Schools' new statement on the Inquiry

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
sparks
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 12:17 am

Schools' new statement on the Inquiry

Postby sparks » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:13 am

The Schools have made a further statement on the http://www.iirep.com website

It reads...

Some Clarification on Key Questions

As the reconciliation process between former pupils and teachers gets underway, the Governors
felt they might help the process by stating where they stand on a number of important
questions.

1. The current parent body is generally supportive of the Governors in the manner in which the
St James schools have undertaken an Independent Inquiry into past discipline policy and
practice, and the transparent manner of the publication of its findings. All parents have been
written to giving information and access to this website ( iirep.com) and those without
electronic communication have been offered hard copies of the Townend Report.

2. The Friends of St James is a strong, largely fund-raising, body of parents and supporters. It
meets regularly and holds numerous events. Parents from all the schools are the driving force
and have raised thousands of pounds to help the schools modernise, especially with IT
equipment.

3. There are regular parent-teacher meetings and most pupils will be the subject of parent and
school assessment at least twice per academic year. The Headteachers also hold several
meetings with either particular groups of parents, or the whole parent body. These are to
discuss academic programmes, various curriculum issues , plus meetings introducing
philosophy and meditation. The Governors are not aware of a demand for a ?traditional? PTA.
This is not unusual in the independent fee-paying educational sector where parental
involvement is thoroughly encouraged in monitoring the progress and welfare of pupils.

4. All new parents are informed during their introductory meetings with Headteachers of the St
James schools about the connection with the School of Economic Science ( SoES). This
connection is also made clear in prospectuses and websites, where there is a direct link to the
website of the SoES. Allegations that this is a link which the schools would prefer to be hidden
are part of a continuing attempt to ?smear? the SoES and its extraordinary contribution to the
development of this educational initiative. Leon MacLaren, as founder, and many students at
the SoES were pivotal in the development of this philosophically inspired education. Without
them, it could not have happened. Today, more than 30 years on, the relationship between the
St James Schools and the SoES has matured considerably. The happiness, brightness and ethos
of love and service, experienced by the pupils, are however the consequence of Headteachers
and staff who understand the value of a spiritual dimension in education. The Headteachers are
appointed by the Governing Body and are members of the SoES. The Senior Tutor of the SoES
is consulted on their appointments, along with others in the world of education.

5. There is no ?doctrine? taught at the St James Schools, nor are there hidden agendas.

6. All but one of the Governors is a member of the SoES. This is regarded as a considerable
strength. The provision of a philosophically inspired education, where pupils from all the great
faiths of the world are represented, as well as many who have no particular faith, is a huge
challenge. There may come a time when the composition of the governing body needs to
expand to include those not trained in philosophy by the SoES, but it is not at present. The
current parent body have chosen these schools because of the distinctiveness of the education
on offer and far from wanting to dilute the holistic approach to schooling, they wish to preserve
it and where possible, strengthen it.

7. The Governors wish to restate their invitation to any former pupil or parent who would care
to see today?s schools in action to make an appointment to do so. Comments on educational
matters or those relating to the schools? governance are best made from contemporary
knowledge and fact, not past opinion and prejudice. The small group of hardened ?activists?
who wish to remain anonymous in their criticisms of St James and, in particular, the SoES, are
encouraged to step out from behind the shadows of the past and meet the Governors openly. As
this group refuses to be named, the Governors are reduced to making this invitation generally
via website, rather than in person.

sparks
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 12:17 am

Postby sparks » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:43 am

Perhaps some further clarification is still needed!

2. The Friends of St James is a strong, largely fund-raising, body of parents and supporters. It meets regularly and holds numerous events. Parents from all the schools are the driving force and have raised thousands of pounds to help the schools modernise, especially with IT
equipment.

What has this got to do with parental involvement in anything other than fundraising?


3. There are regular parent-teacher meetings and most pupils will be the subject of parent and school assessment at least twice per academic year.


Shouldn?t that be ALL pupils. This is about parents evenings and academic progress ? this has nothing to do with Parental involvement the issues at hand.


The Headteachers also hold several meetings with either particular groups of parents, or the whole parent body. These are to discuss academic programmes, various curriculum issues, plus meetings introducing philosophy and meditation.


Can any current parent (non ? SES) verify that they have been to a meeting to ?introducing philosophy and meditation?.


The Governors are not aware of a demand for a ?traditional? PTA.

Have you asked or offered?


4. All new parents are informed during their introductory meetings with Headteachers of the St James schools about the connection with the School of Economic Science ( SoES).


Are they ?...not according to parents posting here or others that have made contact! And what exactly are they told about the ?connection?? ? If its whats on the St James website its meaningless!


....attempt to ?smear? the SoES and its extraordinary contribution to the development of this educational initiative. Leon MacLaren, as founder, and many students at the SoES were pivotal in the development of this philosophically inspired education. Without them, it could not have happened.


And without them the abuse of children could not have happened - they ran the schools directly for at least 20 years!


The happiness, brightness and ethos of love and service, experienced by the pupils, are however the consequence of Headteachers and staff who understand the value of a spiritual dimension in education.


Well thats about as opaque as it gets


The Headteachers are appointed by the Governing Body and are members of the SoES. The Senior Tutor of the SoES is consulted on their appointments, along with others in the world of education.


Who appoints the Governors????


5. There is no ?doctrine? taught at the St James Schools, nor are there hidden agendas.


What are children taught about:

    The origins of the Universe?
    The role of women?
    Reincarnation?
    Pop music?
    Emotions?
    Their will?
    Etc, etc etc
Do the SES still recruit children from / in St James?


6. There may come a time when the composition of the governing body needs to expand to include those not trained in philosophy by the SoES, but it is not at present.


NOW IS THE TIME ??it is long overdue. Get rid of those on whose watch abuse happened.


The current parent body have chosen these schools because of the distinctiveness of the education on offer and far from wanting to dilute the holistic approach to schooling, they wish to preserve it and where possible, strengthen it.


Do they?


Comments on educational matters or those relating to the schools? governance are best made from contemporary knowledge and fact, not past opinion and prejudice.


I am commenting here from contemporary knowledge and fact


The small group of hardened ?activists? who wish to remain anonymous in their criticisms of St James and, in particular, the SoES, are encouraged to step out from behind the shadows of the past and meet the Governors openly. As this group refuses to be named, the Governors are reduced to making this invitation generally via website, rather than in person.


I noticed on their postings that both SES Schools Action and the Parents & Pupils Inquiry Action Group have email addresses ? have you tried them (assuming thats who you are refering to)???

BTW ? since when did the SES become the SoES???

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

Postby sugarloaf » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:54 am

I'm afraid I also cant read this without commenting.

As the reconciliation process between former pupils and teachers gets underway, the Governors
felt they might help the process by stating where they stand on a number of important questions.

Might not an important first step to a reconciliation process so obviously desired by the governors, be to actually contact those who submitted complaints to the inquiry?
1. The current parent body is generally supportive of the Governors in the manner in which the
St James schools have undertaken an Independent Inquiry into past discipline policy and
practice, and the transparent manner of the publication of its findings.

I?ve noticed you choose words carefully. Does that mean that a number are not?
All parents have been
written to giving information and access to this website ( iirep.com) and those without
electronic communication have been offered hard copies of the Townend Report.

The inquiry was announced in 2004. It commenced in July 2005. you told parents of its existence in 2006, after you had the report, and only a few days before you finally published it ? is this real transparency?
The Governors are not aware of a demand for a ?traditional? PTA.

Well they certainly were demanding one in 1983. Have you asked recently?
4. All new parents are informed during their introductory meetings with Headteachers of the St
James schools about the connection with the School of Economic Science ( SoES). This
connection is also made clear in prospectuses and websites, where there is a direct link to the
website of the SoES.

Why do a number of parents claim they have no idea about the SES? If its influence is so important to the uniqueness of your schools, and it is totally benign, would you not want to shout about it just a little louder?
Allegations that this is a link which the schools would prefer to be hidden
are part of a continuing attempt to ?smear? the SoES and its extraordinary contribution to the
development of this educational initiative.

The SES (for those confused - rebranded as SoES solely on the inquiry website) certainly have made an ?extraordinary contribution? to this educational initiative. There cant be many schools that can claim at least ten years of physical and emotional mistreatment of pupils, including criminal assaults, a governing body found to have been completely ineffective due to its domination by a religious cult that was found to have directly controlled the schools until at least 1995 ? oh and perhaps a little longer?
Leon MacLaren, as founder, and many students at
the SoES

oops I keep making that slip ? I meant ?members?, anyway?.
were pivotal in the development of this philosophically inspired education. Without
them, it could not have happened.

Yes I know - youre proud of it, regardless of the effect it has had on some people
The Headteachers are appointed by the Governing Body and are members of the SoES.

As are all the junior school teachers, and at least 75% of the senior school teachers
5. There is no ?doctrine? taught at the St James Schools, nor are there hidden agendas.

Pehaps you could elaborate a little further on the true reason for the existence in the schools and their educational curriculum of:

The ?pause?
SES ?Philosophy?
Transcendental meditation
Sanskrit
Vegetarian food
The ?art of hospitality? for girls
Visits by the leader of the SES to ask children if they wish to join the organisation
6. All but one of the Governors is a member of the SoES. This is regarded as a considerable strength. The provision of a philosophically inspired education, where pupils from all the great faiths of the world are represented, as well as many who have no particular faith, is a huge
challenge. There may come a time when the composition of the governing body needs to expand to include those not trained in philosophy by the SoES, but it is not at present.

What might be the situation were you would consider it? ? more mistreatment of children under their watch? Or perhaps something worse? A death maybe?
The
current parent body have chosen these schools because of the distinctiveness of the education
on offer and far from wanting to dilute the holistic approach to schooling, they wish to preserve
it and where possible, strengthen it.

Is that current parent body, or the majority of the parent body? Does it include those parents who had/have no idea what lies behind ?the distinctiveness of the education
on offer??
7. The Governors wish to restate their invitation to any former pupil or parent who would care
to see today?s schools in action to make an appointment to do so. Comments on educational
matters or those relating to the schools? governance are best made from contemporary knowledge and fact, not past opinion and prejudice.

My personal opinions have been formed from contemporary knowledge gained over the past year or so
The small group of hardened ?activists?
who wish to remain anonymous in their criticisms of St James and, in particular, the SoES, are encouraged to step out from behind the shadows of the past and meet the Governors openly. As this group refuses to be named, the Governors are reduced to making this invitation generally
via website, rather than in person.

I?m not sure who these ?hardened activists? are either. At a crude guess, though, I imagine if they exist they probably have some complaint against the school. Perhaps they submitted a complaint to the Townend Inquiry? If you wrote to everyone who submitted a complaint to the inquiry (you have their email addresses) You could not only invite the activists to see the school, you could also formally invite some of the people who were mistreated as children at your school to participate in your reconciliation process. It might be a more sensitive & considerate way than posting up details on a public website for what would no doubt be a difficult, emotional and private process for any who wish to go down that route.

Why do you show so little empathy, and respect for those who you admit have suffered in your schools? How can your apology be sincere when all your efforts go towards making public statements that are concerned only with preserving the current reputation of the school, while attacking those who have alternative opinions, regardless of how badly you have mistreated them? What kind of a religion have you created that makes you believe its alright to behave like this?

Goblinboy
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Re: Schools' new statement on the Inquiry

Postby Goblinboy » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:53 am

Comments on educational
matters or those relating to the schools? governance are best made from contemporary
knowledge and fact, not past opinion and prejudice. The small group of hardened ?activists?
who wish to remain anonymous in their criticisms of St James and, in particular, the SoES, are
encouraged to step out from behind the shadows of the past and meet the Governors openly. As
this group refuses to be named, the Governors are reduced to making this invitation generally
via website, rather than in person.



Supercilious and emotive words from the Governors - some things don?t change. The usual blustering that amounts to ?we?ll tell you what the truth is, and we?ll not only not acknowledge your opinion, we?ll belittle it.?

And no ?doctrine? or ?hidden agendas?? This is a serious matter, not a time for word games. Are these people serious? They are apparatchiks of the SES / SoES / School of Philisophy cult.

Not a lot of chance of reconciliation here, I suspect.

When we are faced with failure (as the Governers are), we all rationalize and justify our position to the best of our ability. We all want to believe we?re in unilateral control of our actions. We all blame external sources for our troubles.

Tom Grubb
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Location: London

Postby Tom Grubb » Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:44 am

Here's to all the hardened activists, anonymous or otherwise! Without them, there would never have been an inquiry. Without them, there would be no statements from governors, however patronising, about apologies and reconciliation for the vile abuse that took place at their schools.

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Stanton
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:23 am

Postby Stanton » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:27 pm

We've been here before, Sugarloaf, about passing on email addresses. Not possible under data protection legislation. Since the SES can't know the names of those posting under a pseudonym how can they get in touch? And while we're talking about transparency....?

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Re: Schools' new statement on the Inquiry

Postby Alban » Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:24 pm

sparks wrote:The Schools have made a further statement on the http://www.iirep.com website

It reads...

...The small group of hardened ?activists?
who wish to remain anonymous...


Ahem! weren't there over 80 negative testimonies submitted to the enquiry either through written or oral submission!...so much for small group!...neither were we anonymous when dealing with the enquiry.

It didn't take long for the governors to show their true colours did it!

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

Postby Free » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:20 pm

<delete>
Last edited by Free on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Zathura
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Postby Zathura » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:05 pm

I ask the governors if they tell parents on introduction to St James that a key element to the S.E.S teachings, a core part, is that a woman should obey a man. If not then this unpopular S.E.S belief is hidden from parents. This is a hidden agenda. All the S.E.S couples I know have a relationship in which the woman obeys the man in no uncertain terms. Great pains are taken to arrange for the old wedding vows from Victorian times at these marraiges. This is almost one hundred percent commonplace within the S.E.S. All couples. This IS a fact unlike a lot of Justice's junk.
So there is a lot of S.E.S stuff that is hidden and is spun to the public. Most of it passes through a filter before it reaches the public. It is only inside that the hidden authority figures hold their sway

Alban
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Location: London

Postby Alban » Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:27 pm

And while we're on the subject of marriage, maybe the govenors would like to explain a number of marriages between teachers and pupils.

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Schools' new statement on the Inquiry

Postby Justice » Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:38 am

Dear Alban,

And while we're on the subject of marriage, maybe the governors would like to explain a number of marriages between teachers and pupils.


How many marriages have there been, and how old were the pupils when they married their teachers?

Are any of the teachers involved included among those referred to in the Inquiry as responsible for "criminal" assaults on pupils?

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:00 pm

Justice,

There has been much discussion on this BB regarding the number and circumstances of marriages between male teachers and female pupils. It is certainly quite commonplace so we are talking more than a few incidents.

I suggest hat you stick "Marriage" into the Forum Search at the top of this page and see what you pull up.

Alban

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bonsai
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Postby bonsai » Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:30 pm

I must say I am most disappointed with the governors responses since their initial apology published after Mr Townends report.

The most concerning thing to me is the threatening and patronising language they are using particularly towards those that are choosing to remain anonymous.

Anonymity is a defense mechanism and to people who have felt manipulated and abused this is most necessary. If the governors are really interested in reconciliation then perhaps they should use a more conciliatory tone and show a bit of humility.

They must also recognise that not everyone who has been hurt has participated in the inquiry and that this whole process takes a considerable amount of time.

I realise that the governors are concerned about the level of animosity that some people may feel towards them and the school but if they are really ready to reconcile here they must be prepared to accept the feelings of those who have been hurt along the way.

Bonsai

Zathura
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:05 pm

Postby Zathura » Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:48 am

As far as I know there were about fifteen arranged marraiges (some teachers) in the S.E.S in the 80's. It may be a little more a little less. Those that I know personally don't betray any symptoms that mark them out out from people that use other dating services. It's the role playing that gets me. The arranged marraiges didn't take off as the Indian or Hindu model is no longer popular in the West and hasn't been since the late nineteenth century and early 20th apart from with Royals.

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non-conformist
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Postby non-conformist » Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:48 am

No doctrine??? I find the whole governor's response patronising and, quite frankly, offensive. It is disappointing that yet again we have been confronted with a pathetic dismissal of what we, the "small group of hardened activists", went through, not to mention the courage it took to give testimonies in the hope that truth will out. Then again, why expect them to change the habit of a lifetime and begin seeing things from our point of view and taking our side?


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