Julian Capper latest position

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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Julian Capper latest position

Postby Interested_Parent » Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:19 pm

In September 2006, Julian Capper (and his wife) plan to take over the running and headship of Silverhill Primary School in Winterbourne near Bristol.

My child currently attends this school.

I have some worries regarding Mr.Cappers previous involvement with SES, should this be a cause of concern for me?

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Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:02 pm

A link to the relevant newspaper article on this is below, in case anyone has info for Interested_Parent.


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Postby anti_ses » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:47 pm

Mr Capper was, in my experience, a fantastic classics teacher. He was fair but firm, and it was a pleasure to be taught by him. Note that this is the impression he left on me; others will disagree.

As the article linked by Jo-Anne says, the Cappers haven't been connected with the SES for several years and left as a result of some of the organisation's beliefs. He was someone who was respected, not only by his position but also by the quality of his leadership. I don't have any agenda in recommending him, and wish him every success in this new venture.

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Postby Scotsman » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:12 pm

I have some worries regarding Mr.Cappers previous involvement with SES, should this be a cause of concern for me?

You have no reason to be concerned.

I have known Mr and Mrs Capper for quite a few years. They are both completely honest and above-board. Their involvement with SES came to an end some years ago and I am certain they have had no connection whatsoever with that organisation since that time, nor would they ever have any connection with it again.

From what I have heard, both of them are excellent teachers. I respect their courage taking on a new venture like this, and wish them every success.

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Postby bonsai » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:09 am

I have nothing to say against Julian Capper at all. My experience of him was one of being one of the more gentle teachers at St James. His primary subject was latin which he taught with great enthusiasm and had a profound and deep interest in classics. On a personal level he was the only teacher that may have spotted the difficulties that I was having at school and he had a far calmer and considerably more empathetic manner than most other teachers.

Yes he was headmaster of St Vedast and it seems by the testiments here on this board and in the accounts in the Secret Cult that St Vedast was the more brutal of the schools. However if I remember correctly the Secret Cult does suggest that Julian Capper was never comfortable caning boys. From the man I know as head of the Sixth form I find it very difficult to imagine him being brutal.

From my experience of Mr Capper, I would have no problem sending my own kids to a school where he taught. (On the proviso that it is not an SES school but I don't think this applies here) By the sounds of it he could not teach at an SES school anymore, which is a positive sign in itself.


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Postby Daffy » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:39 am

You can use the search function at the top of the page to look for threads on this site mentioning (Julian) Capper. There are at least a dozen of them and I don't see him described particularly negatively in any of them.

It would be very interesting to hear from him in person on this board as to why he left, but no doubt he wishes to put all that behind him.

Where does he get £3 million from though?

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Postby Leontius » Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:18 pm

I was at St. James for the whole of my school career (1986ff.) and was taught Latin by Julian Capper for six years (c.1995ff) including A-Level. During the final two he also supervised me in his capacity as head of the sixth form. He was always fair, professional, and dignified.

As you have probably become aware, St. James was often a theatre of the bizarre, cruel, and absurd. I have mixed feelings towards my own education. I still seek some form of redress for inexcusable dereliction of duty that persistently occurred, but I refrain from tarring all and sundry with the same brush. In many areas the school did discharge its responsibilities with distinction. So that's my position on my time at St. James.

As for Julian, I always saw him as one of the better teachers. As a younger teenager, periods under his authority were simple and consistent. By contrast other teachers seemed effortlessly able to generate high levels of anxiety and tension. These trigger-happy loose cannon types provided plenty of entertainment - unless caught by a stray bullet - but were very poor teachers.

In the later years (GCSE and especially A-Level) I had more personal contact with Julian. He never shied from attempting to explain the apparently random absurdities, eccentricities, and edicts foisted upon us as students from time to time by Debenham and the axis of personnel in the upper echelons of the SES who influenced him. As a tightly-knit year group we were all aware of the hand of the SES in our school which was channelled through every single teacher at that time and most of the support staff. Most teachers, and especiallly Debenham, were unable to engage with even the merest whisper of dissent about substantive issues in our school which were sourced from the SES - meditation, Sanskrit, attitude to popular culture, philosophy etc. I have enduring respect for Julian on account of his willingness to subordinate his personal choice to attend the SES to his duty of care to me as a sixth-form student. Both personally and in group situations he was willing to engage with the frustrations, difficulties, and perplexities arising out of the authoritarian SES factor in our school with an integrity that was anathema to most of the other teachers. (By way of digression, Dr. Will Rasmussen was another such teacher.)

It was my memory of his excellent stewardship of my time as a sixth-former as described in the paragraph above that inspired me to write such an encomium. Whilst it cannot be denied that he was a teacher in a school whose catalogue of abuse reads like a Dickens novel, his complicity through inaction is, to my mind at least, outshone by my experience. I know I was one of his last year-groups at St. James and of course I speak for no-one but myself in my recollections. They say no-one forgets a good teacher - it should be clear that he has achieved that totemic status with me.

Oh, and he wasn't bad at teaching Latin either. I've since gone on to successfully complete a BA and MA in Classics and I still think that he was an excellent Latin teacher.

Apologies for the length of the post. I would be happy to elaborate on any point set out above should the need arise. Message me.



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The Cappers

Postby Gandalf » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:40 pm

I got to know Capper quite well when he was teaching my son at A-level a decade ago. The highest recommendation I can give is that his independent stance enabled him to be both an excellent teacher and an egregious pastor, unfailingly concerned for my son’s welfare and never bogged down in SES-speak.
The fact that he was eventually dismissed in a shabby and underhand manner by Lambie for not toeing the party line is the highest possible reassurance for Interested Parent that he is not part a covert SES messianic putsch for world domination.
Jenny Capper taught at Godolphin and Latymer one of the foremost day schools in London, which my daughter attended at the same time (although never taught by her).
I would leave your son there. He will be in exceptionally good hands.

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Re: The Cappers

Postby Daffy » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:40 pm

Gandalf wrote:The highest recommendation I can give is that his independent stance enabled him to be both an excellent teacher and an egregious pastor, unfailingly concerned for my son’s welfare and never bogged down in SES-speak.

Do you really mean "egregious"? (from Dictionary.com: "extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar.")

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Postby Gandalf » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:12 am


If you look at http://www.etymonline.com you will find the forgivable error of your ways. I meant it in the classical sense for a classy teacher. I was not aware of the recent XVI c twist.

c.1534, from L. egregius, from the phrase ex grege "rising above the flock," from ex "out of" + grege, abl. of grex "herd, flock." Disapproving sense, now predominant, arose 16c., originally ironic and is not in the L. word, which etymologically means simply "exceptional."



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Postby Daffy » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:22 am

Hehe :)

- but unless readers are learned classical scholars like yourself I think they will be very confused because the 21st century meaning is the exact opposite of 'exceptional' - and I thought it best to avoid confusion where the reputation of Julian Capper and his school are on the line too.

It's like the modern meaning of 'fortuitous', isn't it? People think it means the same as 'fortunate' but in fact it means 'happening by chance'.

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Postby a different guest » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:43 am

well I only learnt the meaning (current) of the word "egregious" from watching League of Gentlemen.

Hmmm - Do you think the Dentons were SES? *g*
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

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Postby Gandalf » Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:56 pm

Ok Daffy I am grateful to you for telling me the popular meaning of 'egregious' today and therefore my completely unintended derogation of Mr Capper. I will be more circumspect (from the latin....etc) in future.
However, it was Samuel Johnson who memorably said:

'The antiquity of an error is no justification for its continuance'

and it seems to me this is as true of 'egregious' as it is of the SES. Language is the currency of a nation and if mistakes are allowed to become the norm we are the poorer for it. I asked 6 secretaries in my office to put 'principal' and principle' (in the singular or plural) in the following sentence.
In ****** the ****** thought it best to stick to his ****** and not allow his self-interest to become the ****** motive for his decision. However, when push came to shove his ****** concern was to be seen to stick to his ******* whilst privately following his own agenda.
Yes, I know this is boring old fart stuff but it I offered anyone who got it right £100 donation to a charity of their choice. Only one did, and she was Spanish. At least she chose Amnesty not SES...phew!

Kind regards,

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