Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Adverts in the national press

At the parents meeting on 14th September, it was promised that adverts publicising the Carlile inquiry would be placed in local and national newspapers.

I've seen one in the Ealing Gazette. I haven't seen any in the national papers. Has anybody else made any sightings? Or has the school been a bit economical with the truth on this?


  1. Surely no one is foolish enough to believe the dishonest administrators of this bent institution?

    Their record over the last several decades is now laid bare for all to read in the ISI follow up report, and there is more for anyone who cares to turn the stones.

    They give spivs a bad name.

  2. Well, I don't know if I'd call them spivs, although I have no love for the Abbey. But I do think its wrong for a school to have teachers and managers who are unsackable by virtue of being monks. The abbey and the school will always appear disreputable until they are permanently parted, but I suspect that if the money from the school which gives the monks such a comfortable life dried up, then so would any future novices.

    As for Carlile, I await his evidence from former teachers with interest, particularly those mentioned in comments to earlier posts - Halsall, Strahan, Thomas, and the one who is currently unmentionable.

    Incidentally, are any current pupils following this blog, and could they perhaps tell us how they view the ongoing debate? I realise that this is probably going to encourage a flood of posts from elderly clergymen pretending to be teenagers, but I would be interested to know how this is viewed, and indeed, how much interest there is in it. It would be great to think that there's very little interest in it - a St Benedict's where pupils weren't frequently voicing their revulsion at the dysfunctional behaviour of teachers and monks is lovely to imagine. Just don't use a school computer to post here!

  3. 22.45 - I agree with you and 19.11 - spivs are being hard done by in this analogy.

    But there are good people at St Benedict's, who are clearly intimidated into silence by a wayward administration which has lost connection with the moral responsibilities it has for running a school.

  4. I've left numerous critical comments here but I don't want to attack the school, I want it to become a place where children have a better childhood than I did.

  5. Well in reality little will be achieved without few eggs being broken.

    Abuse has been permitted - why?

    The school broke the law in not returning Notifications - why?

    Who made the decisions not to report known child abuse to the authorities?

    Why was the school permitted to operate such a disgraceful non safeguarding policy which today is no better?

    Why is the DfE not undertaking the inquiry into the events at St Benedict's? They used to.

    Why is the board of Governors of the trust permitted to be controlled by the Abbot? (See ISI report)

    What is the point of the School Advisers who have been resolutely silent throughout this process?

    If one objects to any of these bluntly posed questions, then continue hoping for change but do not expect it to be delivered. I look at this entire process involving Carlile and wonder where this flawed idea was germinated. It's a nonsense exercise that seems to have the express purpose of re-veneering the reputation of an institution.

    Who knows who and what favours are being repaid to whom with this 'inquiry?' Little stacks up or makes sense - it is all most odd.

    There are far better people that Carlile to lead an exercise like this. From an experience perspective Carlile is in the Isthmian League on the subject but in the premier league on rice. That should send a very big message to everyone who is looking on with questions.

    Meanwhile recognised UK safeguarding experts watch with interest.

  6. 14:46 _ Sounds like J beating his drum as usual. Whoever it is has decided that he knows better than any outcome of the Carlile enquiry, and that he could do a better job than Carlile. He may be better at making unsubstantiated claims than Lord Carlile, but as a highly successful barrister, Carlile is used to digging deep to get to the bottom of any situation: that's what barristers do. That's why government commission judges and barristers to conduct inquiries. Its time you stopped rubbishing Lord Carlile and questioning his impartiality. Wait until the publication. You can be assured that Lord Carlile will be much better informed than his critics on this blog.

  7. I agree with 14.46 child abuse is uniquely different and is a 'specialist' area for which a great deal of training and coalface experience is needed.

    Adult logic does not apply with paedophilia. It is unarguable that Carlile does not possess the requisite experience for this “inquiry.”

    So given his lack of experience, set against his very significant cost – one has to question what the agenda here, because it is very obviously not what has been presented to us by St Benedict's?

    As you say - where is the DfE which used to conduct investigations into such matters?

  8. Which is why 14.46 is bothering to make the comment...
    What you forget is that there is such an avalanche of evidence that a quick enquiry cannot possibly be done. Too much evidence will be ignored. After all we are talking about 60 years+ of sexual abuse (yes sexual abuse) at the hands of priests and teachers at the school who were in positions of trust.
    A formidable Barrister Carlile may be, but your questioning of the "beating drum" is tantamount to saying "be quiet" to hundreds who have been victims of sexual abuse for over half a decade at that school and haven't had the opportunity to voice their story because they had no idea the enquiry was taking place.

  9. Not saying be quiet at all - be sensible. Lord Carlile is taking about 3 months - hardly a quick enquiry. I want to get to the bottom of this as much as the next person. I do hope that anyone with information will make contact Lord Carlile.

  10. 16.25 - All sensible people agree with your sentiment. But as Grimersta and 14.46 seem to be suggesting - there is an experience gap in this exercise which is unhelpful to a full and thorough set of recommendations emerging from this exercise of the Trust's calling.

  11. 16:43 - Those who were worst affected by abuse will generally not have kept in touch with the school through the OPA, so the email to the OPA mailing list won't have reached them.

    Also, in many cases they have moved as far away from the school as possible. It is surprising the number of victims who have contacted me who live abroad, and of those who don't, the majority live some considerable distance away from London. So adverts in the Ealing Gazette or Evening Standard aren't going to reach those people.

    If the promised adverts in the national press have not been published, then Lord Carlile is going to have an unrepresentatively small number of victims of the more serious abuses contact him, simply because they are unaware that the inquiry is happening.

    We have a classic conflict of interest here again. The school wants to maintain its good name and reputation, and so doesn't want to publicise its problems, but if the inquiry is going to get at the truth of the matter, widespread publicity is needed so that victims know to come forward.

    There's also the matter of promises. At the safeguarding meeting with parents on 14th September, the school promised that there would be adverts in local and national newspapers. If there haven't been any adverts in the national papers, then the parents have been lied to.

  12. I am not contacting Carlile because I don't trust anyone appointed by the school, no matter what their reputation.

  13. Well as a former victim of abuse at another school, I understand your reasoning but this is the only show in town, flawed or not.

    There is no other means of possible improvement to this institution - and despite everything I met with my former institution and I am pleased I did because improvements followed.

  14. Δάσκαλε που δίδασκες και νόμο δεν εκράτεις

  15. Dear 22:32

    Sorry, but so many years after my anyway crap education at the hell-hole of St Benedict's I cannot muster enough Greek to say "Pretentious prick."

    But I hope you will accept:
    Θύμωσε ο καλόγερος κι έκαψε τα ράσα του.

    "The angry monk burned his cassock", for those fortunate enough to have not received a "classical" education...

  16. The Little Ted's Serious Case Review Press Conference:

    Safeguarding is everyone's business.

    Jim Gould - Chairman Plymouth SCB