SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
trubleshtr
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SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby trubleshtr » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:39 pm

I have perused this site and read some of the heart-rending stories of the ‘unreasonable, unlawful and criminal assault’ of children in the SES linked schools in the past. Is there a comprehensive list anywhere of what may at least go some way to satisfy those former pupils that the reconciliation process has been taken seriously by the SES/schools? I have found Emile Woolf’s recommendations in his post of 17.1.06 but is this comprehensive? If there is such a list could it perhaps be added to the forum as a topic/post that can be easily found?
Many thanks, from a well-wisher

Daffy
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Re: SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby Daffy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:45 am

This has come up in several threads, e.g:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=536
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=578
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=595
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=635

I think everyone agrees that the first step is for the schools to remove the perpetrators of the abuse and the governors who stood idly by at the time. The schools can hardly pretend they have changed when those condemned by the Townend Report for committing some of the worst excesses are still in place.

trubleshtr
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Re: SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby trubleshtr » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:49 am

I understand from this forum that some of those who were found guilty of ‘unreasonable, unlawful and criminal assault’ are still teaching at St James. I found that description somewhere (ie. ‘unreasonable, unlawful and criminal assault’) on this forum and if that is offical why weren't they dismissed as a matter of course, and also the Governors? I am sorry if this is covered somewhere but I have not found it yet if it is.

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bonsai
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Re: SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby bonsai » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:26 pm

trubleshtr wrote: Is there a comprehensive list anywhere of what may at least go some way to satisfy those former pupils that the reconciliation process has been taken seriously by the SES/schools?

Hello trubleshtr and welcome to the site.

Unfortunately there is very little evidence to suggest that the reconcilation process has been taken seriously by the school or the SES. The school says that three teachers who have been have been specifically identified from the inquiry have been give formal warnings. There is no evidence that real progress has been made with the reconciliation process and the inquiry website has now not been updated for nearly three years, suggesting that the reconciliation process has stalled, if it was even started. I believe that the two governors who signed the letters inviting those pupils, who participated in the iquiry, the offer of reconciliation are now no longer governors.

There are some accounts on the forum of successes with reconciliation, however this only seems to have occurred with the teachers who have been courageous enough to speak openly on these forums already. There is no indication beyond the public statements made so far that the school has accepted the outcomes of the inquiry on endeavoured to resolve things. I am aware that there has been a good deal of change in the schools especially at the governors level, however none of this has been done publicly with the express intention of putting things right since the inquiry.

There are signs also that the schools have attempted to simply move on from the inquiry. References to the inquiry on their websites have now been removed. This makes me believe that the school has never had any real intention of reconciliation but rather has done the minimum that it has had to do in order to mitigate adverse public reaction.


trubleshtr wrote: I understand from this forum that some of those who were found guilty of ‘unreasonable, unlawful and criminal assault’ are still teaching at St James

The reference to unreasonable, unlawful and criminal assualt is direct from the inquiry report, see http://www.iirep.com. The teacher or teachers guilty of such conduct are not named in the public report, though some of us could reasonably guess who these might be. There is one teacher who is implicated, according to the schools response, who no longer teaches at St James.

The main thing is that St James takes the report as being the full picture of all the abuse being uncovered, where as I think most of the pupils and victims of the abuse on the other side know that the report only scratches the surface. Of course this in itself is a serious stumbling block to reconciliation. Also the fact that there is no openess about who the teachers are does not provide any confidence that the matter has really been dealt with.

Bonsai

trubleshtr
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Re: SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby trubleshtr » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:39 pm

Thank you Bonsai. I don't quite understand why they are not named if they are guilty of 'criminal abuse', however the Governors at the time would have been know. I have not found a list of who they were either, apart from Roger Pincham, and whether they were the same during the whole period of the abuse. If anyone knows could they please list them. The Head Teachers at the time were Mr Debenham and who else? Many thanks again.

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bonsai
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Re: SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby bonsai » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:10 am

trubleshtr wrote:Thank you Bonsai. I don't quite understand why they are not named if they are guilty of 'criminal abuse',

I'm no lawyer, however we must recognise the inquiry was not conducted to a standard of proof to determine criminal culpability. The outline to the inquiry makes it clear that the burden of proof used is that of the "balance of probability", which is simply that the allegations are more likely to have occurred than not.

I believe that what Mr Townend has uncovered is that the abuses that occurred constitute "criminal assualts" and that what was done to some of the former pupils far exceeds any acceptable level of physical chastisement by todays standards or the standards applicable at the time. Whether there is sufficient evidence to suggest that criminal proceedings could be taken against any particular teacher is not clear. It is not clear either, whether any particular teacher has been implicated as being responsible for these actions or not.

As a former pupil, I remain entirely stunned that the inquiry uncovered as much as it did. I think I, and most others, expected the outcome to somehow whitewash over what had happened and the school was going to be cleared. The fact that it does go as far as it does vindicates the former pupils that have been courageous enough to come forward and makes it absolutely clear that what was done to them was well beyond acceptable or caring.

St James would contend that all of this is in the past; that the school and teaching methods have evolved such that this sort of culture is behind them. I know that this is to some extend true. The culture changed whilst I was there and the use of corporal punishment from when I started in 1980 to when I left in 1994 was dramatically different. The main thing however is that St James does not acknowledge and the inquiry did not touch the role the SES Philosophy played in shaping the culture when the schools started and what it plays in the culture of the school today.

Personally I hold the teachers' and governors' defference to the Teaching as entirely responsible for allowing them to bypass their own natural human morality in allowing the abuses to occur. To me at least, this is an issue that remains today. Whilst physical harm at a teacher's hand is unlikely to occur to any pupil at St James, there is still room for emotional and psychological harm from the philosophy it touts and its teaching methods and culture. The school has no interest, unfortunately, in taking a good critical look at the philosophy.

Regarding the governors of the time, Roger Pincham was chair until last year. The only other governor I can remember that was heavily involved for a long time was Richard Edmunds. The governance of the St James schools is controlled by the Independent Educational Association Ltd. The trustees (directors) of this legal entity are the governors. I'm sure the full history of the trustees is a matter of public record with the charity commission.

The Head Teachers of the St James School were:
Nicholas Debenham (junior and senior boys, then just senior boys till c2004)
Shiela Caldwell (junior and senior girls, then just senior girls until 1996)
Paul Moss (junior Boys and Girls from late 80s I think till present)
Laura Hyde (senior girls from 1996 till present)
David Boddy (senior boys till present)

Julian Capper was head teacher of St Vedast boys
I don't know who was head teacher of St Veadast girls

Not sure about all the dates but hopefully someone can enlighten me where I'm wrong

Bonsai

trubleshtr
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Re: SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby trubleshtr » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:22 pm

Thank you Bonsai. I found your explanation very helpful.

Jo-Anne Morgan
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Re: SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:29 am

The main thing however is that St James does not acknowledge and the inquiry did not touch the role the SES Philosophy played in shaping the culture when the schools started and what it plays in the culture of the school today.


Whilst physical harm at a teacher's hand is unlikely to occur to any pupil at St James, there is still room for emotional and psychological harm from the philosophy it touts and its teaching methods and culture. The school has no interest, unfortunately, in taking a good critical look at the philosophy.


So true. To anyone who knows the ways of the SES, it's glaringly obvious from the schools' website what their agenda is. If you don't know the ways of the SES, then it's not so obvious and you could easily miss it altogether. These are schools run by a cult. Their agenda is a sort of far right religious fundamentalism. It's dressed up as 'spirituality' which appears harmless enough, even desirable.

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a different guest
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Re: SES RECONCILIATION: is there a list of your requirements?

Postby a different guest » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:28 am

Jo-Anne Morgan wrote:So true. To anyone who knows the ways of the SES, it's glaringly obvious from the schools' website what their agenda is. If you don't know the ways of the SES, then it's not so obvious and you could easily miss it altogether. These are schools run by a cult. Their agenda is a sort of far right religious fundamentalism. It's dressed up as 'spirituality' which appears harmless enough, even desirable.


The schools here in Australia are spruiking themselves for providing an enriching program ideal for 'gifted and talented' kids. Doing Shakesperian plays at primary level has a hell of a lot of pulling power for parents who think their kids are 'special'.
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP


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