An apology from the SES

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
sugarloaf
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An apology from the SES

Postby sugarloaf » Thu May 25, 2006 12:20 am

I've taken the liberty of starting a new thread:

visit http://www.iirep.com/page14.htm for the statemement from Donald Lambie, leader of SES. posted 25.5.06

sugarloaf
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Postby sugarloaf » Thu May 25, 2006 12:27 am

alban wrote
It's good that Donald Lambie has apologised, but poor taste that he has chosen to use at least half the space to advertise the schools.

However, I have one thing to say to you Donald...

Actions speak louder than words


I agree

Thanks for posting the link chittani. I find the apology very welcome. And I mean that genuinely. I do however hope that Donald Lambie does not see this as the conclusion to events ? when there is clearly so much more required, and requested.

Without meaning to devalue his apology - its worth noting that it has taken four months of continual pressure, through the internet, local and educational press, channel 4 news, and more than ninety signatories to the open letter to achieve this. Personally I would have thought that genuine contrition might have been demonstrated by simply apologising when the Inquiry report was published, implicating the SES.

I do hope it wont take pressure at the same level to achieve the resignation of responsible governors, dismissal of guilty teachers, and a genuine policy of consultation with parents and transparency over the SES connections to be implemented.

Nonetheless, it?s a start. Thanks Mr Lambie, this is the first time the SES has publicly accepted it may have played a part in mistreatment and abuse. Apology accepted. Now that you have spoken ? please show that you actualy mean it by acting.

Free
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Postby Free » Thu May 25, 2006 1:42 am

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Last edited by Free on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

xstJ
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Re: Lambie first steps

Postby xstJ » Thu May 25, 2006 8:09 am

"First and foremost, I am extremely sorry that there was any mistreatment of children in the early years at St James and St Vedast and that this caused unhappiness and distress to a number of former pupils. I apologise for any part played by the School of Economic Science in that.


I'm just not feeling it Donald... If you're truly sorry then the governors and teachers involved must be sacked.

"Since they were established, the schools have helped to educate many fine young men and women,


So what are we then? rejects, a few bad apples, inevitable casualties?

As independent assessments confirm, all the St James Schools are happy and vibrant and doing an excellent job.


yeah yeah yeah

I hope that the process of reconciliation that has been started will be of help in this situation. I will assist with that in any way that is practically possible.


There will be no reconciliation while those responsible for abusing children are still employed at the school.

Do you get it yet????

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Thu May 25, 2006 8:51 am

These apologies carry no weight at all when they continually try to paint the current schools in a good light. It is belittling and down right disrespectful to those that have suffered.

Yes the schools have changed and evolved over time and yes they are different today to school I attended and many of the complainants attended but to say they have changed or are different simply dismisses and glossed over the grievances of those who have been hurt. It portrays the schools as arrogant and self-righteous making out that all the wrongs have already been addressed. Well the wrongs have not been addressed because it is this arrogance and self-righteousness caused them to ignore the suffering of children in their care which was happening right in front of their noses.

xstJ wrote:

I hope that the process of reconciliation that has been started will be of help in this situation. I will assist with that in any way that is practically possible.


There will be no reconciliation while those responsible for abusing children are still employed at the school.


I agree xstJ. There can be no reconciliation until the conduct of the teachers involved has been addressed, not by the governors that failed at the time but by a group of people who have no ties to the times of the abuse or the School of Economic Science.

Donald Lambie. The best thing you can do is break your links with the St James and any other childrens day schools. Take your philosophy out of children's education. It has no part to play.

The governors of St James need to be changed and St James needs to make itself independent of the SES. Then, just then, we may have a glimmer of a chance at some real reconciliation.

This apology is weak and disappointing. Still we have no signs that either organisation is prepared to look at the root causes of what allowed these travesties to occur.

Bonsai

chittani
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Postby chittani » Thu May 25, 2006 8:53 am

Several angry responses ...

I would have thought that this is cause for celebration. To my ears, it's a humble and unreserved apology, has no implications for further actions, and so can be welcomed unreservedly. Its praise of the schools is needed because otherwise it could be thought that all ex-pupils are necessarily damaged, which is obviously untrue. That says nothing at all about the mental state of anyone else. Just because you had a bad time there doesn't mean anyone thinks you're a bad person. That's how I read the apology.

I realise it's not everything people wanted, but isn't it a part of what you wanted? Don't give support to the people who think you're just a bunch of 'hardened activists'. You can show them you're better than that.

I'm not involved with St James and never went there. I hope it does continue to sort itself out and wish the complainants the very best, but my interest here is reform of the School of Economic Science. I realise that puts me in a minority, but from my point of view this is an unprecedented and welcome letter of apology.

The apology signifies that authority can get things wrong, that it can and should apologise for its mistakes, and that we all have things to learn. It signifies that the School does not determine moral and ethical laws, but is subject to them. It does not 'draw a line under' the past, as Alban and others recognise, but it does open the way for progress. We can all of us only take the next step - that applies not only to the School but to me and YOU.

I don't expect to get any more understanding here than usual - and I understand the nature of this BB and why that's so - but that's how I see it.

PS a big HELLO to Daska, Nilsabm, Free Thinker, Goblin Boy, Free, Stanton, Bella, Keir, Merry, Bonsai, Mike, Tom, Ben, Erikdr and many others that it's been good to get to know a little bit. And a special big hello to Alban and xStJ as well.
Last edited by chittani on Thu May 25, 2006 9:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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ET
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Re: Lambie first steps

Postby ET » Thu May 25, 2006 9:01 am

Do you get it yet????


Significant though this apology is, to be honest I don't think he does, or frankly that he ever will.

The constant assertion of the schools as "happy and vibrant, and doing an excellent job" in one way or another by every SES or school member who comes on this site or speaks to any of us individually is proof positive that they don't "get it". They don't get that, for the most part, we don't care that the schools are great places now. What we want is not just an acknowledgement that the schools got so much so badly wrong back then, but also some action which shows contrition and a real effort to ensure that those teachers who abused us aren't just punished for what they did, but are removed so that there is no possibility they can do it again.

The arrogance of this assertion is astounding (but not that surprising). They seem to forget that they thought we were all blissfully happy, and that the abuse went on without their knowledge, thus their assertion that things are all great now can not be believed until those teachers who they didn't see abusing us are removed from the school, therefore removing the possibility that they are abusing children secretly now too.

Having said all that, I'm glad to see that the SES have finally stood up and admitted that they were responsible for setting the schools up. I think this may very well be a first. I'm glad we've had this apology, but like many others on this site I still wish there would be some concrete action to go with it.

But will we ever see it? I think it's very unlikely.
Pupil at St James Girl's School from 1979-1989, from age 4-14. Parents ex-members of SES.

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Thu May 25, 2006 9:12 am

chittani wrote:I would have thought that this is cause for celebration. To my ears, it's a humble and unreserved apology, has no implications for further actions, and so can be welcomed unreservedly. Its praise of the schools is needed because otherwise it could be thought that all ex-pupils are necessarily damaged, which is obviously untrue.


Chittani,

It is unreserved until they start talking about how the schools are today. At that point to switch every complainant off and they feel like they have not been heard. Also pointing out that the education has turned out fine men and women also is kind of saying that the system works most of the time.

For someone that has been let down or hurt by the system, they don't care whether the system works for one, two or a thousand others. The system has failed them.

To be failed as a child is to be robbed of something that can never be put right or replaced. For those who have been hurt growing up, there is no second chance to go through it again.

chittani wrote:The apology signifies that authority can get things wrong, that it can and should apologise for its mistakes, and that we all have things to learn. It signifies that the School does not determine moral and ethical laws, but is subject to them. It does not 'draw a line under' the past, as Alban and Sugarloaf recognise, but it opens the way for progress. We can all of us only take the next step - that applies not only to the School but to me and YOU.


There is nothing in Lambie's apology that indicates there is any to be learnt from these bad events and I don't understand where you see it.

Yes they should apologise and yes as an organisation they are not above moral or ethical judgement. But to accept responsibility for the part they played they must do this with honest humility.

That humility went out the window the moment he mentioned about the schools today being happy.

To those that have been hurt by the schools it is unlikely that they will ever be able to see the schools as GOOD schools. Please please please stop trying to tell them that they are good schools.

If you want to reconcile, stop and try and take a look at the situation through the eyes of those who are hurt.

Bonsai
Last edited by bonsai on Thu May 25, 2006 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

chittani
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Postby chittani » Thu May 25, 2006 9:28 am

Bonsai,

I totally agree with you. Personally I went to a sink school in a sink estate (80% unemployment ... nice) with kids who were coming in covered in bruises every morning. Out of my year only 2 out of 250 got to 3rd level education. So I have strong feelings about that, just as you do. Nothing can give you back those years.

It may be irrelevant to you that others have had a good experience at St James - it may even be hurtful to hear that they did - but that part of the letter is for the benefit of those people who may feel ashamed or embarrassed that they went to St James, due to the revelations about its past. You need also to appreciate the pain that this BB causes to someone who might be heading off to university now, feeling unsure of themselves anyway, and wondering what kind of reception they might get. Will people know they went to THAT school? Will they be treated different?

That's why it's important to let the present St James schools be spoken of well, even while calling for necessary changes. You can't give the present pupils their time back either. Nor, for that matter, can you compensate staff members honestly toiling away (many of them not even in the School of Economic Science, let's not forget) and trying to get the kids through their exams, while all of this stuff is going on.

We all need to tread as lightly as possible.

leon
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Postby leon » Thu May 25, 2006 9:29 am

chittani wrote:Several angry responses ...


I don't expect to get any more understanding here than usual - and I understand the nature of this BB and why that's so - but that's how I see it.



Nice one, thats a very positive and helpful remark. I prefer genuine honest anger to snide put downs such as that.

If it wasn't for the people on this bb with their -as usual lack of understanding - you would not have this apology or the revelations concerning authority truth and morality you seem so excited about.

chittani
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Postby chittani » Thu May 25, 2006 10:57 am

Nice one, thats a very positive and helpful remark. I prefer genuine honest anger to snide put downs such as that.


Leon,

It's not a put down. All I'm saying is that this is a place where "genuine honest anger" is often the way. And I realise that being who I am, I'm sometimes going to get it in the neck, whatever I say. As we recently saw with Shout, you don't have to be as 'involved' as me to come under attack.

I've said several times that I don't have any criticism of people who are angry. Just don't expect me necessarily to agree with them. Or to be saintly about personal attacks.

The reason I've stopped on here - and that this is just a flying visit - is that I got tired of having to constantly jump through hoops, reiterating the same messages of support for the complainants, opposition to the governors' evasiveness, and calls for an SES apology.

All I'm trying to say is, enjoy the moment if you can. It should be seen as a mini-triumph.

best wishes for the future mate.

Daffy
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Postby Daffy » Thu May 25, 2006 11:52 am

Chittani,

The proof that Lambie doesn't get it is in the fact that he continues to tolerate Nicholas Debenham's position as head of the Lucca Leadership Trust.

Rob Whiteman
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Postby Rob Whiteman » Thu May 25, 2006 12:15 pm

I welcome the apology as a significant step and thank those who have fought so long for this. I did not know about the BB when the apologies from the 3 teachers were first submitted, but when I did come across the BB and read those apologies I felt a weight lifted from me. This is another weight lifted. It would be interesting to hear from the teachers that apologised whether they feel any freedom in this apology by others.

I, and many others, can never get back what was taken from us but I can learn to move on and this is another helpful step in that. Therapy helps but actions such as this apology also have a great part to play.

Thus I say thank you for finally admitting that wrong things happened and that the SES has and had a responsibility for that. I would echo those who continue to call for further action to make sure that those things could never happen again. It is not about the schools today it is about corporate responsibility for actions.

Thanks for the apology, now let's take the next steps and close the matter forever.
Rob
St Vedast 1975-6

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Thu May 25, 2006 12:20 pm

Daffy wrote:The proof that Lambie doesn't get it is in the fact that he continues to tolerate Nicholas Debenham's position as head of the Lucca Leadership Trust.


Daffy, I think you mean the Education Renaisance Trust

The Lucca Leadership thing is a Boddy affair

Bonsai

daska
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Postby daska » Thu May 25, 2006 2:56 pm

Thank you Chittani, it was nice to catch up with you again too.

Whilst I'm very glad to see an apology from Lambie it's notable that once again it's published on a little out of the way website and is therefore not exactly courageous...

... neither does it deal with the actual problem of the governors still in post who oversaw those horrible times.

The crux of the matter is still that the negligent governors who allowed, encouraged and endorsed the teachers' behaviour are still in place. While they are in place they cannot be trusted not to be negligent again. And yes, any claims they make as to the happiness of the pupils, whilst it may be true, is not to be believed when it comes from the people who also claimed we were happy...

(edited to amend the greengrocer's apostrophe... oops, I know I should know better after my fabulous education - but grammar lessons were always unpleasant)
Last edited by daska on Thu May 25, 2006 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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