St. Bede’s – We Are Beached In Shallow Water, We Have No Paddle.

The latest news to come out of St Bede’s, sent to me by one of the disaffected masses, is a little hard to swallow but it seems that Mr Daniel Kearney the headmaster has come up with a brainwave.  He cannot make up the numbers for his first year in September 2013, all he could attract was about 40, well down on what he needs and the lowest since 1922 when the school was in its infancy.  So what does he do but go across to the Preparatory School and hive off years 5 and 6 thus diluting the academic level of his school even further.  Not that he has done this off his own back, but with the full compliance of the florid Quinlan who must be affected by the same mental breakdown has DK.

I always thought that the Preparatory School was a separate entity, a school in its own right but no, when needs must it can be cherry picked at random.  The new head, Mrs Corr-Deed, only there for eight months, must be distraught.  With one stroke of the pen, or was it a sword, Kearney has taken her two senior years and co-opted them under his aegis.  60 kids to bring his numbers up to scratch:  Mrs Corr-Deed probably thought she was a headmistress, now she knows she is only a deputy.

So now we have a dumbed down but full complemented school for 9-18 year olds and a decimated and glorified nursery school for 3-8 year olds.  What a shocking mess, two schools now on the downward path.  A couple of sets of parents have actually e-mailed me in the last few months having read my blog postings on the College.  They were frightened by the news coming out of the school and asked me whether it would be safe sending their kids to the Prep, all I could answer was that the Prep seemed an excellent school but it had an ogre letting its shadow fall over it.  All I told them was that I would not send my children into such an atmosphere.  It looks as though my thoughts at the time have proved correct.

Will there be job losses with this ridiculous game of Kearney’s chess?  Well I guess there is bound to be and it will be the Prep teachers who will lose out.  However I am certain that Kearney’s wife and his cycling mate’s wife who have new part time jobs there will be OK.  Two jobs that appeared all of a sudden, I must have missed the advertisement.

So mad cap Kearney is happy, he has his numbers up to scratch albeit some can just about read and write but it took some doing.  I understand on good authority that discounts of between 50% and 90% on fees have been offered to ensure that the precious and original 40 keep on side.  What must the parents who are already paying the full whack make of all this?  They could start revolting.  To cover that scenario I understand a little legerdemain was created by quickly setting up new and unofficial bursaries.

Latest, latest news I am getting tells me that the MCFC boys are not required to pass any sort of academic selection, the prep school kids are certainly not for the moment being asked to reach an academic level, so half the school is being put through the grinder and half are not.  What a mess up, ranks of inequality and lo and behold one of the senior management team has seen the light and has now decided to send his eligible child to a local comprehensive despite the titbit of a staff 50% fee reduction.

So what we seem to be building up to is two failing schools, two lots of unhappy staff, two lots of disaffected parents but the right numbers bringing in a damn sight less money than would have been budgeted for.  I would say a recipe for disaster, wouldn’t you?

Not only that but to me it seems immoral that parents of 14-18 year olds inveigled into the trap some years back have to pay the full whack of something over £9,000 per annum, whilst the younger end of the school have almost free education.  These people are trapped with public examinations looming, it was something they had never signed up to.  They cannot move their kids or can they?  Think about it folks, its easier than you think.

33 thoughts on “St. Bede’s – We Are Beached In Shallow Water, We Have No Paddle.

  1. Perhaps Paul, there may be a solution, one which someone has already used elsewhere, so I can’t claim originality. I don’t know the history of this other particular school, I’ve no axe to grind, so here goes.

    Step forward one of Bedes’ nearest neighbours, the other side of Ally Park, previously known as William Hulme Grammar School. Quite recently this school moved from being a fee-paying one back into the Publicly-funded fold, where or not as an Academy I don’t know. What I’m sure of is that it’s not fee-paying any more.

    This may be the ultimate cunning plan Mr Kearney may have hidden up his sleeve. Who knows? In the meantime, let chaos reign!

  2. Paul

    Fascinating stuff. Even more interesting that I understand there have been 7 governors (company directors) have resigned in the last few weeks. 7 termination of director documents were filed at compaies house on 26/4. I understand there are now only 2 lay people on the governors.

    Rats and sinking ships? Maybe they realise that mis-management can be prosecuted if a business goes under and are getting out now before that happens.

    1. Well would you believe it, perhaps they have had a row over expenses, or perhaps they want to spend more time with their families or perhaps they are rats, blind ones at that who thought they were taking a bath and did not realise the ship was sinking.
      Without a doubt it is material well worth rubbing your chin with and for all we know it could be an upcoming court case that has got them all shivering.
      Thank you kind sir for letting us know but leaving now if there has been any wrongdoing will not save them under company law.

  3. Let’s not gloat too much, though. Seriously.

    No doubt there will be, to use that dreadful euphemism, collateral damage caused as a result of several misplaced and misguided decisions made by the higher ups, the ones who thought they knew it all, had all the answers and wouldn’t be told. The breeze of fresh air is now blasting through the college, airing the dirty laundry for all to see.

    Spare your sympathy for the poor students and their parents caught on the sinking ship. At least on the Titanic, the band kept playing. Sheik Mansour to the rescue possibly? Or my nuclear option of being took back into Public Sector control?

    Watch this space. I’d suggest anyone involved with Bedes does likewise, sure as hell no-one on the school staff higher-ups will want people to know what’s really going on.

  4. After the latest news about the Governors, I decided to look into this bizarre situation at Bede’s.
    Current governors are:-
    Mr Hugh Elwood Age 75
    Bishop John Brain Age 74
    Mgr John Allen Age 75
    Mgr Michael Quinlan Age 70
    Fr Pat McMahon Age 70
    Fr Tim Hopkins Age 46 and I think he is relieved of all duties until his child abuse case is investigated.
    Philip Lanigan Age 49

    Directors who have left in last year:-
    Ms CA Finnigan on 21.2.12
    Mr AF Carr on 28.1.13
    Ms L Edwards on 28.i.13
    Mr J Byrne on 29.4.13
    mr J Moynihan on 29.4.13
    Mr MC Gillespie on 29.4.13
    Mr SG Driscoll on 29.4.13
    Mr KJ O’Flynn on 29.4.13
    Mr JG Walsh on 29.4.13

    All lay persons except for Ellwood and Lanigan have cut their ties and really surprisingly Messrs Byrne and Moynihan who were brought in to help Kearney through his learning curve. It strikes me they did not do a good job as guardian angels.
    The remnants of the board now have until the end of May 2013 to file the accounts for year end 31. 8.12, I wonder what that will show.
    Anybody out there who knows anything can contact me direct on privately or post a comment here.

  5. Paul, when you are able to spell the Prep’s headmistress’ name right, then give your opinion on Mr Kearney’s ideas. In fact, even then you will still not be able to understand the present Bedes as you only seem to be looking at it through a cloud of lies and gossip rather than seeing the truth that it is a perfectly well established school with fantastic students and teachers. Compared to you Bedes spends it’s time wisely producing well mannered, bright and creative students, instead of pathetically writing a blog about a school you are no longer associated with. Rather than complaining about schools, maybe you should consider returning to one yourself and learning how to spell.

    1. I’m sorry Isabella, I suppose we all have our little faults and it is a long time since I was at school. I think however you miss my point. There is a lot of strange things happening at the school that surely demand comment if not a full scale inquiry. Parents hard earned is at stake here, they are the first to be told the truth as it not at all what they signed up to.

  6. News has just been broken to me that the MEN are putting out an article on Bede’s tomorrow, do not know its content but knowing plenty of the lily livered reporting that goes in that Old Bedian infested rag, I doubt if it will be that powerful.

  7. Paul

    Oh dear, mis-spelling someone’s name (I hope I’ve spelt that word right!) would now appear to be no longer a State Offence, but a Federal one, as at a stroke it would seem to negate all your rationale. I must remember that when complaining to the papers about Gideon George Osborne (or is it Osbourne, or Osbourn, or who gives a toss how it’s spelt anyway). Cages have again been rattled somewhat, I fear. Again.

    Ms Renehan clearly has an axe to grind (at least she’s not anonymous, or is it an alias?). A frustrated, didactic (now there’s a good word) English teacher perhaps? Paul, I fear your punishment must be the following sentence:- I must spell the Prep School’s Headmistress’ name correctly at all times. Write this out 100 times, don’t do it again.

    Certainly the didactic tone (sorry for using the word again, I just love the sound of it) would indicate at least some time has been spent by the writer undergoing teacher training? I find teachers always speak to other people as if they are addressing a class full of idiots.

    This supposed air of intellectual arrogance by them always mystified me for one particular reason. In my day, it would be fair to say that a disproportionate number of students who failed to gain acceptance to a University ended up, wait for this – at a Teacher Training College. If I’ve upset someone regarding that opinion, tough titty. Now I feel I’ve ground my axe to a very sharp edge on that particular point. Enough said.

    Back to the main point. Not one word mentioned about the Blue Boys non-entry exam, the juggling of figures regarding intakes from the Prep School (no denial regarding that I note), an explanation for the mass resignations of board members (a little note of information from someone who so obviously thinks that she is in the know might have helped here). For someone who gives the opinion that they know what’s actually going on, little or no actual evidence has been forthcoming to refute what you are saying. I wonder why?

    No, because she thinks she knows something that clearly you don’t, you are again systematically rubbished for not being 100% in the know, despite no factual denial as to anything you have reported. That’ll learn you, as the good old Manc saying goes.

    Carpet and brush are again at work, I fear. Let’s see how powerful the air compressor of the forthcoming abuse court case will be at dislodging the dirt from underneath. Deep-cleaning of the carpet after this may be the order of the day, in order to repair the damage.

    I speak as a former student who managed to miss most of Tommy Duggan’s excesses and all of Billy Green’s, as I attended 1964-71. My time there was not perfect, but I’ve always had mostly positive things to say about the actual schooling, whilst commenting on some of its more odd quirks. I’ll plead guilty to never having set foot in the place since. Clearly times have changed since Middle of the Road were No. 1 with the all-time classic Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, which stood atop ofthe charts as I did my ‘A’ levels.

    P.S. Whilst Ms Renehan’s spelling is satisfactory (Spellcheck at work maybe?) her punctuation is not. Read her posting to yourself and note the missing commas as follows:- after the word gossip, after the phrase ‘compared to you’. Clearly not as good at English as she thinks she is. Two can nit-pick, you know.

  8. Paul,

    since we need to be exact and precise, apologies for not leaving a space in the penultimate paragraph last line between ‘of’ and ‘the’ in my previous posting.

    I fear another 100 lines may be called for, this time in my direction.

  9. Paul,

    When in error, I will always stand to be corrected.

    I must hang my head in shame at not spotting the error pointed out by Pedant, regarding it’s and its in Ms Renehan’s posting. A definite schoolgirl error and a definite Federal Offence in grammar error terms. I hereby resign with immediate effect my post of official blog proof-reader as I fialed miserably in my duty.

    Question – how does Pedant know Ms Renehan’s Christian name is Isabella? I hope he’s got both the name and the spelling right, or detention may be on the cards.

    Ms Renehan – Oh dear. Punishment is warranted. 100 lines as follows:-

    It’s is a contraction of it is, its is a word to indicate belonging to it.

    (Genitive case, to all you Latin Lovers out there).

    Here endeth today’s English lesson.

  10. Paul,

    As regards the MEN, it may be difficult to read the Bedes’ article as I suspect the usual coat of whitewash may have been applied after printing, thus rendering said item illegible.

    Please note I am not the aged hack (I know he wont’ mind me saying that) who, by the way, is married to my cousin and jumped ship from the MEN this week, after 31 years. I shall miss his informative articles, a man who doesn’t take himself or life too seriously.

    With a name like mine I get about a bit – Old Bedian, MEN journalist, Strangeways Riot Leader in 1990, Football League referee. I’ve met at least a dozen people with the same name as me, but save your pity for the John Smiths of this world.

  11. Good work Messrs Taylor et Malpas, ridiculing the efforts of a student to defend her school. The pair of you are pathetic individuals who, empowered by the monitor in front of you, suddenly become the freedom fighters of our time, showing everyone what you think Bede’s really is. When was our last personal contact wit Bedes? When was the last time you paid dues to the vast numbers of staff doing after school and saturday morning revision sessions? Or those giving up their saturday mornings through the year for sport? or those giving up their free time for duke of edinburgh expeditions or school trips? Well I have news for the pair of you. You are not bigger or stronger than Bede’s. as with most hearsay and gossip, you have slight dalliances with the truth, whilst avoiding 99% of true fact and detail. As with a post I tried to publish a couple of months ago, you will no doubt delete or not publish this because it doesn’t fit with your site, but its making me feel a whole lot better to tell you just what I think. If I were to rip apart everything you said, it would take too long. Here’s an idea Malpas (and Taylor, for that matter). Come into Bede’s one day, and see what it’s like. And speak to the pupils, and see what they think. And perhaps meet, in person, some of the staff you’re so happy to ridicule and slander. Not to mention the staff whose living you are putting under threat with your lies and gossip. So come on over and say hello in person. But that would require balls and courage, which you are so clearly lacking. I look forward to it. If this gets published its a miracle of the modern world. So come on out Malpas and Taylor, from behind your monitors. And tell us all in person, staff, parents and pupls, what you think.

  12. To Luke Kelly I say this:-

    You wouldn’t like the MEN either today, Saturday 4 May, page 7, either. Go and complain to the journalist at the MEN, Dan Thompson, and see where it gets you. If you think it’s wrong, do something about it. Also don’t assume that Paul Malpas and I have the exact same agenda, we don’t.

    If you check my postings, very few, if any, have been personal attacks on the current regime. The two things I have a problem with are:-

    (1) The main one – Bede’s continual and historic attempts to cover up Tommy Duggan’s antics, which probably allowed Billy Green to later abuse under cover for over a decade. Let’s remember Billy had long left Bede’s before being unmasked. The court case hopefully will resolve the situation regarding TD. Almost certainly not to the satisfaction of the school, though. Care to bet on this?

    (2)A secondary one – The Blue Shilling has been taken for solely financial reasons, don’t pretend otherwise, in doing so, the academic level of incoming students has almost certainly not been enhanced. Who is going to send their child to school when MGS and other more academically successful schools require an entrance exam to be taken by all prospective students? Am I missing something here? By not one jot will it improve the perceived (and that’s what matters here) academic reputation of the school, the way to attract prospective punters. I really do fear for the College’s future in view of recent developments.

    I’ll visit the school anytime, any place, just make sure there are no lawyers on the premises at the same time though, I have an aversion to them. Again, if you take time and effort to read my postings, virtually everything I have posted regarding my time at the College and the education I received there is positive. Off the back of this, I went to Salford Uni and got a degree in Chemistry. Sour grapes there by me? I thought not.

    Nearly all the teachers there (there will always be exceptions) were dedicated and professional, from Robot Ron Smith (so-called because he taught Latin by rote, probably, unfortunately, the best way to teach the subject)to the inspiring (at least to me) English teacher Spike Martin, Mgr Riley (an excellent French teacher before coming head Honcho), Tom Heslop, Gerry Robinson, Mike McDermott, Doc Slater and others too numerous to mention here.

    P. S. If someone tries to rubbish a posting because a name is spelt wrongly, they can’t complain when others then point out their literary shortcomings. Someone obviously isn’t at good at English grammar as she thought she was. Glasshouses and stones?

    And exactly how was I to know at the time that said Grammar Offender was a current college student? I know that now I googled her name. If you can’t take criticism, then don’t dish it out. A good lesson to learn so early on in life. I think she’ll get over it.

    That’s more than can be said of some of Tommy Duggan’s alleged victims. Think on that whilst pontificating on matters which you, like you accuse me of, know little or nothing about.

  13. Under whose reign was the City contract signed? Wasn’t the current one. I can you for a fact that other more prestigious schools would not say no to MCFC

  14. To Mr Driscoll and others I say:

    Such as? MGS, Eton, Harrow, Charterhouse? Certainly not the Premier league fee-paying schools, of which you surely do not think Bede’s is a respected member? The only thing Premier currently at Bede’s is the football club effectively subsidising them and helping to keep the College afloat. Try look in the OFSTED tables – Bede’s is middle-ranking, no more, no less.

    I look forward to Bury Grammar School entertaining the local team’s apprentices. The two big differences are that Bury GS doesn’t need to do a deal with football clubs to keep the student numbers up, also Bury Football Club is skint, recently relegated to boot and couldn’t afford it.

    The logic of this argument is unassailable. Get over it and stop complaining.

    Thank God for Sheik Mansour, I say. Where would Bede’s be without him, I venture to ask? Now there’s a question worth answering.

  15. Paul, by com paring Bede’s to schools like Eton, Harrow and Chaterhouse, you are entirely missing the point. During the last 20 or so years, those in charge at Bede’s have made great efforts to ensure that Bede’s is socially inclusive. It is academically rigorous and always has been, but not the the total detriment of the key social mix.

    A parent pays to send their child to Eton for its academic excellence and incredible facilities.

    A parent sends their child to Bede’s for a number of reasons:

    – It can support the academically outstanding
    – It can nurture and help those who struggle academically
    – It has a strong sporting tradition
    – It has a social mix from across Manchester
    – It has historically committed to providing bursaries to those who require them.
    – It imbues pupils with the Catholic values and morals which so many people (not just practising Catholics) value.

    If you don’t comprehend the truth of that, then you are out of touch with the modern day St Bede’s. It emphasised these points when I was there and clearly still does now.

    Additionally, 30-40 boys from Manchester City will provide the school with £300,000-£400,000 per year. that’s around £1m every three years or so. Pupils have confirmed that these boys are not disruptive, disliked or particularly weak academically. We don’t have any reason to doubt what they are saying, because quite a few have emphasised the same message.

    So my question is: Who on earth wouldn’t want them at the school?

    It’s all well and good making a point, but consider both sides.

  16. James,

    A reasoned piece, however riddled with some rather obvious flaws. I fancy a short history lesson is called for here to clarify the situation as I see it. Feel free to disagree if you wish.

    Bede’s was never, in my day (1964-71) academically all-inclusive, but was at least academically rigorous. That’s not the case now, I suggest. Most of the students there had passed the old 11-plus, were fee-payers who had at least passed the school entrance exam and/or were considering taking up the old dog collar lark. We were repeatedly told we were the academic crème de la crème, any of my contemporaries would confirm this.

    Fast forward to 1976, when Bede’s stepped out of the state system, refusing to become an ‘all-inclusive comprehensive’, and became a fee-paying school for Catholic boys. Its ethos was academic excellence, that what parents paid their fees for, I had a relative who went there around that time and did well. Still maintaining academic standards as regards the student intake.

    Forward again to the mid-1980s, girls allowed in the 6th form. At a later date (I don’t know the exact years) girls in all years, then Christian worshippers, not exclusively left-footers. Still having to sit an entrance exam to gain admittance, to maintain academic standards. With that, I have no problem. Yet again, still maintaining academic standards.

    Fast forward to 2011, the College struggling to attract sufficient numbers, the agreement, based on Sheik Mansour’s money, no doubt has kept the College afloat. But to now talk of maintaining academic excellence when some entering the College haven’t even sat an entrance exam, and aren’t even full-time students, strikes me as being somewhat ingenuous. Still maintaining academic standards as regards the intake? I think not.

    Bede’s isn’t a Social Service, it’s a business. Its USP (Unique Selling Point) used to be the academic quality of its staff and students. It’s not intellectual snobbery to say that. It defies logic to pretend the current situation will improve academic achievement in the long run.

    Some of the fee-paying parents from slightly earlier years may now feel they have sold a pup, as what they were told a few years ago, the high quality of the intake, the academic level of the students, cannot now be ensured. The slightest reason for going to another fee-paying school will be ground for parents not choosing Bede’s in the future. This situation gives them that reason.

    Bede’s is a fee-paying school, it should strive primarily for academic excellence, that’s its reason d’etre, anything else is secondary. This is the real dilemma the College now faces, I’m glad I’m not in their shoes.

    Perhaps Sheik Mansour should buy the place lock, stock and barrel and have done with it. Then at least everyone would know where they stood. As it stands, they’re currently in limbo.

  17. Paul,

    your nonsensical warblings never fail to astound. Everyone at the school, be it Man City players or otherwise, sits an entrance exam. This is fact.

    Your astonishing and frankly disturbing allegation that all the boys from MCFC are lacking intelligence and contribute nothing to the intellectual body of the College are entirely unfounded and seemingly based on the entirely unoriginal and pathetic conclusion that because they play football they must be stupid. How can you not see, really I can’t understand it, that the scheme between Bede’s and MCFC is a unique way of trying to ensure that these children do not have to suffer a weak education to follow their dream of being a professional footballer? They are prevented from attending training if they don’t follow the expectations and rules of the College, which are the same whatever pupil is being dealt with.

    You are correct in one respect. I know nothing of the alleged abuse under Mgr Duggan. Nothing at all. So I don’t comment on it. I know a lot about St Bede’s. I comment on that. I suggest you follow the same path – comment on what you know, not what you don’t. Although it may leave you with very little to talk about.

    When are you and Malpas going to get the idea here? The reason that you don’t like what people say, and you find the need to ridicule the comments of pupils, is because you know full well that there is no better source of information than the pupils themselves, the customers. They are happy, which annoys you. They love the College, which annoys you. Why would they be affected by what happened 50 years ago? You and Malpas have your own battle that you want to fight, which is fine. But don’t try and drag everyone else into it – they aren’t interested in your lies, hyperbole and imagination.

    Incidentally, to suggest no other independent school would want to be associated with MCFC. Ha! You are kidding, aren’t you?

    You try to reel off a list of Eton, Charterhouse, Whitgift, Harrow etc. When has Bede’s ever been competing with those schools, except for in the ISFAs on the football pitch? They are located in the most affluent area of the country and are huge public schools. They are not Catholic grammar schools in Whalley Range!

    Incidentally your idea of no other school being associated with footballers is nonsense – teams Bede’s have played in the latter rounds in recent years have been littered with academy players. A bit of research (though you are clearly not very good at that) would tell you as much.

    I suggest you follow the advice of your great leader Malpas – go quiet for a while.

    By the way, I have read the MEN article, which explains the resignation of the Governors. Not too much mention of governors leaving because of a lack of faith in the College and leadership is there? No, that arguement has gone distinctly quiet.

    1. Well Mr Luke,
      I think you are telling a few porkies regarding the status of MCFC lads, your own side have stated their situation many times in this tiring series of comments, do not now give them station above themselves and anyway my argument is not with these little piggies in the middle. Mine and Paul Taylor’s argument is on a much more fundamental plane as you might or might not have realised.

  18. Malpas, how would you know ANYTHING that happens in St Bede’s? You accuse me of lying when you know nothing, I’m assuming that these comments are tiring because they are forever exposing your baseless web of lies.

    As I said to Mr Taylor, if your argument is with Duggan and abuse then so be it. But that leaves you with no reason for the vindictive personal attacks on members of staff and the current College community. That is the ‘plane’ I am arguing on.

  19. To Luke Kelly

    I’m not omniscient, I never claimed to be, Bede’s wouldn’t be my specialist subject if I went on Mastermind (not clever enough for that either). If I’ve lied, indicate exactly where and with proof, and I’ll withdraw the statement. Let’s start with one of the main issues.

    Is it factually correct to say all people now attending Bede’s sit an entrance exam? If so, several other people don’t seem to think so. Who knows for sure? A little clarity on the matter would be nice, someone who can categorically state this. I’m afraid that’s not you and certainly not me. The jury’s out on that one, I’m afraid.

    I don’t say, if you take the trouble to read my posting, that the MCFC players are stupid, merely that the level of academic ability is not the foremost reason that these people attend the school. This puts the school at a distinct disadvantage when trying to attract pupils who will be more likely to go on to greater academic success, which clearly is less likely in the case of Sheik Mansour’s boys.

    The School already has a serious problem attracting non-sponsored fee paying pupils. Have you ever stopped to wonder why? Clearly not, because as the school can currently be bailed out by a benefactor, then everything is hunky-dory according to you. If you know so much, let’s hear why Bede’s isn’t one of the most successful schools in the area, with a waiting list to rival that of some of its neighbours, if it is as brilliant as you tell us it is. That is a fact you can hardly dispute, as the evidence tells a different story.

    The truth is in short supply here, I fear. The game is probably about to change for the worse now the press have become involved. The school will almost certainly be dragged through the mud, not by Mr Malpas, certainly not by me, but by the unmerciless and never-forgiving press, following the failure to address the problem regarding Tommy Duggan. The Bede’s higher-ups had ample time to do so, probably in retrospect it would have best been done when that paedophile Rev Billy Green got sent down, a new broom might have swept clean then. Read up on this so as to not be able to plead ignorance and thus ignore the matter. You might learn something you don’t like about the authorities at Bede’s as a result.

    If you think Paul and I have been giving Bede’s a hard time, read today’s MEN (Saturday 4 May, page 7) and be afraid for the future of the school. If the imminent court case does actually get heard (I hope for the sake of everyone concerned it doesn’t come to court), Mr Malpas and I will be the least of Bede’s worries, once the nationals get their teeth into this one, they won’t let go. They had a good taster two years ago, the story was well circulated. Now for their second course, that’s sadly the way they work.

    I’ve no great time for the press myself, nor for the MEN which printed the ‘Exclusive’ in March 2011 regarding TD’s antics, then remained silent for over 2 years. I’d question what does the paper know, that both you and I don’t, as there appears to be little reason to run the story now. There must be a reason for doing this. Any bright ideas?

    Since you know so much about the school, you’re surely aware that in recent times various OBs have been on the staff of the MEN. I always felt they gave the Alma Mater the benefit of the doubt, but not now. Why the sudden change in attitude?

    Think on that one, I’m sure the answer to that one is unlikely to come under your remit, certainly not under mine. In the meantime, it’s not me who is doing any resigning over an impending court case. That might indicate something is happening that even you don’t know about, but have you stopped for a second to think why?

    At that point, we’ll give it a rest, as the opinions are so far apart on key matters, there will never be agreement. The one thing I think we can agree on is that today’s article has done Bede’s no favours whatever as, if the court case goes ahead, the publicity from that almost certainly cannot and will not do anything to improve matters, except possibly for the victims of abuse, but definitely for the lawyers involved.

    Have you ever questioned why this matter has had to go all the way to the High Court? Clearly not. The simple answer is because Bede’s refused to acknowledge what happened and it left no other course of action for the victims. I’m saddened that the matter has took so long to rectify, it still isn’t. So much for Christian kindness and consideration for others.

  20. Mr Taylor and Mr Malpas, my last posting here for a while because Mr Taylor in particular seems to try to avoid the point and keep prattling on about the academic standards and MCFC as if you know anything, which your postings prove time and again you don’t.

    You are a hypocrite at best. You ridicule St Bede’s alleged kindness and consideration for others. A quick look at their website suggests SBC raised over £8000 for charities last year. And yet here you are playing your part in the slander and personal abuse of professional people with families to support and mortgages to pay, having never met them or had an association with the college since the end of the Cold War.

    For the final time, for your benefit. Nobody will argue that the abuse that a small number of former pupils suffered is appalling, and nobody can defend any alleged attempts to cover it up, if evidence of such things emerges.

    However, and I now simply ask you and Mr Malpas; stop the abuse, personal attacks and unfounded accusations which you are all too keen to level at the staff and pupils of St Bede’s. They do not deserve it, their families dont deserve it, and particularly the students. They are entirely innocent and do not deserve this distraction – it probably hasn’t occurred to you that this is the time of year when pupls start leaving for study leave, staff and students are under immense pressure, and this blog and associated comments are not helping. You have seen enough proof, however sometimes non eloquently put, that the pupls are happy. But they should not be thinking of their own accord that their priority is to defend the College at this time. You also know yourself that you have labelled the boys from MCFC as not worthy of a place at St Bede’s on the basis of intelligence. They are claims that are baseless, as I assume you are not teaching them or privy to their marks or progress reports. Please, as i asked earlier, stop writing about things of which you know nothing. I have extended that courtesy to you. I have no wish to research the Mgr Duggan case as it has absolutely nothing to do with me and should have no relevance to me and frankly I have no interest in it. Quite why you want generations of Bedian associates to suffer for the alleged crimes of one man is beyond me.

    Along with Malpas, you seem to have lost your way with your arguement, whatever it is. I am sure neither of you thought it would evolve into this. I recommend you stop and readjust your sights. You cannot say that you have no issue with the College, when you say so little positive about it and when you do, immediately follow it up with moribund drivel. We have read Page 7 of the MEN. The Point you have missed is that it shows that your previous sources of information are incorrect. According to Sean Carr, who reliably informed you that the governors were resigning because they were rats jumping off a sinking ship, was also the person who informed you that the Manchester City players did not sit an entrance exam. This has been shown today not to be the case. Perhaps he is not as reliable as you previously assumed.

    St Bede’s is a great institution which cannot undeservedly be slandered and scarred because of the immoral actions of a minute percentage of the vast numbers who have passed through its doors. People, in my experience, are proud to call themselves Bedians, and that great community will not let a couple of sad computer vigilantes ruin that.

  21. “Fast forward to 1976, when Bede’s stepped out of the state system, refusing to become an ‘all-inclusive comprehensive’, and became a fee-paying school for Catholic boys. Its ethos was academic excellence, that what parents paid their fees for, I had a relative who went there around that time and did well.”

    When I was at Bede’s, its only competetion at an academic level was MGS and Manchester High. Bede’s could blow any of the other schools in central Manchester High. As the middle of three boys, we had the choice of MGS or Bede’s (both me and my brothers passed both the Bede’s and MGS entrance exams). MGS was famous for taking extremely bright boys and churning out really good boys. However, it had serious bullying issues, it has no Christian/family ethos etc. Bede’s took children from the top 40% in acedemic achievement (unlike the top 5% for MGS) and give them a top quality education so that its averages were within spitting-distance of MGS. While doing this, they also have the best possible pastoral care I have ever experienced – that is USP of Bede’s that I would give to prospective parents.

  22. blow any of the other schools in central Manchester out of the water* (remove the word High).

  23. I thought long and hard about whether or not I should post here, but here goes.
    Paul Taylor, I went to a Christian Brothers school and was taught by both brothers and priests alike. If it ever came out, and I am not for one instance suggesting that abuse did occur, that there were people at my school abused, I, like you would be livid about it. I would certainly have an axe to grind. However, I would grind it correctly and not let innocent people get caught up.
    Mr Malpas certainly has an axe to grind. He, however does not care if innocents get caught up in it or not. Do not fall into that trap Paul Taylor.
    I would like to set the record straight on a couple of matters.
    40 is a number which Malpas has bandied about in recent blogs. Who knows why because it is certainly not the numbers in first year at St Bede’s for next September. No doubt he will ask for proof despite not giving one bit of it himself.
    MCFC. Does Malpas think that a Champions League style draw takes place. MCFC boy will be drawn from pot 1, their setted class will be drawn from pot 2. How else does he think they get setted? Of course they sit an entrance exam. That wee detail does not fit in Malpas’ make believe Bedian world though does it?
    The 35-40 yr old set of parents. Malpas thinks that because his daughter – why, by the way doesn’t she ring him instead of emailing? – will not encounter the idea of sending her kids to St Bede’s that no former pupils in this age bracket will. Maybe he should walk in through the doors one day and have a look at the honours boards. That will tell a different story. Maybe he should talk to the parents of prep and or college kids. That will also tell a different story.
    Malpas claims that the staff hate the place and are on their knees under the dictatorship od Kearney. Again, a visit to the school will disprove this theory. Yes, there will be a very small number of staff unhappy, but if you were to walk into any staffroom in the country this would be the case.

    I am a Catholic and proud of it. The fact that abuse too k place at St Bede’s really grates on me. It will forever be a stain on the school. However, that does give Malpas free reign to belittle the efforts of those who work there, or attend ther, in this day and age. His writings are dangerous and threaten the livelihood of the staff and the future education of the pupils. Not that he would, it seems, care.

  24. Dear Paul Malpas,

    Before you comment on my spelling and punctuation, I honestly don’t care; this is an Internet blog, not an English exam.

    The only point I want to bring to your attention is that anyone that goes to St. Bedes is taught one thing before anything else, to be confident and brave in everything that you do and believe in. You poses neither of these qualities, as only cowards hide behind computer screens. If you really think that there are issues that need addressing at the college, then contact the school in person and I’m sure Mr Kearney will find some time to speak with you.

  25. I am sadden to read your blog which have been aware of for a while that was highlighting the historic wrongs at Bedes, become a personal attack on the current head. My experience of people is that most do not wake up in the morning to do a bad job, and people in positions of leadership do their best, time will tell if his best is good enough, but as a parent, I can see initiatives coming though that show an interest in improving the school.
    I cannot imagine how I would feel if I had someone so opening question my leadership in this manner, it feels like online bullying to me.
    These historic abuses are vile, the people involved if still alive need the book throwing at them. The work you have done in raising awareness of the issue and bringing them to book is good work. The rape of boys, some of whose own parents did not believe them at first due to the all powerful nature of the church at the time makes me weep for them. justice must be done for them and those that dismiss it has a long time ago and something to “get over” have no idea whet they are talking about.
    The school now need to learn any lessons it can, and it needs to become a beacon of best practice in safeguarding and In my view, it has a way to go to do this, but I and others from their skilled parent base will support them if they will let us. We need to get behind the school and help it overcome these difficult times together. They have a very skilled parent base who have a vested interest in making Bedes great.

    1. Thank you Jennie for this comment, perhaps the voice of reason at long last shining through the murk of the last few days.

  26. To Mr Dwyer

    I’m too old and cynical to fall into any trap, you and I may agree than both of us missed out on knowing about Tommy Duggan’s excesses. However, you seem to totally have missed the point that the College and Diocese have already admitted they occurred, there is no case of ‘alleged offences’ any more and hasn’t been for over two years, you need to get up to speed. Do you live abroad? Fair enough, if you do, that would explain the reason for not knowing.

    I fear you have selective amnesia, from which I do not suffer. Google MEN, story March 2011, where the Diocese and College admitted TD’s abuses, but would not admit the full extent of them, nor issue a full apology, no doubt being advised by their wonderful lawyers that to do so would cause legal difficulties and possible claims against them.

    Fast forward two years plus, very shortly there is to be a High Court case regarding Duggan where the victims will get to have their day in court and the School authorities and possibly the Diocese will have to explain, under oath, their reasons for what they did to suppress the truth. They can then explain how they didn’t know, then when and what they did know, then why they still wouldn’t fully admit what had happened. I’m glad I’m not in one of the defendants’ shoes. Where is Perry Mason when you need him?

    As regards the current regime, I have my opinions on the way it is currently being run, I reason my arguments the way I see fit, I attempt to draw logical conclusions from certain facts. Some will agree, others not, I can live with that. If you’re the Dwyer I think you are, I suspect you may be even older than myself. So think on the following.

    I (and almost certainly you) went to the place when we were repeatedly told we were the academic crème de la crème, where most (not all) of the students were there on academic ability alone and the fact they were Catholic. Times have changed considerably since our time, it’s not the same any more, it’s very different. I’ll leave it at that for fear of upsetting others.

    Also I’m surprised at the lack of comments from Old Boys who were present under TD’s so-called ‘Reign of Terror’ from 1950 to 1966. Perhaps they’re saving it for the High Court case, apparently 17 victims are listed in the action.

    Some people may be waiting with anticipation for the case and its ensuing publicity, I for one am not. I’m fully aware of the damage the press have done in recent cases, this case will do the College no good whatever. It should have come clean around the time of the 2008 pederast’s court case and subsequent conviction, namely Rev Billy Green. The MEN even managed to get the date of his conviction wrong (it was 2008, not 2010 as they stated), so don’t expect accurate reporting from them when the case comes to court.

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