Pincham's reply to Open Letter

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
1980sstJ
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:21 pm

Postby 1980sstJ » Tue May 09, 2006 12:47 pm

I think we should do that wikipedia page on St James. That way we have a central page that contains an overview of all the important information. It also means that when internet users tap the school's name into a search engine like google, that the top page will be the wikipedia one.

I think we should do this rightaway.

See, Mr Pincham, you really have galvanised us.

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

Postby sugarloaf » Tue May 09, 2006 9:43 pm

Ben wrote
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.

Agree thats technically posible - but my reading of it is that the decision will be made by the end of this academic year (does anyone know when the end of St J summer term is?).... and be implemented at the start of the following year when everyones back after hols.

Fresh year, fresh Governors, hopefully less criticism. It doesnt seem to make sense to annouce a major review, and then leave Pincham in place throughout 12 months of mounting pressure for his resignation. But if they do - good luck to em!

Free
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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:30 pm

Postby Free » Wed May 10, 2006 3:14 am

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

mm-
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Location: LONDON

Postby mm- » Wed May 10, 2006 9:23 am

does anyone know when the end of St J summer term is?)....


Sugarloaf,

End of summer term : Tuesday 11th July@ 12 noon

Autumn Term: Wednesday 6th September
Half Term: Monday 23rd October-27th October
End of Term: Wednesday 13th December

Matthew
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Location: London

Postby Matthew » Wed May 10, 2006 1:45 pm

My sister, Kelly, as one of the open letter signatories, has sent a reply to Mr Pincham. She has also given permission for it to be posted here:

Dear Mr Pincham,

RE: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF ST JAMES INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS, LONDON

I have just read your letter to Matthew Woolf, dated 13 April, and I am writing to you as one of the original signatories to the open letter. It may also interest you to know that I have been a governor at my own children's state primary school in Cumbria for nearly ten years. I therefore have some understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a governing body.

However unpalatable you and the existing governors may find it, I believe the only solution to your problems is to dismiss teachers such as David Lacey and Chris Southwell who were found to have criminally abused the children who were in their care. You also need to appoint a new governing body that does not include governors who were in their posts during the period when the abuse occurred. These governors may argue that they were unaware of the extent of the abuse, though I find it scarcely credible that they really had no idea that children were being beaten and brutalized on a daily basis. However, even if some of them were genuinely ignorant of these events, this is no defence. As governors, they should have made it their business to find out what was going on in the school for which they had responsibility.

When I first became a governor, I was sent on a training course and the first thing we learnt was that the governor's relationship with the school should be that of a 'critical friend'. Unfortunately, in this case it seems that your governors forgot all about the need to be critical and interpreted 'friend' as 'being completely supine'.

If you and the rest of the existing governors really do care about the future of the school, you need to put in place a governing body that is truly open and transparent in its dealings, and that reflects today's school community. In other words, you need to include parent governors who are not members of the SES. If you are determined to restrict the governing body to SES members then you need to openly inform prospective parents that the school is run by a cult called the School of Economic Science, and clearly explain the implications of that for their children's education and experience of school life.

Yours sincerely

Snowman
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Location: London

Postby Snowman » Wed May 10, 2006 1:58 pm

As much as I agree with the call for Mr Pincham's resignation as chairman of the governors, I fear that this will effect mere superficial change within the governance of St James.

The root of the problem, as I and many others have said previously, is the puppetmaster itself; the SES. In particular the MEN in charge: Lambie, Boddy, Skelcey, Saunders, Marshall etc...

Whichever new faces are appointed as governors, there will be no actual change in the governance of the schools. SES will still hold the reins and the dangerous culture of THEIR TRUTH will persist.

There have been moves in recent years to create new variant strains of the SES TRUTH virus in such self-congratulatory enterprises as The Lucca Leadership Foundation and the Education Renaissance Trust. These are ostensibly worthy and righteous enterprises yet they are nothing more than the SES rebranded and modified to spread the SES TRUTH.

The original SES recruiting ground, the day schools for children, were always going to find expansion and continued recruitment difficult to manage together. The boys' school moving to Twickenham was always going to find it an uphill struggle to retain its SES influence and its appeal to the predominantly educated middle-class cachement.

We all know what its like when you visit a school on Open Day - everyone says the right things and the impression left on visitors is something along the lines of: "Oh, what a charming school. Sure it has its quirks, but that's interesting." What you don't ask and would trust the school to provide is appropriate structures of governance and accountability. What you get at St James is a governing body with little or no executive power. The controlling hand is hidden, all pervasive, unelected, unaccountable and uncontrollable.

The puppet governors, past, present and future bear the brunt of criticism and blame whilst the true governor (unelected, hidden etc...) sits in the background with a wry, patronising smile looking ath the rest of the world and thinking: "You poor unenlightened fools, we alone know the TRUTH and if we want your opinion, we will give it to you."

nilsabm
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Postby nilsabm » Wed May 10, 2006 8:03 pm

Roger Pincham's response suggests all 91 signatories are part of a group responsible for vandalism, threatening behaviour, trespassing and other 'illegal activities'. No doubt this is a pathetic attempt to brand all critics of the school as 'hardened activists' again. What a joke - albeit a highly insulting one.

As Matthew's previous post demonstrates, there are people among the signatories who hold highly responsible positions and understand the needs of a school governing body. Of the signatories I personally know, two are pensioners, one of whom has been a lifelong member of the SES. There is obviously a diverse spectrum of experienced, intelligent and respectable people among the signatories. To accuse us all with a random scatter of unsubstantiated accusations is both disingenuous and offensive. Especially when it is so obvious that the meaning of the letter has been deliberately misunderstood and perverted to this effect.

This latest response serves to highlight the contemptible attitude of the current, SES-dominated governing body, and illustrates exactly why it is that reform is needed.

xstJ
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Location: London

Postby xstJ » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:51 pm

So last May the governors announced that they would be carrying out a major review, implying changes would be made and Roger Pincham would no longer be chair. As far as I'm aware nothing's changed.

sugarloaf wrote:Fresh year, fresh Governors, hopefully less criticism. It doesnt seem to make sense to annouce a major review, and then leave Pincham in place throughout 12 months of mounting pressure for his resignation. But if they do - good luck to em!


It seems thats exactly what they're doing. Maybe it's time for a bit more of that 'mounting pressure'

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:07 pm

xstJ wrote:Maybe it's time for a bit more of that 'mounting pressure'


I think it is definitely time for a little more pressure. The SES has mastered the art of spouting hot air with no real action. Its response to criticism is to retreat into itself, batten down the hatches and ride out the storm whilst basking in its own self righteous purpose that it cannot be wrong.

The pressure brought to bear to date has brought about the inquiry and it is indeed time for more pressure to ensure that the actions required are taken. It has no checks and balances of its own to ensure that the consequences of its actions are not detrimental to the welfare of children.

As yet nothing has changed to show that the mistakes of the past have been acknowledged and nothing is in place to ensure that these mistakes cannot be made again. And as my post inquiring into any reconciliation taking place suggests, there is little evidence that any of that happening either.

Whilst I hoped, like others who were simply asking for full and public apologies, that this would allow the organisations to see the errors of their way, it is becoming clear that Sorry is just a word too easily banded around.

Bonsai


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