RobMac wrote:Given Roger Pinchams involvement since day one is it really belivable that he is anything other than an undeclared member of SES ?
Roger Pincham was in the SES when the St James and St Vedast schools were first set up. Despite not being an active paid up member of the SES it is impossible for him to claim to be independent or be free of any conflicts of interest. Pincham is one of the people who takes a pasting in the Secret Cult for two reasons, one that he is the chairman of the board of governors of the day schools and secondly because of his involvement with the Liberal party. As a result of the secret cult Pincham left the SES presumably to carry on with his political career.
Pincham should have fallen on his sword many years ago back in 1985 when the secret cult was first published. The fact that the governors claim to have one governor who is not an SES member, which happens to be Pincham is just plain ludicrous. Pincham should resign just to allow the next generation of governors to have some credibility in sorting the schools out for the future.
RobMac wrote:...the appointment of any old boy or girl who is a current member of SES probably concerns me the most. These are surely people that are so utterly brainwashed by the SES...
Because of the nature of the SES as an organisation and the incestuous nature of the relationship between the St James and the philosophy school your concerns are well founded. I think it is also interesting that the three old boys concerned have been heavily involved the seventh form old boys and old girls association. I don't know whether they still are involved with the seventh form organisation but they were at pains to distance themselves when the inquiry process first started.
RobMac wrote:The only safe stewardship of these schools can be an entire board of governors who are not members of SES.
My personal view is that belief systems have no place in education. From my experience of St James I think that the relationship with the SES stifles everything good that St James has to offer. In that sense yes I agree with that stewardship of the school should be in the hands of people who are not members of the SES.
The school has made it fairly clear however that the relationship with the SES is something that it values and wishes to maintain. From that point of view if they wish to maintain a connection then they should have SES members represented on the board of governors. They can not however claim that the organisations are entirely separate when the majority of St James governors are members of the SES because in that case there is no objectivity. And someone who is a governor of St James and a Trustee of the SES presents a real conflict of interest.
Again the biggest trouble with the SES and St James is that both organisations governance is entirely perfunctory. The SES is entirely in control of one man being Donald Lambie and the day schools are entirely in control of the Head teachers and because of the Head Teachers' standings in the SES, I think it would be fair to say that they outrank most of the board of governors.
I cannot see that the governors as it exists today would have the clout to sack any of the head teachers.
I do however welcome the changes to the board of governors because now the majority of them have no association with the governance during the time of the alleged abuses. In that sense they can be held responsible for anything that occurs from here on in and if they have any sense at all they will institute significant change that will ensure that the mistakes of the past can not occur in the future. If they want to do this they should do this publicly and visibly.