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.