'illegal' activities and demand assurances from them that they do not intend to harm the children in his care! If he had ever had the moral wherewithall to be able to care about the children entrusted to him he would have ensured that he knew what was going on and taken action 30+ years ago. The fact that he is still denying any responsibility is the only reason necessary for him to be removed from his position. How anyone can reconcile his deliberate ignorance, complacency and distortion of the truth with his continuing in the position of Head of the Board of Governors at a children's school is beyond the bounds of belief.


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