Letter to the Head Master

This section was setup in August 2018 in order to move the existing related discussions from other sections into this new section to group them together, and separate from the other CH-related topics.

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Scazza
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by Scazza »

Its off topic but state sector costs £5-6k per pupil, CH cost £30k a year. Boarding means a huge amount more infrastructure - houses, kitchens, security - but I reckon the teachers must cost more too, if only from the far smaller class sizes we benefited from and the extra lessons / subjects. All the other facilities too - should every local school have an Olympic sized pool? (yes, I suppose, but you get my drift!)

I think many of the inherent problems associated with boarding - isolation, no parental support etc - can be reduced by modern comms like Skype.

Surely the most important thing to any educational environment is being safe and having trusted, caring, engaging teachers. Happy kids learn better. Imo CH missed a trick there.
sejintenej
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by sejintenej »

rockfreak wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:00 pm , I wonder if there is a compromise here in what I believe is a system elsewhere in Europe and particularly in Denmark. This is a mainly state-run system of weekly boarding for youngsters in their mid-teens who are just needing to study seriously for exams. The existing public schools and their magnificent facilities would be folded into it and it would involve children from the locality boarding during the week and going home at weekends.
I am not sure how acceptable the concept would be in the UK (and who would pay who for the land and buildings on which CH sits?)

We are very close to a family near to where we used to live. The aunt, who is only a year or three older than their eldest child, chose a specific area of training for which there exist only two schools in Metropolitan France. Weekend trips home from one would have been impossible as the parents couldn't afford the boarding costs as well as the rail fares. She did pretty well and the school was approached by a club for her to be sent even further away and the club (not subject to educational oversight) would continue her training but not even pay for food and lodging. She and her parents had no choice in the matter

One of our Forum's past members actually taught at the girl's school in our town in France. From memory he called it a brothel. Do you want your sister or daughter to go to a school like that?
Common sense is not as common as you would think. (K Kindle)
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J.R.
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by J.R. »

How about passing a law that all male teachers at boarding schools should be chemically or medically castrated before employment is commenced ?

That should do the trick !

(inserting tongue in cheek !!!)
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.
harryh
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by harryh »

yamaha wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:38 pm Your consistent bias against the current CH administration borders on the snide, but pleases some.

Reid has become the focus of a baying pack on here.
They could consider the complexity of his job and that he has more important work than futilely attempting to satisfy a very small number disaffected OBs.
For instance:
There may be more investigations that he is working on with the police.
He will be preparing for IICSA hearings.
We have been told by a victim that he is meeting the victims.
He will certainly be intensely occupied with the future course of CH and the very survival of CH’s charitable ethic since the school’s finances are likely to have been negatively impacted by these events.
The result of a large funding deficit would be even more full fee payers and CH inevitably becoming another Charterhouse.



Perhaps those on here who seek the demise of CH would be happy that kids from poorer backgrounds would lose access to CH’s opportunities.
Rather than incessant carping Reid should be receiving comments of support and encouragement - outside of this forum he probably is.
Extremely well put. I think I said something similar about supporting Simon Reid a few weeks ago. It did not seem to be understood at that time.

I have known all 5 men who have been found guilty of these appalling crimes in three different ways - as a student, as a fellow student and as a colleague. I wish I had never met any of them. My heart goes out to all of the victims and I am very sad that they were abused and that they were denied the opportunity to "carry with them, wherever they go, the good name of Christ's Hospital".
LHA
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by LHA »

harryh wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:43 pm
yamaha wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:38 pm Your consistent bias against the current CH administration borders on the snide, but pleases some.

Reid has become the focus of a baying pack on here.
They could consider the complexity of his job and that he has more important work than futilely attempting to satisfy a very small number disaffected OBs.
For instance:
There may be more investigations that he is working on with the police.
He will be preparing for IICSA hearings.
We have been told by a victim that he is meeting the victims.
He will certainly be intensely occupied with the future course of CH and the very survival of CH’s charitable ethic since the school’s finances are likely to have been negatively impacted by these events.
The result of a large funding deficit would be even more full fee payers and CH inevitably becoming another Charterhouse.



Perhaps those on here who seek the demise of CH would be happy that kids from poorer backgrounds would lose access to CH’s opportunities.
Rather than incessant carping Reid should be receiving comments of support and encouragement - outside of this forum he probably is.
Extremely well put. I think I said something similar about supporting Simon Reid a few weeks ago. It did not seem to be understood at that time.

I have known all 5 men who have been found guilty of these appalling crimes in three different ways - as a student, as a fellow student and as a colleague. I wish I had never met any of them. My heart goes out to all of the victims and I am very sad that they were abused and that they were denied the opportunity to "carry with them, wherever they go, the good name of Christ's Hospital".
Genuinely interested to know your view as to when or if Bob Sillett, Richard Poulton and Elizabeth Cairncross should explain themselves, and to whom.
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J.R.
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by J.R. »

harryh wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:43 pm
yamaha wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:38 pm Your consistent bias against the current CH administration borders on the snide, but pleases some.

Reid has become the focus of a baying pack on here.
They could consider the complexity of his job and that he has more important work than futilely attempting to satisfy a very small number disaffected OBs.
For instance:
There may be more investigations that he is working on with the police.
He will be preparing for IICSA hearings.
We have been told by a victim that he is meeting the victims.
He will certainly be intensely occupied with the future course of CH and the very survival of CH’s charitable ethic since the school’s finances are likely to have been negatively impacted by these events.
The result of a large funding deficit would be even more full fee payers and CH inevitably becoming another Charterhouse.



Perhaps those on here who seek the demise of CH would be happy that kids from poorer backgrounds would lose access to CH’s opportunities.
Rather than incessant carping Reid should be receiving comments of support and encouragement - outside of this forum he probably is.
Extremely well put. I think I said something similar about supporting Simon Reid a few weeks ago. It did not seem to be understood at that time.

I have known all 5 men who have been found guilty of these appalling crimes in three different ways - as a student, as a fellow student and as a colleague. I wish I had never met any of them. My heart goes out to all of the victims and I am very sad that they were abused and that they were denied the opportunity to "carry with them, wherever they go, the good name of Christ's Hospital".
Howard, in many ways I have the deepest sympathy for you and I sincerely hope you have a pleasant retirement.

By now I think that you must have realised that the majority of posters on this Forum want the guilty convicted.

Then it goes further. It becomes more obvious day by day that some members of staff at the time KNEW FULL WELL or had sufficient suspicion of what was going on, yet did absulutely nothing. I have absolutely no doubt that in the fullness of time, they will have to explain their lack of action or admit their guilt in lack of action. Please accept that I am not pointing any fingers at this point of time at any specific people.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.
scrub
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by scrub »

Just some thoughts on your post;
yamaha wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:38 pmReid has become the focus of a baying pack on here.
I'd say that Sillett, Poulton and Cairncross are the ones in focus, Reid is left with dealing with their legacy and as the current head is naturally a focal point for comment, information and explanation on the matter. If one or more of S/P/C were available for public comment then I guarantee you that Reid would be left alone by the "baying pack".
yamaha wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:38 pmThey could consider the complexity of his job ...
He is the headmaster and is, for want of a better term, the CEO at whose desk the buck stops. No sh*t it's complex, thankless, and a lightning rod job. As I understand it he was a colleague of some of the recently convicted, so he must have known the gig was a hospital pass when he took it on. I wish him well in his efforts, but I still want answers.
yamaha wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:38 pmPerhaps those on here who seek the demise of CH would be happy that kids from poorer backgrounds would lose access to CH’s opportunities.
If the CH that kids are going to today was the same one I went to and had it remained completely unchanged in all aspects, then yes, I would seek its demise*. If the price for a thick povo like myself to be graced with a semi-classical education and opportunities that I could (apparently) never possibly have obtained anywhere else was that a random number of my school mates would be systematically abused and ignored by those charged with caring for them, then that is a price that no one with a conscience would have someone else pay.

I would say that people on here are well aware that the school has changed, the management is different, and that it is not the same place we went to. That's undeniable.

However what's also undeniable is that the school, and in particular the management, are left with the stain of previous administrations failures to protect children (rather than their noted protection of the abusers), and that people who attended want to know how this happened and, yes, who to blame.

*I made a small edit for clarity.
Last edited by scrub on Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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harryh
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by harryh »

LHA wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:06 pm
harryh wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:43 pm
yamaha wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:38 pm Your consistent bias against the current CH administration borders on the snide, but pleases some.

Reid has become the focus of a baying pack on here.
They could consider the complexity of his job and that he has more important work than futilely attempting to satisfy a very small number disaffected OBs.
For instance:
There may be more investigations that he is working on with the police.
He will be preparing for IICSA hearings.
We have been told by a victim that he is meeting the victims.
He will certainly be intensely occupied with the future course of CH and the very survival of CH’s charitable ethic since the school’s finances are likely to have been negatively impacted by these events.
The result of a large funding deficit would be even more full fee payers and CH inevitably becoming another Charterhouse.



Perhaps those on here who seek the demise of CH would be happy that kids from poorer backgrounds would lose access to CH’s opportunities.
Rather than incessant carping Reid should be receiving comments of support and encouragement - outside of this forum he probably is.
Extremely well put. I think I said something similar about supporting Simon Reid a few weeks ago. It did not seem to be understood at that time.

I have known all 5 men who have been found guilty of these appalling crimes in three different ways - as a student, as a fellow student and as a colleague. I wish I had never met any of them. My heart goes out to all of the victims and I am very sad that they were abused and that they were denied the opportunity to "carry with them, wherever they go, the good name of Christ's Hospital".
Genuinely interested to know your view as to when or if Bob Sillett, Richard Poulton and Elizabeth Cairncross should explain themselves, and to whom.
I am sure that all three are fully aware that they will be questioned about their decision-making. It is impossible to encompass the thought that this will not be the case.
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by CodFlabAndMuck »

Let's not forget the Council of Almoners is the power behind the throne.
Does anyone know why Baker left suddenly just days before the merger?
It was always felt at the time that he had the interests of the boys at heart but that he was often thwarted by the COA and things had come to a head.
Don't forget he once climbed up Big School clocktower to remove a dustbin placed there as a prank, rather than have someone else risk their life.
Important we dont let a few bad apples spoil the apple cart
The ethos of CH remains as relevant today as it did in 1552 particularly as we face increasingly uncertain times and the divide between rich and poor widens.
Answers we must have as to why people were able to hijack the establishment
Important to maintain the pressure otherwise this will be kicked into the long grass once the media lose interest and the dust settles.
This will help Reid and we owe it to the victims.
Scazza
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by Scazza »

harryh wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:43 pm..... My heart goes out to all of the victims and I am very sad that they were abused and that they were denied the opportunity to "carry with them, wherever they go, the good name of Christ's Hospital".
I think we're all denied the good name of CH now, not just because of those convicted but by the numerous institutional failings of the senior staff as well.

The school says it has changed and we have the Heads word and a glossy, expensive safeguarding audit as proof. It would be far more convincing to actually look at what went wrong in the past and to demonstrate how those failings can no longer occur.

That's challenging and painful but it is the least the people most affected deserve and it would also go a long way to getting all the concerned OBs back on side. Who is going to support a school without a guarantee that this cannot be repeated and the current crop are totally safe?
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by CodFlabAndMuck »

I aacept there was a cover up regarding Webb's departure and my apologies to the victims for the insensitivity of some of my comments.
My recollection at the time was that it was put down to a nervous breakdown and was a one off.
Clearly Webb manipulated colleagues and a full investigation into the management's decisions at the time is imperative along with any interference from the COA
One again my sincere apologies for any distress caused
Scazza
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by Scazza »

CodFlabAndMuck wrote: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:48 am I aacept there was a cover up regarding Webb's departure and my apologies to the victims for the insensitivity of some of my comments.
My recollection at the time was that it was put down to a nervous breakdown and was a one off.
Clearly Webb manipulated colleagues and a full investigation into the management's decisions at the time is imperative along with any interference from the COA
One again my sincere apologies for any distress caused
Webb was caught assaulting pupils and resigned. Baker apparently wrote to parents saying he had left on medical advice due to stress.

Alarmingly Shrewsbury school did almost exactly the same in 2016 - 30yrs later - saying that Dobbie had retired, rather than that he was being tried for indecent assault on numerous children at his previous school.

Both incidents show little regard for the safety of children. Parents had the right to know the truth if only to subtly check on the wellbeing of their kids.
CodFlabAndMuck
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by CodFlabAndMuck »

Agreed, and nothing can excuse child abuse.
Very important to get to the bottom of who was ultimately making decisions so that it cant happen again.
Much talk about improvements in safeguarding, but no mention of school governance
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by Avon »

CodFlabAndMuck wrote: Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:31 pm...no mention of school governance
I’m increasingly of the view that it had very little. It had pomp, and politics - and very, very stupid people, who thought that was enough.
Scazza
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by Scazza »

When a headmaster is writing lies to parents or writing references for people instead of calling the police, that is about personal responsibility and accountability.

The day to day running of the school is the heads role too. The clerk is involved but i imagine the Almoners only do high level audits and meet perhaps once or twice a year. It would be interesting to know their role in the latest, audited safeguarding structure.

FWIW, the Council of Almoners in the 1985 blue book are mainly nominated by the governors but there are reps nominated by the inner London education authority, the Admiralty, Oxford, Cambridge, London uni, Royal Society, plus Berkshire, Newbury and Richmond councils.
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