St Bede’s Opened Up

Well it has been made public and the above link will take you there.  It is a damning indictment of the leadership of the School and in the areas that you would have thought most attention would have been paid.

What surprised me was how much the school had shrunk, only 597 pupils in the senior school, years 7 to 13, that is less than when I was there 50 odd years ago.  I do not know whether the figure of 597 includes the footballers from City.  But my, how its shrunk in 10 years when there was well over a thousand pupils there.

Lines like “governance since the previous inspection has been unsatisfactory” and “leadership of the school has weaknesses.  There is no school development planning and no sharp vision for the whole school” and worst of all “the governors, leadership and management of the school have not however maintained sufficiently rigorous procedures regarding recruitment of staff” and “the review and monitoring of the main school policies regarding child protection has not been completed”

After all the School has been through over the last 50 years with regard to child sexual abuse and not withstanding the boasts and bravado on their website, the Schools Safeguarding procedures are just what I have said all along, BUNKUM.  No attention to detail on this most important topic.

Although it does say that the teaching staff are good and the relationship with the pupils is good, they lack the motivation from sound leadership.  No wonder Kearney went home after his meeting with the Brainless one and buried his head in the sand.  The report is seriously critical of him but not just him, the Governors are as much to blame, in their lack of governance.  Not only should Kearney go but Quinlan should follow and the flaming bishop as well, he is a governor to.  The clerics to a man should be heaved overboard, they have nothing to give professionally or even intellectually to the school.  This institution is a business, it is not a religious Sunday School.

So read the thing carefully and let me know your thoughts.  Have we not been right all along about Kearney, Pike et al and the abuse I have received from you god fearing parents is something I never want to hear again.  I really fear for the development of the kids in years 7, 8 and 9.  The years when abuse normally takes place and the years when serious care from well inspected staff should take place.

The debate will continue over these next few days but please let us hear of some dismissals.

12 thoughts on “St Bede’s Opened Up

  1. Well what a report! It seems that my information over the recent past has been pretty much accurate. The people who have told me their issues have always said that in general anyway the regular staff have been good and it has been the management and Governors that have been the problem. This has now been proved right.

    However one should look at “good” which in report terms isn’t very special. My sources tell me that this “good” could have been better but for changes in staff overseen by the school management. The driving out of experienced staff and replaced by inexperienced and I’m told pretty useless alternatives, even in senior positions. Wee slips of things given management and head of department jobs before they had even found their teaching feet and certainly unproven. They have not failed to deliver the lack of promise I hear they had!

    Senior management teachers appointed because of their loyalty to the regime and spies in the camp relaying every bit of anti-management chat back to the boss.

    Let’s not forget the letter from Quinlan after Mr Barber left. He said it was his choice, to return to the classroom. This simply wasn’t true. Same again over the head of the prep.

    I hear there are some constructive dismissal cases in the offing. Burying ones head in the sand will not make them go away.

    Let’s hope the school can be rescued for the sake of the pupils, parents and decent staff.

    Now where is Head Boy QC when you want him?

  2. Greetings Paul,

    As a parent of two ex pupils I can’t tell you how unbelievable this report seems. It shows up some serious concerns which hopefully will now be fully addressed by those put in place to handle such matters.

    I was made aware of your blog some time ago but from a perspective of outrage, still I thought there wasn’t smoke without fire and kept myself quiet and did some digging of my own and talking to former and current staff and students. All it seems has not been well for some time with management problems, staff problems and the rest. I have to strongly agree with Sean’s comments above from after what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told. Long time poor attitudes and efforts from some staff have been papered over by the efforts of the hard working majority for some time. Nowhere was this more evident than my trip to a Saturday fixture at Brantingham Road. Where once I stood with crowds of parents I was dismayed to see only four sets of home parents.

    Where once you could watch a number of sports both boys and girls now there was only boys football being played. I spoke to some of the lovely people down there and discovered that there was no more sport outside football played anymore. All other sports have fallen by the wayside. I was told by one young parent that her daughters both quit playing after feeling attacked by some staff with many other complaints ignored or covered up.Something’s not right when parents are paying up 9 plus grand a year and their children can’t or don’t play for St Bedes on a weekend where they can watch. I certainly wouldn’t have.

    Sadly a tragic reflection of what the report suggests and your fears about key year protection. Perhaps a clear out right throughout but be careful to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

  3. I’ve just had a quick scan of the report, so I won’t rush to too many conclusions. A few main highlights of problems for the school jump from the pages, however.

    The fact that insufficient background checks on new staff being recruited is still a problem is, in view of the historic abuse at the school, nothing less than than staggering. Someone should immediately sort this problem out, once and for all.

    Also how the Governance of the Alma Mater will be improved by packing it with dog-collar wearers is beyond my comprehension. In fact, the less of them there are on the Board, the more chance Bede’s might have of turning around the situation it finds itself in.

    I’d expect a better endorsement for teaching than ‘Good’, if I were paying £9K plus a year for it. According to the above posting by Sean (so far, no-one seems to have contradicted his previous observations regarding Bede’s), the teaching quality may have been diluted by so many experienced staff members leaving, only to be replaced by cheaper, younger and less-experienced ones, so that particular aspect is unlikely to improve and, indeed, may deteriorate.

    The school is now down from around the 1,000 mark high point of some years ago. The obvious conclusion – most people want a decent education, not necessarily a Catholic one, which, I’d argue, is what Bede’s tries to make its USP (Unique Selling Point). Unfortunately for them, the amount of Catholics in Britain is dwindling at a steady rate, so the number of prospective fee-payers will do likewise.

    God help whoever has to sort this mess out. Others have proved it can be done, but not under the current management regime. Bring on the brooms!

  4. This is a damning report and in a business world the leadership would be fired . Fish rots from the head and the sooner the purple brigade are moved out the better . As a former bedian who has had an enjoyable international career thanks in part to an inspiring time at bedes it is a sad day and to your credit Paul , one that has been buried from many not in the know . This can be turned round but without the meddling intervention of incapable leadership usually seen wearing the cloth .

  5. I pay nearly £9000 to send my lad to a nursery so £9000 in terms of educational value is bottom rung territory…

  6. Noted a short News report on the BBC TV re Bede’s with an American lawyer working in the UK. Had a Bede’s victim who suffered badly and looks like death warmed up and 100 years old. It’s on the Lawyers website. Wonder if the MEN will pick up on the report and publish?
    Has it really been over 3 years now Paul? Will there ever be closure for the Victims?

    1. Yes Ken, it has been a long three years and yes hopefully the victims will eventually be relieved. If you remember back all those years, the 100 year old man was the fellow we had dinner with in London all those years ago.

  7. When the report talks about failings in school policies with regard to criminal record checks and lack of diligence to them in certain circumstances (4.15) I wonder do they refer to foreign nationals? To my knowledge they have no method of checking for say a propensity to use one’s fists a bit too quickly and often. Still I don’t suppose it matters when you have top cover.

    The boss must be missing the day to day rough and tumble of Bede’s. I mean where else can you read out text messages in front of the whole staff? Messages sent in private from a former staff member to a few current staff members asking for support over the circumstances of them leaving? Aren’t Stasi-like spies great?

    Still the snitches and those awarded with promotions way out of their talent bracket must be getting worried now. In fact not must be, they are.

    I also not how well the Prep school did in the report. Hang on. Didn’t Mrs CD “leave” as the school was “failing”? Surely not another set of lies so soon after Mr Barber?

    Now remind me who’s idea was the restructuring so badly panned in 5.4? Who became responsible for the curriculum? Now let me think……..mmmm….yes both still there and both in management positions.

    Well I hear some of the loaded ones who still send their darlings to the school want blood and they want it now, not limited to the cleric and the boss.

  8. Bishop Brain is now 75 so should have handed in his resignation before Christmas, I suspect he is just waiting for it to be accepted. I wouldn’t be surprised if the diocese pulls the plug on St Bede’s as it is causing them a serious headache and for little return. I guess the plot will be redeveloped into flats for yuppies!

  9. To all:

    Yes, it would now appear that all the dirty tricks do not only come from outside the school, but now from within, with current staff snitching on former colleagues. Not a happy place to work at.

    Obviously Ruthless Interloper can be added to the list of traitors which sad, anonymous correspondent James J (a man so confident of his case we are not allowed to know his name) has compiled.

    To Ruthless Interloper I ask merely one question:

    Was the foreign national you mention, the one who was quick with his fists, of Antipodean dissent, at one time frequenting a certain hostelry in Didsbury?

    No names, no pack drill, just a yes or no will do.

    P. S. Keep up the good work

  10. To Ken Horne and others:

    I’ve e-mailed the MEN today and asked the pertinent question as to their failure to report anything about Bede’s since both the front page article in the Sunday Times 12 January and Mike Easton’s report on 31 January’s BBC 10 o’clock news regarding abuse at the Alma Mater.

    A week of silence is hardly what we’ve come to expect, since up till now the MEN has been only too glad to fill its columns re the alleged abuses perpetrated by celebrities. Rest assured that very point was made in my e-mail.

    But then again, the offences at Bede’s involve no celebrities, and several people are already commenting that the MEN’s silence on the matter is, to put it politely, out of character.

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