Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Child protection Policy - 6

Onward
8. If the Designated Teacher is unavailable or is him / herself the subject of a complaint, his / her duties will be carried out by the Headmaster or other Deputy, who has received appropriate training.
So, the Headmaster (and any unnamed deputy) is also an ex officio Deputy Designated Teacher. They have received "appropriate" (there's that word again!) training, whatever might be considered to be appropriate. And he presumably has to inform himself of any actions he takes, as required by paragraph 7.
9. The Designated Teacher has undertaken basic child protection training and training in inter-agency working and will attend refresher training at two yearly intervals. The Deputy Designated Teacher will also undertake this same training.
Ealing Safeguarding Children Board runs a set of training courses in safeguarding practice. Their description indicates what kinds of courses are intended for what kinds of professionals. Group A (the basic course) is intended for "workers [who] have contact/work with children and young people and with their parents/carers, they have a responsibility to contribute to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the community but do not necessarily have specific organisational responsibility to intervene in the lives of children and families".

In other words, Group A training is unsuitable even for all but the most junior teachers at the school who don't have specific safeguarding responsibilities. It is utterly inadequate for those with such specific responsibilities. But this basic level of training is all that is required of the Designated Teacher, who is in charge of the operation of the school's whole child protection policy. This is nuts.

More senior teachers, but not the Designated Teachers, should clearly be undergoing Group B training.

Group B training is for people who work regularly with children and young people and adults who are parents/carers. They:
  • have considerable professional and organisational responsibility for safeguarding and promoting children’s well-being
  • have to be able to act on child welfare concerns and to contribute appropriately to the safeguarding processes
  • require the skills and knowledge to manage effectively the interface between themselves and those from group A, who may approach them with concerns about a child’s welfare, and Group C to whom referrals will be addressed
It is perfectly clear from the Ealing SCB descriptions, that the Designated Teachers have responsibilities that make the Group C training appropriate. Group C is as follows.

This group of people hold particular responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. They:
  • hold particular professional or organisational authority and a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy to act on child welfare concerns
  • work extensively within a multi-agency context
  • often have responsibility for the work of others
Quite clearly, the headmasters and deputy heads also fall into a category that requires Group C training. And yet, only "basic" training has been given to the Designated Teachers, and merely "appropriate" training to the heads and deputy heads.

It is any wonder that the child protection policy is such a shambles? If the people responsible are as poorly trained as the document permits, it can hardly be otherwise.

91 comments:

  1. What a load of old.....!

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  2. The St Benedict's Way - pay no attention to statutory guidance for the training staff in safeguarding.

    St Benedict's requires a culture overhaul which in a school can be done quickly and effectively with a large number of top down changes in personnel.

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  3. Oh dear, yet another directive from the Holy Office!

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  4. Did anyone explain or does anyone know why the ISI has removed from its website the most recent inspection report for St Benedict's? All that is presently available is an 'out of date' report. This is unusual.

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  5. Do you? If so tell us, grimersta!

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  6. Indeed, 9;24, do not hesitate to spell it out - in words of one syllable where possible.

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  7. I suspect grimersta's just out for a spot of innocent fly-fishing!

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  8. 9:44 - Why fly fishing?

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  9. Because Grimersta, on the WEST coast of Lewis, is famous for its slamon and fly-fishing! Silly, old questioner!

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  10. Got it! Thanks. But, still waiting for grimersta's explanation!

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  11. Does anyone know why Father Gregory has been removed from the Board of Trustees?

    It is high time that St Benedict's made a statement.

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  12. I visit this site fortnightly. I live in Ealing. What is now very clear is the utter contempt that supporters of the Abbey have for the children who have been abused. They also have contempt for the welfare of children in their care, and resent anyone questioning either their record on safeguarding or their current 'policy.'

    It's a repeat of Ireland where the hierarchy is rooted with inertia and arrogance,

    I hope parents read these posts because it is only they who can force change.

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  13. What utter nonsense. 10>24 should be ashamed of him/herself! Just more facile accusations! I'm sure St Benedict's parents are far more discerning than this blogger imagines.

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  14. Where, oh where, is the explanation from grimersta?

    Quick to insinuate, slow to verify!

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  15. The Sodomite Father David Pearce of Ealing Abbey was convicted of child sexual abuse almost a year ago.

    Does anyone know if he has been "defrocked" yet.

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  16. The Beast File: Catholic Church Sex Scandals (HUNGRY BEAST)

    Hungry Beast is a news program that airs on ABC1 Australia.

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  17. Isn't 'democratic debate' wonderful? - 'Sodomite' 'defrocked' 'Hungry Beast, etc.

    Please, for starters, 12:12 - setting aside your rage, can you please explain why you refer to Fr David Pearce as a 'sodomite'.

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  18. As usual something being used out of context - it is The St Benedict's Way. 'Hungry Beast' is an ABC 1 news report. Hungry Beast recently produced a report on Google. Hungry Beast produces many excellent reports on many subjects.

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  19. What context are you referring to, 13:44.

    Your link is to a short clip about SEX ABUSE DOWN THE AGES IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, which, I would have thought went rather well with the gentile claims of 12:12.?

    But, who knows, perhaps you're banging on about some quite different context?

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  20. I note 13:02/13:44 regards his/her linked clip (which I've just viewed)as 'excellent reportage' . I think that says quite a bit about him/her; however, maybe the clue lies in its origin -ABC 1?

    - Mary

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  21. A MERE OBSERVATION:

    READING THROUGH THE LAST FEW POSTINGS, i.e. THE CHILD PROTECTION POLICY - 6; CARRYING ON; CHILD PROTECTION POLICY -5: GREGORY CHILLMAN - IT IS APPARENT THAT MR WEST AND HIS SUPPORTERS ARE BIG ON POINTING THE FINGER AND ACCUSING PEOPLE, WHETHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY.

    WHAT IS EQUALLY APPARENT THEIR UNWILLINGNESS TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS DIRECTLY PUT TO THEM.

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  22. Spot on 14;46! Perhaps, however, it's not so much their 'unwillingness' to answer questions as an inability to do so.

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  23. Abbeyvistas' conveniently do not recognise that Abbott Shipperlee fails to repond to legitimate public concern about the safeguarding policy at St Benedict's. He won't answer any questions safeguarding (Sunday Show - Ed Stourton) unless he has advanced knowledge of them so he can conjure an answer.

    Relishing the reply, filled as usual with pejorative invective misquotes and nonsense from the community of Abbeyvista's addicted to this site and who collectively hear no evil,see no evil, but ...............................

    I'm out to speak to some nice cattle - see you Monday - maybe.

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  24. Well, enjoy, I hope you feel at home, 14:52! But Abbeyvistas are I assure you a figment of your imagination. And can we please have the direct quote from the Sunday show?

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  25. Re 15:36. Like so many others, I fear your request has already bitten the dust! But, do keep responding to such allegations, sanity will eventually prevail!
    - Mary

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  26. So the teachers are collectively taking the wrong safeguarding training - and what about the Governor / trustees i/c safeguarding - where is his training mentioned in the safeguarding policy? Are the training dates listed? The provider mentioned? Are teachers trained against the specific safeguarding policy of the school (that would be a challenge) or the general "non statutory framework" which is referred to as "statutory guidance?"

    Any answers anyone?

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  27. COLLECTIVE MADNESS and OCKHAM'S RAZOR

    How on earth dare any teacher, governor, trustee, parent or pupil set foot in this school? The danger of molestation lurks round every corner! And given that this danger is prevalent in virtually every school, I suggest we give up on education altogether and have nothing more to do with children, whatsoever. They are, clearly, a monstrous temptation to all and sundry, even themselves! Bring on the Pied-Piper, I say, and lets be done with the lot of them!

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  28. Stefan Puchowski17 July 2010 at 17:00

    A quick summary, in case anyone has missed the point. Father David Pearce was actually convicted and jailed for sexual abuse at St Benedict's school. Pearce was a senior member of the school, and was even Head of the Junior School. John Maestri also taught at the school and also abused boys, having been convicted 3 times for sexual offences. He too was was a senior member of the school and was also about to become Head of the Middle School before it was decided that it was time for him to leave. Father Stanislaus Hobbs was also accused, in court, of sexually assaulting a boy from the school and the accusation was never denied.

    This is not a good track record for the school. It should be noted that getting the conviction against Pearce was not quick and simple, and whilst the school knew of the accusations they were unable to stop Pearce from abusing boys again. The Ealing Gazette said:
    "Isleworth Crown Court was told a case was brought against him by a victim in 2004, but was dropped because of lack of evidence. The same victim went on to win a civil action and Fr Pearce was put on restricted duties by the Westminster Diocese, but this did not stop further abuse.

    He was arrested in February last year and admitted the 11 charges earlier this year.

    Abbot Martin Shipperlee, of Ealing Abbey, said an independent review will be launched to stop abuses happening in the future and Fr Pearce's future as a priest will be reviewed."

    If any school should ensure that a thorough independent review of what has been happening over the years, then it is St. Benedict's. If any place should be demonstrating that they have a water-tight Child Protection Policy in place then St. Benedict's should do so.

    Now it could well be that there is another School in England that has poor procedures in place. But it might also be true that this other school does not have a history of actual abuse. St. Benedict's is like a Road Traffic Accident Blackspot. We want road saftey measures implemented on all roads, but if there is a road where there is a high number of children being harmed then there is a strong case for a campaign to have the best safety measures put in place.

    The people commenting here who feel supportive towards the school appear to think that ignoring the past problems and hoping that future problems will not occur are fooling themselves and cannot possibly have the best interests of young people at heart. Stop sweeping it under the carpet and act to make sure that the best safeguarding measures are implemented now.

    Well done Jonathan for doing his utmost to bring the problems of this school to the attention of the public.

    Oh, and why would supporters of the school keep posting anonymously? What have they got to hide or protect? I can understand why victims would post anonymously, but not people who simply wish the school well.

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  29. Mr Puchowski, Your points are well made and your analysis of events at St Benedict's, as far as I can tell, accurate.

    No one would disagree with your main argument. Every effort to ensure adequate safeguards are in place at St Benedict's has to be made. And yes, it hasn't a great track record. But, as I understand the situation, neither the Abbey nor St Benedict's feel they can respond to anything on this blog. And it is not difficult to see why. Its track record is even poorer than St Benedict's. As has been pointed out many times, there is here scant regard for the facts, other than those that suit its own book, and it is riddled with libellous statements.

    Over and above all that, this is not the arena in which to resolve difficult and delicate issues. The history of Ealing is, I can assure you, well known to all concerned - the social services, the police, the archdiocese, the Benedictine order, the parents of St Benedict's school and the parish at large. Over time, whatever issues remain to be dealt with will, with the intelligent support of those just mentioned, be resolved. Of that I have no doubt.

    However, I have to remind you and other readers of this blog that, accusations on this blog notwithstanding, no serious assault, sexual or otherwise, was committed against any boy at St Benedict's. All the offenses were relatively minor. In fact, the judge at Fr David’s appeal could not understand why or how he had been given such a lengthy sentence, eight years, for what were essentially minor offences.

    'Anonymity' in my case, Mr Puchowski, merely reflects a desire to be impartial and, as far as possible, impersonal.

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  30. I think you should be aware that there was in essence a plea bargain by Father David's solicitors. He was originally charged with 24 offences against boys at the school, including indecent assault, sexual touching and gross indecency. He changed his plea on the eve of trial on respect of the 11 least serious charges, and the prosecution accepted that, presumably in part considering the effect on the victims of having to give evidence and undergo cross-examination.

    I'm sure you are aware that sexual abuse is very much under-reported. London Child Protection Procedures recognises this (see para 4.3.19).

    So it is entirely reasonable to conclude that the crimes Father David has been convicted of are but a small fraction of the crimes he has actually committed. Moreover, for more serious assaults such as buggery, the emotional trauma on the child is that much greater, and so the chance of him coming forward is that much less.

    The distinction between a "balance of probability" degree of proof and a "beyond all reasonable doubt" standard of proof is important. If you take the view that nothing should ever be done to protect children from risk of harm from a paedophile sex abuser unless and until you have a criminal standard of proof, then all schools should simply tear up their child protection policies and never even suspend a teacher pending a criminal trial. It is obvious to see how such an arrangement vastly increases the potential for harm to children. But if we are to deal with lower standards of proof, of the "balance of probability" appropriate to child protection, then we can't restrict ourselves to considering only what Pearce has been convicted of.

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  31. Mr West writes:

    'I'm sure you are aware that sexual abuse is very much under-reported. London Child Protection Procedures recognises this (see para 4.3.19).

    So it is entirely reasonable to conclude that the crimes Father David has been convicted of are but a small fraction of the crimes he has actually committed.'

    THIS IS A COMPLETE NON SEQUITUR BASED, AS MR WEST SHOULD KNOW, ON A LOGICAL FALLACY.

    What follows is an attempt to condemn by sheer implication. Mr West writes:

    'Moreover, for more serious assaults such as buggery, the emotional trauma on the child is that much greater, and so the chance of him coming forward is that much less.'

    The message is simple and crude: Image the worst and, given my statistics, it has to have happened.

    Well, if anyone buys into that, Mr West, they'll buy into anything!

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  32. Yes, indeed, and a very elementary logical fallacy to boot!

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  33. You know, I think in his heart-of-hearts (if he'll forgive the expression) what Mr West would really like to introduce is some form of vigilantism. He seems to be just as intolerant of the Law as he is about most things that are beyond his ken.

    - Mary

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  34. Already mentioned in a previous posting

    Only 10% of all child abuse(sexual physical emotional) cases are ever reported - December 4 2008 Lancet report by Prof Ruth Gilbert UCL.

    The trauma of stepping forward and reporting abuse for any child is huge which is why so few manage it. Oddly it is even more difficult for boys who are sexually abused by women.

    All adult logic needs to be suspended when discussing paedophilia because as those at the centre of safeguarding will advise, it just cannot be applied. I hope the poster @ 18.57 will attempt to understand this.

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  35. Mary - Would they were completely 'beyond' Mr West. The sad thing is they worry him. They obviously sit - tantalisingly - just on his horizon - visible, but never fully recognisable.

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  36. Re 19:24.

    Clearly you, and no less the medical profession, have a real point here. I am sure this statistic is correct. Equally beyond doubt is that any meaningful discussion of a highly complex phenomenon such as paedophilia has to informed and open, i.e. not subject to prejudice.

    But, I cannot for the life of me see what that has to do with the posting @ 18.57. The kind of discussion advocated and demonstrated by Mr West is, surely, neither meaningfully informed, i.e. beyond a few bare statistics, nor open. Mr West has an utterly closed mind on the issue of paedophilia, it's something very bad and that's it! Such an approach cannot be condoned, it's simply not good enough. I do hope the poster @ 19.24 will attempt to understand this.

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  37. Would 19:42 care to describe what is good about paedophilia? And explain what you mean by it, just so we can avoid the fallacy of Equivocation?

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  38. I agree with the above post (19.24), Mr West is psychologically ill equipped to deal with this complex issue. One person put it rather well a couple of days back when he/she wrote, with reference to Mr West, of ‘His obsessive interest in a subject he clearly is unable to understand’. (15th July, 17;24 Posting: Father Gregory Chillman)

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  39. Goodness gracious me! Someone seems obsessed with the word 'fallacy'. Were he on a psychiatric couch, it'd be interesting to play with it, to indulge in a little 'word association'. I know one word that would almost certainly 'come up'!

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  40. 20:07: I'm not responsible for the way your mind works.

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  41. Dear 17.50 you say:

    "But, as I understand the situation, neither the Abbey nor St Benedict's feel they can respond to anything on this blog... Its track record is even poorer than St Benedict's. As...... scant regard for the facts, other than those that suit its own book, and it is riddled with libellous statements".

    Once again this is the same argument but this time thankfully without the inflammatory language. The Abbott rejected a meeting with hosted by CSAS and a previous meeting directly with Mr West according to posts on this site. Such rejection does not inspire confidence that the Abbott understands the seriousness of the situation. Regarding libel, whoever feels libelled has the ability to take action against Mr West if they choose. If they don’t then there is no libel - there is no need for further pointless discussion.

    "Over and above all that, this is not the arena in which to resolve difficult and delicate issues".

    We can all agree with you but sadly it appears that Mr West had little alternative because of the repeated rejections to discuss the public interest concerns he has. Faced with a closed door a concerned individual will resort to blogging. There is precedent for a number of schools and it is likely to increase over a range of subjects. Does the Abbott understand the potential cost of this intransigence?

    "I can assure you, well known to all concerned - the social services, the police, the archdiocese, the Benedictine order, the parents of St Benedict's school and the parish at large. Over time, whatever issues remain to be dealt with will, with the intelligent support of those just mentioned, be resolved. Of that I have no doubt".

    A great deal of time has now passed since the arrests of the two former teachers. Yet here we are with a child protection policy at the school that commits to nothing when faced with alleged abuse today. It is a thoroughly porous document of no value to a child attending St Benedict’s. The ISI are known to be inept on safeguarding which is contra cultural to education inspection. The ISI is not independent in any meaningful sense of the word, and they failed to spot the school’s even worse safeguarding policy at the time of their first inspection. What confidence can one have in an inspectorate that has a long and sorry history of failing to inspect and report upon safeguarding issues brought to their attention by Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards. The ISI is itself ‘benchmark ’ inspected by Ofsted which featured on a Channel 4 news exclusive Ofsted fails to tell parents of sex abuse cases. The police have nothing to do with school safeguarding policies, and neither do social services. Parents sadly almost never ask about child protection – this is well known to the safeguarding team at the DfE headed by Jeanette Pugh. So contrary to your suggestions none of these people can be relied upon to drive any improvement.

    "no serious assault, sexual or otherwise, was committed against any boy at St Benedict's. All the offenses were relatively minor. In fact, the judge at Fr David’s appeal could not understand why or how he had been given such a lengthy sentence, eight years, for what were essentially minor offences."

    This is a statement I do not understand. I’ve seen it in Ireland, but what it does indicate is a detachment from the realities of abuse. As you appear to be au fait with this case, would you tell us the definition of ‘relatively minor’ abuse so that we may understand what it is? Does this affect a child? Is this ‘relatively minor’ abuse acceptable? What is your position?

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  42. 18.57

    Perhaps you need to go back to Fr Greg's basic Philosophy class for a refresher or even sit in for extra RE to go with your Geography A/L.

    Non-sequitur:

    Major Premise:
    'I'm sure you are aware that sexual abuse is very much under-reported. London Child Protection Procedures recognises this (see para 4.3.19).

    [Unexpressed minor premise:

    Seeing that Fr Dave only admitted eleven offences from 1972 onwards in a 35 years career of abuse it appears many victims did not report their sufferings to the Police. ]

    A sequitur conclusion by Mr West.

    "So it is entirely reasonable to conclude that the crimes Father David has been convicted of are but a small fraction of the crimes he has actually committed."

    Apart from Mr West I wonder how many commenters here have actually gone to speak with Abbot Martin about the abuse at St Benedict's?

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  43. What a lot of words as Hamlet might say!

    Way back, Mr West wanted to know if things like 'paedophilia' could be anything but bad and demanded a reply.

    Now we all agree a pain is a bad thing. A very bad pain is a very bad thing - sometimes it’s almost unbearable! Nevertheless, pain is GOOD. It ‘s a warning that something needs attention. Now that example is easy-peeze. When it comes to finding or understanding goodness in something which naturally repels us the challenge is much greater. There is, often, no accounting for what repels human beings! Some find black people repellent, others white people, others homosexuals (some homosexuals find heterosexuals repellent), some people find atheists repellent, others Catholics or Jews or both.....
    Sadly, this list is endless. Perhaps, that is where religion comes in. (Pace Mr West!) Catholicism for example teaches that God and his love are everywhere - in everyone and in all things...he is even in the depths of Hell, in Satan himself! I don't much care, Mr West, whether that is the unvarnished truth, a myth, or 'a language game' but I do know that in such a narrative lies something that can save us, not least from narrowness and blindness and the sterility of seeing things as either or. I cannot explain goodness to you, or show you 'goodness' Mr West you have to have the soul to see it for yourself. (We are not you see simply talking about ‘morality’ or logic – though these are no bad thing in themselves, of course)
    But , whatever our emotional or imaginal limitations, we can, surely, do what the Buddha asked and slowly begin removing 'the dust from our eyes'. Teaching this same lesson was also the task that Socrates set himself and, indeed, the whole classical tradition informed by him. One thing I can say Mr West and it is this, if you knew anything at all about the classical roots of your own tradition you would not ask your question quite so glibly.

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  44. benet, having quickly read through what you've written above, I can only assume you did nothing beyond 'sitting' in your philosophy class!

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  45. Like so many words 'paedophile' has become debased and has lost its original meaning. Nevertheless, perhaps its etymology goes some way to substantiating 20:49's argument.

    So much, in this area, is to do with social change and social conditioning. The conditioning shifts, being subject to economic, political and other factors, but this can only happen because human nature is not set in stone but remains ever open and flexible. So psychologically, sociologically, politically and religiously terms like 'good' and 'bad' are relative.

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  46. How right you are 21:12. Would that more people realized just hope conditioned they are! To free us from our blindness, men like Freud and Jung worked tirelessly. As did the great Christian teachers of the past, men such as Nicholas von Kues for whom: 'God is the reconciliation of opposite things'. A magnificent phrase and an even more magnificent concept!

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  47. Kues, Jung et al are probably on the right track. But here, on this blog, there can be no meeting of minds. From what I see, on the one hand you have people like Mr West who would regard 'putting an arm round a boy' as an assault; while, on the other hand, contributors like the above would probably see the failure to put one's arm round a boy as an even worse assault.

    All one can say is: BRING ON THE RECONCILIATION!

    - Mary

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  48. So no answers then! Instead a blizzard of irrelevant chaf to conceal subject illiteracy.

    The Abbeyvistas are nothing if not determinedly blind!

    But then its the St Benedict's way!

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  49. Great stuff, Mary, et al! But, as you see from the above, one has to seriously doubt whether the likes of Mr West and benet will ever have the faintest idea of what you're on about.

    Education - educare, Bildung, paideia - is hard, hard work and not for the faint hearted! But,still we must go on!

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  50. Indeed, despite its glaringly obvious failures on this blog!

    - Mary

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  51. No answers from 17.50. Disappointing because I was keen to learn more about the acceptable level of 'minor abuse' to which the Abbey poster alluded.

    "The St Benedict's way."

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  52. St Benedict’s school shares much in common with another school infamous for child abuse – Caldicott. They even share the same architects in Buschow Henley which designed an extension at both schools.

    Former victims of abuse at Caldicott found an independent documentary film maker to bring to the small screen the culture of abuse at the school. Three men from differing generations, abused by five teachers producing three different outcomes. Chosen went on to win a BAFTA in 2009 for the best single documentary.

    There is much for all schools to learn from this film, as well as the comments left on the website. The documentary is available online by following the link.

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  53. DEATH BY ASSOCIATION - FALSE FRIENDS AND FALSE ARGUMENTS

    Oh for a simple life! A nice thought but, sometimes, a dangerous one!

    Certainly, life cannot be reduced to ‘logic’ or ‘statistics’. Both are, within limits, useful, but they are subsidiary players and where they seek to gain the upper hand, and play a leading role, distortions take place and we soon arrive at a state of absurdity. This ‘distorted thinking’ forms the basis of yesterday's 16.41 humorous contribution (see above). But, tragically, it can equally and all too easily form the basis of much graver matters in which, for example, people seek some kind of ‘final solution’. The logic of both the Nazis and of that humorous contribution might well be impeccable but, never-the-less, insane.

    Mr West makes great play of both ‘logic’ and ‘statistics’. However, neither need have the slightest bearing on the real-life situations he is attempting to analyse and/or comment on. The most basic mistake in logic is to confuse ‘validity’ with ‘truth’. These two little words pertain to quite different orders of reality.

    So, however, reasonably presented, a real argument has to demonstrate more than a 'valid conclusion' it has to bear, in some way, on the truth – quite a different kettle of fish!

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  54. The term 'minor abuse' is, of course, a very odd one that begs the question. It covers such things as touching, hugging, patting, winking, etc. etc. etc. In other words, actions that are part and parcel of a normal human repertoire and to most people's minds not abusive in the least!

    There are clearly many people who have great difficulty with language, be it bodily or written! I hope this has helped 00.13> I can assure him/her that language is nowhere near as intimidating as s/he imagines. Just keep trying!

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  55. Try watching the documentary - you may learn something to help you understand child abuse - on the other hand I am beginning to consider that you may think child abuse does not exist because at every turn you belittle its existence in the The St Benedict's way.

    You've nothing to learn because child abuse, in the St Benedict’s world, “doesn't exist.” How can it when according to you it can be a wink, or a nod?

    Such thinking would explain the caveats in the St Benedict's safeguarding policy. The theory seems to be - as child abuse does not exist nothing needs to be reported. The link that you have made between Pearce and minor abuse being a “wink or a nod” explains it well. Father Pearce is serving eight years for winks and nods! Why should he be imprisoned for such “minor abuse?” Had it not been reported the ‘West’ like jurors could not have found him guilty. So to ensure we do not have to report anything to the LADO or children’s services or the police, fill the policy with caveats permitting us not to report – because all claims by default are false!

    Such thinking would explain the tone of the current safeguarding policy, and it’s porosity.

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  56. Language used with a ‘wink and a nod’!

    There's nothing like missing the mark, is there? The words ‘child abuse’ conjure up a world of sordid and brutalising activity or scenes of gruesome torture! It’s on that basis that those on the Western Front employ these words.

    In reality, however, like everything else in life, these words cover, legally and otherwise, a wide range of activity. But, no one would imagine that such a range existed when reading entries like the above. For such contributors ‘a crime is crime is a crime’ and all ‘crime’ is uniformly bad. Hence, as we have seen,earlier on this blog, 'minor offences' can happily be equated with murder!

    Such judgements are unbalanced and reflect neither good sense nor good thinking.

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  57. Indeed, 11: 42, as other contributors have pointed out, we currently live in a social climate beset by fear and paranoid anxiety, especially in the area of personal harassment of which, child abuse is a subset. This, in turn, reflects a society that has lost almost all sense of community. Each man and woman is an island, whose sovereignty has to be maintained and respected at all costs.

    Is this a sane society? No. It is an extremely dangerous society dominated by what the sociologist, Eric Fromm, called 'the fear of freedom'. Such a society can only be held together by powerful social and legal constraints which, as Fromm understood, belie, rather than aid, our human potential.

    - Mary

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  58. Well said, Mary!

    So well said, in fact, that I'm afraid you'll be dismissed out of hand as an 'Abbeyvista', i.e. a lunatic!

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  59. Thank you, 12.07. But,being dismissed by some people is a badge of distinction and honour!

    - Mary

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  60. The more of this blog the read, the more that I become convinced that West lacks credibility and is completely the wrong person to be carrying out the sort of campaign which he is seeking to carry out.

    West is using this blog as a forum to express as 'truth' some spurious allegations which are most certainly far from any reality. West does not seem to understand the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

    West has been critical of a child protection policy but silent on his qualifications to carry out this critique, perhaps Mr. West would deign to tell us a little more about his background or perhaps a little humility is too difficult for him?

    The lack of credibility of West is one of many reasons why I believe that it is entirely appropriate of the Abbot not to engage with him on these issues.

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  61. 13:40

    Is it that you think I'm the wrong person to raise these issues, or do you think that the issues ought not to be raised by anyone at all?
    If you think they ought to be raised by somebody else, then do please tell me:

    - who ought to be raising these issues?
    - why they aren't doing so?
    - how will you go about changing this state of affairs?

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  62. Did anyone explain or does anyone know why the ISI has removed from its website the most recent inspection report for St Benedict's? All that is presently available is an 'out of date' report. This is unusual.

    For those who seem unable to recognise a question, I am keen to know if someone here understands the cause of this very unusual action by the ISI.

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  63. grimersta, just as a matter of pure interest: Exactly why do you wish to know? And, if your question is a matter of urgency, why not direct it at the ISI?

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  64. Mr West - the 'issues' have been raised by several other people, several times! They are being carefully examined and equally carefully dealt with; so, neither you nor anyone else need go on raising them. It's really quite simple, maybe just too simple for you to accept? Nevertheless, please, do try! You may be well intentioned, but you're doing no one any good at all.

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  65. Mr West ASSUMES the various issues have not, or are not being addressed. Mr West is wrong. Mr West is not the person to address these issues. He has no status and is not entitled to answers to many of the questions he asks. His various rantings demonstrate his failure to understand many of the complex issues surrounding Safeguarding.

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  66. To 16.49
    The 'issues' have self evidently not been dealt with - we can all see they have not.
    The Safeguarding policy at St Benedict's school (for starters) is useless. If this has been "carefully dealt with" then either incompetents are in charge or people who are intent on ensuring nothing will be reported to the Local Authority.

    Perhaps Grimersta, the ISI has removed the St Benedict’s report from its site realising it made mistakes on safeguarding inspection. With credibility at stake the ISI has little option but to remove their report pending its reissue. But it seems unlikely they would “drop” their report just about a policy. Nonetheless let’s see what they did say about the policy document that was current during their inspection:

    Practice in respect of child protection is good. All members of the school staff have received appropriate training in child protection procedures. The child protection policy has recently been brought up to date and approved by the trustees.

    Did anyone from the ISI read the policy that was operating at the school in November 2009 or did the individual looking at this element of inspection see an appropriately titled folder and stop there? Did the ISI inspect against the Notifications issued under the Education Acts? Did the school issue the Notifications under the education Acts that it should have done? Was the ISI in possession of the Notifications they should have had to hand during the inspection? Or was the game of not sacking but moving an alleged abuser to a non-child facing role in the same “setting” employed to protect the school?

    These are just a few rhetorical questions to consider. When the ISI report does eventually reappear on the ISI website it will be time for “spot the difference.”

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  67. I posted a comment yesterday that the current school staff reported David pearce last sexual abuse to the authority's, after the person disclosed.
    .....SAD TO SAY IT WAS REMOVED......

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  68. 19:06
    I have not removed any comments recently, and I have not removed yours. I think you will find it is still there.

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  69. Clearly, this blog is an addiction for certain people. Mr West, for instance, is like a bull terrier hanging, mindlessly, onto the branch of a tree - a pitiable sight that we've probably all witnessed at some time or other.

    What sort of upbringing his own son has had, I honestly hate to think. He must have suffered in some way or other, for Mr West clearly cannot wean himself of his addiction. One assumes he, Mr West that is, was not 'sexually abused' himself in childhood, at least has never said so, but he is nevertheless living proof that an adult life can be blighted by other means.

    Maybe, as Klein would have it, his problems go back to breastfeeding! Who knows? But the poor man certainly deserves pity!

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  70. Yes, instead of perusing others Mr West ought to peruse his own needs and get some professional therapeutic help.
    - Mary

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  71. Mary -

    I couldn't agree more. Which is why trying to reason with West is as productive as banging one's head against a wall.

    -K.R.

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  72. Please save your pity for those who were abused by monks and teachers at St Benedict's. People like "Paul", who has described how he was first abused by John Maestri, confided in Father David, was abused all over again, and was threatened into silence by Father Anthony Gee (headmaster of the time) when he reported the abuse to him.

    If you pray, and have a single ounce of compassion in you, pray that Paul and others like him may be given the strength to bring their abusers to justice, not only those who committed the physical acts but those who protected them and knowingly permitted the abuse to continue.

    Pray that all those involved in such acts and those who protected abusers truly repent of their sins and take all possible action to provide assistance to the victims.

    And when you have done praying, go and have a word with Abbot and ask him whether he intends doing anything that would be an answer to your prayers.

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  73. A sad case of 'How The West Was Lost', perhaps?

    Sorry, just couldn't help it!! :-) But no! Behold, Damascus is in sight, West is prostrate on the ground, surrounded by a blinding light....! My God! I have witnessed a miracle - the sceptic has turned preacher! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

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  74. Yes, but, unfortunately, he's almost certain to turn out to be one of the hell-fire variety!

    - Mary

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  75. Mary, Mary,

    Don't be so cynical. Who knows, with one little extra push from God he might even end up a Benedictine!

    - K.R.

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  76. CONVERSION

    It's Wagner all over again! one minute it's 'Siegfried' the next it's all 'Parcifal'!

    But, seriously, having seen the light and become all pie, Mr West should consider moving to the mid-West where his talents and obsessions will be fully rewarded. He has now, after all, absolutely everything it takes to become a died-in-the-wool fundamentalist preacher.

    You see, sceptics, this blog really did have a purpose!

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  77. You sell St Benedict's school so well!

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  78. As I thought. No concern for the victims.

    Obviously the St Benedict's Way.

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  79. MR WEST YOU ARE NOT BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY ANY MORE.

    ISN'T IT TIME, THEREFORE, TO GIVE UP AS GRACEFULLY AS YOU CAN? CAN'T YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING? THE MORE YOU WRITE,THE MORE OF AN IDIOT YOU SEEM TO BE!

    OF COURSE, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU INTEND, THEN, SO BE IT!

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  80. Maybe, just maybe, that IS what Mr West intends, 20.56. His overweening 'concern' for 'victims' might just tell us something very revealing about his own psychological state of mind. The more he himself is 'victimised', perhaps, the more real he feels himself to be.

    - Mary

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  81. On the contrary, the more you comment, the more you drive traffic to the site and the more people see the kinds of insensitive brutes who are defending the Abbey. You are helping me my friend, and I hope that you carry on doing exactly as you are doing now.

    Yesterday was another record day for page hits on the blog, about double the number I got at the height of the publicity in the Times in April.

    Keep up the good work! And look me up again tomorrow morning - another article is on its way.

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  82. What a surprise! The more viewers of this site the better. There, Mr West, we are wholly of one mind! :-)

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  83. Poor fellow! No one would dream of imaging, of course, that yet another posting (article)simply adds to the picture of a driven, tormented and obsessive individual!

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  84. More classic postings from Abbeyvistas at 20.56 in particular.

    More good work for the waiting list of St Benedict's. The head will be speaking to you soon to lay off as the letters arrive - 'we've changed our minds.'

    (selectively) Blind Faith - its very useful but morally intoxicated.

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  85. Of course, not! It will, when all's said and done, be merely his 15th this month! :Poor soul!

    - Mary

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  86. Could someone please translate 21.15? Preferably, into English!

    - K.R.

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  87. top down change needed. Bennies needs someone not crawling to peeps in black! Time to stand up for the children. prob much much older than many contribs realise

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  88. Mr West has a very simple strategy. When things become too uncomfortable for him on one posting, he opens another.

    I think I have done enough chasing after this individual, having come to the conclusion that the more one responds to him, the more important it makes him feel. This blog exists essentially, so far as I can see, to feed Mr West's undernourished ego.

    - K.R.

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  89. Undernourished no! INSATIABLE, Mr West is a Hungry Ghost!

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  90. Mr West's NEW BLOG on the ISI, is as one might expect, once again, based on false assumptions

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  91. 09:31, Feel free to comment on that article, explaining what assumptions you think I have got wrong, what are the correct assumptions to make, and why they are correct.

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