Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Recommendation 7

The next point I addressed in my recommendations to Lord Carlile concerned governance of the school.
There must be changes in the governance of the school and Trust. A separate charitable trust shall be set up to manage the school. The school’s board of governors shall be given executive authority, and shall be recruited from a wider range than is current for the Board of Advisers. At least two seats on the Board of Governors shall be reserved for parents of pupils at the school. Each parent governor shall be elected by parents for a two-year term, with an election held each year for one parent governor. One seat on the Board of Governors shall be reserved for the Archbishop of Westminster or his nominee. No monk or priest of Ealing Abbey shall have a place on the Board of Governors. It is not intended that these changes will remove the Catholic emphasis of the school, but will remove responsibility for the school from the Abbot and Trustees.
Basically, the key point is that the monks can no longer run the school. Running a modern school takes a wider range of knowledge, background and experience than the monks can muster. There has to be a break. By all means maintain a link of some sort, by all means have monks visiting the school, or even teaching in it if they are qualified to do. But the governors must be drawn from a wider pool of talent.

So there has to be a formal separation between the School and the Abbey. that means separate charitable trusts for each, and some suitable division of the trust's reserves.

The Board of Advisers needs to be converted into a proper board of governors, and given the authority to make decisions for the school, and the governors need to be drawn from a wider range of people than just ex-pupils. Parents need to be governors. The Archbishop's nominee is intended to help maintain the overall Catholic nature of the school.


  1. It is time for a statement from Abbot Martin or Mr Cleugh concerning Father Gregory Chillman and his restrictive ministry. It would be useful if they could explain why he is allowed to live at the Abbey and why St Benedict's parents were told that "almost all" of the restrictions had been lifted, when according to Peter Turner they remain in place.

    I do hope that they resist the temptation to say that the restrictions on Father Gregory are there "to protect him from unfounded allegations."

  2. Ask Shipperlee - pen, paper,envelope, registered mail - done!

    When you get the answer we hope you will consider sharing it.

  3. 21:08, Shipperlee didn't reply to me last time I contacted him, I suspect that if I tried again I would simply be wasting the price of a stamp.

  4. On the contrary - if your letter is ignored this is an important point in itself. It could demonstrate arrogance and/or dereliction of duty. This will only come to light when matters become terminal. With St Benedict's this could happen. You perhaps do not understand the serousness of the situation with the school and the trust.

    So do write and hold the reply.

    There are a thousand reasons for doing nothing. The reason you have provided is just one.

    No one on this site gives up.

  5. Jonathan,

    I agree with your recommendations, there should be a formal separation between St Benedict's School and Ealing Abbey. History has clearly demonstrated that there is a conflict between the interests of the monks and the interests of the pupils.

    In spite of this, the Abbey will fight tooth and nail to hang on to St Benedict's. At the end of the day, the whole purpose of the School is to subsidise the Abbey and fund the monks' lifestyle