Judicial review backs Richmond Council on Catholic school

Unsuccessful: The campaigners were disappointed by the decision

Unsuccessful: The campaigners were disappointed by the decision

First published in News by

The judicial review into the Catholic school has been found in favour of Richmond Council.

Mr Justice Sales made the unusual step of making an announcement today because of the children awaiting confirmation of a place at St Richard Reynolds school.

Mr Sales stated the council had acted lawfully in its processes.

Leader of Richmond Council Lord True said: “I am delighted with today’s outcome which supports the clear, democratic decision that was taken locally in pursuit of the previously longstanding policy of both parties on the council. It will come as an enormous relief to the hundreds of families whose hopes for their children’s education has been threatened by this hostile legal manouvering.

“Over the past year, the British Humanist Association has elbowed its way into Richmond with its clear national agenda of hostility to faith schools – their action has been uncaring and unsympathetic to the many people within the Richmond Catholic community who have worked hard to bring their dream of a dedicated secondary school to fruition.

“It has also totally ignored the parallel action being taken by this Council to provide more places for all."

Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign teamed up with the claimants British Humanist Association (BHA) to take the case to review.

Chief executive of BHA Andrew Copson said: "We are disappointed, but we will certainly consider appeal, if the full judgment, when we receive it, allows that.

"This [decision] obviously hinged on a technicality, but the wider principal that discriminating religious schools shouldn't have preference over inclusive schools is still an important and serious and we will never stop campaigning on that basis."

Justice Sales will make his full account of his decision in coming weeks but said Richmond Council had acted lawfully.

Paul Barber, from the Diocese of Westminster, said: "we are absolutely delighted. It's what we expected, but we are very glad to have this unnecessary uncertainty out of the way."

Interim governor for the school Andrew Cole said: "It would be been a great shame if the school had been delayed. This is fantastic news."

Comments (233)

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4:50pm Fri 16 Nov 12

sirarthurbliss says...

Well done to RISC and the BHA for making a stand against discrimination.
Well done to RISC and the BHA for making a stand against discrimination. sirarthurbliss
  • Score: 0

5:35pm Fri 16 Nov 12

PhillipTaylor says...

This is good news! The campaigners have had their day in court and lost.

I endorse everything which Cllr True says in your report.

I hope we can now move on. Or are the campaogners going to try to appeal the decision?

Phillip Taylor
This is good news! The campaigners have had their day in court and lost. I endorse everything which Cllr True says in your report. I hope we can now move on. Or are the campaogners going to try to appeal the decision? Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Nichole D. says...

A dark day for democracy, equality and community cohesiveness. Yes a judge has ruled that the council used a grey-area loophole to establish their non-inclusive school, but that doesn't change the underlying moral issues surrounding the debate. I hope residents like myself representing the 90% and our Catholic supporters will continue the fight at the next election.

John 11:35 Jesus wept.
A dark day for democracy, equality and community cohesiveness. Yes a judge has ruled that the council used a grey-area loophole to establish their non-inclusive school, but that doesn't change the underlying moral issues surrounding the debate. I hope residents like myself representing the 90% and our Catholic supporters will continue the fight at the next election. John 11:35 Jesus wept. Nichole D.
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Fri 16 Nov 12

gaurav says...

Unfortuantely we lost the legal battle today, but the moral batte continues. I hope that before my kids finish their schooling, religious discrimination ends in our state schools.
RISC has brought together people all across the borough who are deeply passionate about education, inclusiveness and communal harmony and we will continue to campaign "to ensure that every state-funded school opening in the borough from now on is inclusive, so that no child can be denied a place in a good local school because of the religion or belief of their parents".
Unfortuantely we lost the legal battle today, but the moral batte continues. I hope that before my kids finish their schooling, religious discrimination ends in our state schools. RISC has brought together people all across the borough who are deeply passionate about education, inclusiveness and communal harmony and we will continue to campaign "to ensure that every state-funded school opening in the borough from now on is inclusive, so that no child can be denied a place in a good local school because of the religion or belief of their parents". gaurav
  • Score: 0

8:10pm Fri 16 Nov 12

richste says...

Judicial Review Decision:

Unfortunately Justice Sales has passed his judgement in the high court and decided against RISC and the BHA. The full details of the decision will not be available for about 2 weeks. The legal system is a complex one and the RISC core team will meet shortly to determine where we go from here after having received the full judgement and discussed it with our lawyers.

RISC would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to everyone who has given their time and resources to assist us throughout this long campaign. We are a local group who have always maintained the highest level of respect for the Catholic parents seeking adequate school places for their children living alongside us and that has not changed.
The leader of RISC, Jeremy Rodell, said "Obviously there will be a lot of people in Richmond who will be disappointed with this judgement. Our key point all along has been that it's simply wrong to set up a new state school in the borough that will discriminate against most local children simply because of their parents' beliefs. That remains just as wrong now as it was before. Clearly we respect the outcome on these legal points, and I would like to wish the school well. But this is not a good result for inclusivity and fairness."
RISC will get in touch with our supporters with further details as soon as possible.
Judicial Review Decision: Unfortunately Justice Sales has passed his judgement in the high court and decided against RISC and the BHA. The full details of the decision will not be available for about 2 weeks. The legal system is a complex one and the RISC core team will meet shortly to determine where we go from here after having received the full judgement and discussed it with our lawyers. RISC would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to everyone who has given their time and resources to assist us throughout this long campaign. We are a local group who have always maintained the highest level of respect for the Catholic parents seeking adequate school places for their children living alongside us and that has not changed. The leader of RISC, Jeremy Rodell, said "Obviously there will be a lot of people in Richmond who will be disappointed with this judgement. Our key point all along has been that it's simply wrong to set up a new state school in the borough that will discriminate against most local children simply because of their parents' beliefs. That remains just as wrong now as it was before. Clearly we respect the outcome on these legal points, and I would like to wish the school well. But this is not a good result for inclusivity and fairness." RISC will get in touch with our supporters with further details as soon as possible. richste
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

A very disappointing day for the non Catholics in Twickenham who face continuing and increasing uncertainty over secondary places in Twickenham whilst the Council apparently presented as evidence that there were more than enough places in out of borough Catholic schools for those seeking a Catholic education, the schools which I gather from Catholic friends are still their first preference.

And what hypocrisy from Lord True to claim he was championing localism when the Catholic Diocese press release made it very clear "a victory not just for Richmond Council and the Diocese of Westminster, but more importantly, for all those seeking to send their children to a church school. The Diocese of Westminster would like to thank Richmond Council for its support over the last few months"
A very disappointing day for the non Catholics in Twickenham who face continuing and increasing uncertainty over secondary places in Twickenham whilst the Council apparently presented as evidence that there were more than enough places in out of borough Catholic schools for those seeking a Catholic education, the schools which I gather from Catholic friends are still their first preference. And what hypocrisy from Lord True to claim he was championing localism when the Catholic Diocese press release made it very clear "a victory not just for Richmond Council and the Diocese of Westminster, but more importantly, for all those seeking to send their children to a church school. The Diocese of Westminster would like to thank Richmond Council for its support over the last few months" Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

11:54pm Fri 16 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

Lord True just doesn't get it. RISC is a local campaign started, run and supported by local people. There are a lot of us, and we come from a wide range of backgrounds. Whatever Lord True says, I know that's a fact.

Of course RISC welcomed the BHA's decision to become involved, and has benefited from their expertise and financial backing for the legal case.

But that does not detract from the fact that the issue of inclusive admissions, and Lord True's crusade to force through a school with the highest level of faith-based discrimination possible, has united a large number of local people.

Instead of respecting those with whom he disagrees, Lord True has on several occasions now deliberately misrepresented them.
Readers can draw their own conclusions from his decision to do so once more on the very day that he won his case.
Lord True just doesn't get it. RISC is a local campaign started, run and supported by local people. There are a lot of us, and we come from a wide range of backgrounds. Whatever Lord True says, I know that's a fact. Of course RISC welcomed the BHA's decision to become involved, and has benefited from their expertise and financial backing for the legal case. But that does not detract from the fact that the issue of inclusive admissions, and Lord True's crusade to force through a school with the highest level of faith-based discrimination possible, has united a large number of local people. Instead of respecting those with whom he disagrees, Lord True has on several occasions now deliberately misrepresented them. Readers can draw their own conclusions from his decision to do so once more on the very day that he won his case. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

7:29am Sat 17 Nov 12

Twickenham Resident 12 says...

As a Twickenham parent, who's closest school will be the new Catholic School, I'm very angry that my children will be discriminated against on the basis of my religious beliefs (or lack of them), and potentially receive a lower standard of education. I thought that in the UK today discrimation on the basis of religious belief was not allowed, but clearly this has not been the case today....
As a Twickenham parent, who's closest school will be the new Catholic School, I'm very angry that my children will be discriminated against on the basis of my religious beliefs (or lack of them), and potentially receive a lower standard of education. I thought that in the UK today discrimation on the basis of religious belief was not allowed, but clearly this has not been the case today.... Twickenham Resident 12
  • Score: 0

8:52am Sat 17 Nov 12

lottieprosser says...

I am really disgusted by Lord True. He has consistently attempted to ignore the fact that many thousands of local people have supported the campaign for inclusive schools locally and find the idea of our Council spending millions of pounds on a school that will exclude 90% of local children discriminatory and very foolish at a time when there is a massive rise in the number of children who will need a secondary school place in the next few years and no other sites available for schools for them. If the Council had really been taking "parallel action" it would have a firm proposal for a site for an alternative secondary school for all those local children who won't be able to go to Sir Richard Reynolds due to its discrimatory admissions policy. Instead we have the Turing House free school proposal struggling to find a site for its inclusive school and only the vague proposal from the Council that it will try to squeeze another secondary school onto the same site as the sixth form college in about 5 years time (and the Council doesn't control that site anyway).
I am really disgusted by Lord True. He has consistently attempted to ignore the fact that many thousands of local people have supported the campaign for inclusive schools locally and find the idea of our Council spending millions of pounds on a school that will exclude 90% of local children discriminatory and very foolish at a time when there is a massive rise in the number of children who will need a secondary school place in the next few years and no other sites available for schools for them. If the Council had really been taking "parallel action" it would have a firm proposal for a site for an alternative secondary school for all those local children who won't be able to go to Sir Richard Reynolds due to its discrimatory admissions policy. Instead we have the Turing House free school proposal struggling to find a site for its inclusive school and only the vague proposal from the Council that it will try to squeeze another secondary school onto the same site as the sixth form college in about 5 years time (and the Council doesn't control that site anyway). lottieprosser
  • Score: 0

11:29am Sat 17 Nov 12

PhillipTaylor says...

The vast bulk of the comments are from the campaigners. I have one message- you lost so get over it and stop wasting council taxpayers money.

The decision by Mr Justice Sales was the correct one.

Perhaps Mr Rodell and Co will tell us how much the costs were and whether the council taxpayer has to stump up for them or not?

Phillip Taylor
The vast bulk of the comments are from the campaigners. I have one message- you lost so get over it and stop wasting council taxpayers money. The decision by Mr Justice Sales was the correct one. Perhaps Mr Rodell and Co will tell us how much the costs were and whether the council taxpayer has to stump up for them or not? Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

11:29am Sat 17 Nov 12

PhillipTaylor says...

The vast bulk of the comments are from the campaigners. I have one message- you lost so get over it and stop wasting council taxpayers money.

The decision by Mr Justice Sales was the correct one.

Perhaps Mr Rodell and Co will tell us how much the costs were and whether the council taxpayer has to stump up for them or not?

Phillip Taylor
The vast bulk of the comments are from the campaigners. I have one message- you lost so get over it and stop wasting council taxpayers money. The decision by Mr Justice Sales was the correct one. Perhaps Mr Rodell and Co will tell us how much the costs were and whether the council taxpayer has to stump up for them or not? Phillip Taylor PhillipTaylor
  • Score: 0

11:44am Sat 17 Nov 12

ruggabugga says...

So, Lord True appears to have won this legal battle.

But with another judicial review looming, whatever the outcome of the legal battle, he will have lost the support of many, many thousands of Richmond and Twickenham residents.

It's looking more and more probable that the local Conservative Councillors and Lord True will lose the war at the polls in 2014.
So, Lord True appears to have won this legal battle. But with another judicial review looming, whatever the outcome of the legal battle, he will have lost the support of many, many thousands of Richmond and Twickenham residents. It's looking more and more probable that the local Conservative Councillors and Lord True will lose the war at the polls in 2014. ruggabugga
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Sat 17 Nov 12

lottieprosser says...

Philip Taylor - I don't know who you are but clearly an apologist for Lord True not a concerned local parent who wonders where their child is going to go to secondary school in a couple of year's time. I don't think there's any chance of opponents of this decision getting over it and many more people are finding out about the situation who didn't really understand it before. Perhaps there will be an appeal if RISC can afford it - it's hardly unheard of for a High Court judge to get a decision wrong - but even if RISC can't afford to appeal I think the cat is out of the bag now and thousands have people have seen how little respect Lord True has for his consituents opinions when they differ from his own!
Philip Taylor - I don't know who you are but clearly an apologist for Lord True not a concerned local parent who wonders where their child is going to go to secondary school in a couple of year's time. I don't think there's any chance of opponents of this decision getting over it and many more people are finding out about the situation who didn't really understand it before. Perhaps there will be an appeal if RISC can afford it - it's hardly unheard of for a High Court judge to get a decision wrong - but even if RISC can't afford to appeal I think the cat is out of the bag now and thousands have people have seen how little respect Lord True has for his consituents opinions when they differ from his own! lottieprosser
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

Many of the drivers of this anti catholic school campaign, seem to live in roads in Richmond where the property prices are in excess of £1m.

So they can get their children into the best secondary schools based simply upon the value of their property. How inclusive is that.

If these well-heeled parents were really serious about inclusivety, then they would be campaigning for a school allocation based on lottery where their own children would have to attend the less successful schools and mix with the "great unwashed".

But rather than campaigning against their own advantages, and perhaps to hide their own guilt, they use the pretext of campaigning against a faith school where more poorer children in the borough seem to be destined for a better quality education.

So if the humanists in the borough were campaigning for a lottery system of education where the quality of your child's education was not determined primarily by the parents' wealth and social standing, then I might have some sympathy with their stance.

If they are really concerned about inclusiveness, then surely they should be just as concerned about privileged access to education based on wealth as well as faith.

I for one would prefer a school which is strong on the spiritual and moral dimension, rather than one where you get your place because daddy is a banker.

Perhaps the new catholic school should make a special allocation for the children of bankers, in the hope that the behaviour of their godless parents whose immoral behaviour has brought this country to its knees might not be repeated.

As for Andrew Copson, the chief executive of the British Humanist Association, my honest opinion is that his backing of the campaign against a new faith school in Richmond is as much about him furthering his own beliefs and to supress the beliefs of people of faith.

He was privately educated at a religious school (Henry V111 in Coventry) and then at an Oxford college that was founded on Christian principles.

I wonder if he would feel the same if his parents had put him into the local sink estate comprehensive.

The overall objective is to improve the quality of education for all children. There is no magic bullet, but faith schools tend to produce better results and therefore more children will be afforded a better education.

I note that the humanists have made their stand in Richmond, one of the more affluent areas of the country.

If they took on the fight against church schools in poorer northern areas of England, they would be run out of town.

Because parents who are committed and prepared to put themselves out to ensure the best education for their children, seem to like faith schools.

The humanists have a point, but until they come up with a way of tackling the inequalities that children from deprived backgrounds suffer, their notion of "inclusiveness" is actually a false god.

Besides which, on a practical point, if the new catholic school actually delivers and excellent education, then it would in effect free up for places for children to attend other "excellent" schools in the borough.

So everyone wins, especially children, whose future would not be sacrified on the altar of humanist, oppressive, ideaology.
Many of the drivers of this anti catholic school campaign, seem to live in roads in Richmond where the property prices are in excess of £1m. So they can get their children into the best secondary schools based simply upon the value of their property. How inclusive is that. If these well-heeled parents were really serious about inclusivety, then they would be campaigning for a school allocation based on lottery where their own children would have to attend the less successful schools and mix with the "great unwashed". But rather than campaigning against their own advantages, and perhaps to hide their own guilt, they use the pretext of campaigning against a faith school where more poorer children in the borough seem to be destined for a better quality education. So if the humanists in the borough were campaigning for a lottery system of education where the quality of your child's education was not determined primarily by the parents' wealth and social standing, then I might have some sympathy with their stance. If they are really concerned about inclusiveness, then surely they should be just as concerned about privileged access to education based on wealth as well as faith. I for one would prefer a school which is strong on the spiritual and moral dimension, rather than one where you get your place because daddy is a banker. Perhaps the new catholic school should make a special allocation for the children of bankers, in the hope that the behaviour of their godless parents whose immoral behaviour has brought this country to its knees might not be repeated. As for Andrew Copson, the chief executive of the British Humanist Association, my honest opinion is that his backing of the campaign against a new faith school in Richmond is as much about him furthering his own beliefs and to supress the beliefs of people of faith. He was privately educated at a religious school (Henry V111 in Coventry) and then at an Oxford college that was founded on Christian principles. I wonder if he would feel the same if his parents had put him into the local sink estate comprehensive. The overall objective is to improve the quality of education for all children. There is no magic bullet, but faith schools tend to produce better results and therefore more children will be afforded a better education. I note that the humanists have made their stand in Richmond, one of the more affluent areas of the country. If they took on the fight against church schools in poorer northern areas of England, they would be run out of town. Because parents who are committed and prepared to put themselves out to ensure the best education for their children, seem to like faith schools. The humanists have a point, but until they come up with a way of tackling the inequalities that children from deprived backgrounds suffer, their notion of "inclusiveness" is actually a false god. Besides which, on a practical point, if the new catholic school actually delivers and excellent education, then it would in effect free up for places for children to attend other "excellent" schools in the borough. So everyone wins, especially children, whose future would not be sacrified on the altar of humanist, oppressive, ideaology. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Sat 17 Nov 12

BS_Twickenham says...

Knellerman, your views are outdated. London has many Outstanding schools in impoverished neighbourhoods, where children from all backgrounds learn alongside and from each other. Good London schools are no longer, as you suggest, confined to leafy neighbourhoods because a lot of work has been done over many years to increase aspiration (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/education-1865
4050).

All of our schools can and should aspire to be outstanding, no matter what their denomination.

In my view, all of our schools can and should also aspire to be inclusive, no matter what their denomination.
Knellerman, your views are outdated. London has many Outstanding schools in impoverished neighbourhoods, where children from all backgrounds learn alongside and from each other. Good London schools are no longer, as you suggest, confined to leafy neighbourhoods because a lot of work has been done over many years to increase aspiration (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/education-1865 4050). All of our schools can and should aspire to be outstanding, no matter what their denomination. In my view, all of our schools can and should also aspire to be inclusive, no matter what their denomination. BS_Twickenham
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Knellerman You are clearly not in touch. The local Catholic primary Schools are far more socially exclusive than the inclusive state schools, indeed St James's Primary School has the lowest proportion of pupils on free school meals in the country at 1%, whilst next door Stanley Primary has 10%. There is a similar disparity in the proportion of children from ethnic minorities. This campaign for a Catholic School has always been about seeking privilege, and not at all about helping the underprivileged.

On what do you base your claim about the roads on which RISC supporters live. One of the drivers of the RISC campaign is the uncertainty faced by parents who live in the areas that even the Council acknowledge are set to become black holes of secondary provision, Fulwell and around Twickenham Green, the catchments of Archbishop Cambridge, Stanley and Trafalgar Schools, lovely places to live but scarcely Richmond borough's most affluent streets.

And then of course there are those of us who live in the streets around the school, once again not Richmond's most affluent, who would have liked to see the school at the heart of our community serving our community instead of the focus of four wheel drives from across and beyond the borough.
Knellerman You are clearly not in touch. The local Catholic primary Schools are far more socially exclusive than the inclusive state schools, indeed St James's Primary School has the lowest proportion of pupils on free school meals in the country at 1%, whilst next door Stanley Primary has 10%. There is a similar disparity in the proportion of children from ethnic minorities. This campaign for a Catholic School has always been about seeking privilege, and not at all about helping the underprivileged. On what do you base your claim about the roads on which RISC supporters live. One of the drivers of the RISC campaign is the uncertainty faced by parents who live in the areas that even the Council acknowledge are set to become black holes of secondary provision, Fulwell and around Twickenham Green, the catchments of Archbishop Cambridge, Stanley and Trafalgar Schools, lovely places to live but scarcely Richmond borough's most affluent streets. And then of course there are those of us who live in the streets around the school, once again not Richmond's most affluent, who would have liked to see the school at the heart of our community serving our community instead of the focus of four wheel drives from across and beyond the borough. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Sat 17 Nov 12

metis says...

Twickenham Resident 12 wrote:
As a Twickenham parent, who's closest school will be the new Catholic School, I'm very angry that my children will be discriminated against on the basis of my religious beliefs (or lack of them), and potentially receive a lower standard of education. I thought that in the UK today discrimation on the basis of religious belief was not allowed, but clearly this has not been the case today....
Why does Twickenham Resident assume that a Catholic education is of a higher standard?
[quote][p][bold]Twickenham Resident 12[/bold] wrote: As a Twickenham parent, who's closest school will be the new Catholic School, I'm very angry that my children will be discriminated against on the basis of my religious beliefs (or lack of them), and potentially receive a lower standard of education. I thought that in the UK today discrimation on the basis of religious belief was not allowed, but clearly this has not been the case today....[/p][/quote]Why does Twickenham Resident assume that a Catholic education is of a higher standard? metis
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Sat 17 Nov 12

gaurav says...

I respect the judgement of the High Court to allow the state funded Catholic schools in Richmond and wish these schools well. However sadly this judgement seriously undermines the Governments flagship policy of free schools and makes a mockery of the Coalition agreement for promoting faith schools with inclusive admissions. Whilst every new free school application for which parents and sponsors put in a lot of hard work, will have to compete for limited funds and sites, there remains a back door for religious groups to to set up new schools with discriminatory admissions policy.

As a local parent, along with thousands of people in Richmond, I am extremely disappointed with this judgement. We still believe - in common with the vast majority of the British public that 'state funded schools, including state funded faith schools, should not be allowed to select or discriminate against prospective pupils on religious grounds in their admissions policy' (http://www.telegrap
h.co.uk/education/ed
ucationnews/9670234/
Selection-by-religio
n-should-be-banned-i
n-state-schools.html
). Our key point all along has been that it's simply wrong to set up a new state school in the borough that will discriminate against most local children simply because of their parents' beliefs. That remains just as wrong now as it was before.

RISC has brought together people all across the borough who are deeply passionate about education and communal harmony and we will continue to campaign "to ensure that every state-funded school opening in the borough from now on is inclusive, so that no child can be denied a place in a good local school because of the religion or belief of their parents". This Big Society campaign has people from all backgrounds, with a lot of them tirelessly working in Richmond's state education sector to improve our existing schools and set up new inclusive schools. We are all in it together and will continue to work at the grass root level for the benefit of everyone in our community.

I hope that as my kids continue their education in state sector, religious discrimination will end in our state schools. One day, in our multi cultural and diverse and tolerant society, religious discrimination will be as illegal and unacceptable as racial discrimination is today. We brought this challenge to help to bring that day closer and our campaign will go on locally in Richmond and hopefully inspire millions nationally.
I respect the judgement of the High Court to allow the state funded Catholic schools in Richmond and wish these schools well. However sadly this judgement seriously undermines the Governments flagship policy of free schools and makes a mockery of the Coalition agreement for promoting faith schools with inclusive admissions. Whilst every new free school application for which parents and sponsors put in a lot of hard work, will have to compete for limited funds and sites, there remains a back door for religious groups to to set up new schools with discriminatory admissions policy. As a local parent, along with thousands of people in Richmond, I am extremely disappointed with this judgement. We still believe - in common with the vast majority of the British public that 'state funded schools, including state funded faith schools, should not be allowed to select or discriminate against prospective pupils on religious grounds in their admissions policy' (http://www.telegrap h.co.uk/education/ed ucationnews/9670234/ Selection-by-religio n-should-be-banned-i n-state-schools.html ). Our key point all along has been that it's simply wrong to set up a new state school in the borough that will discriminate against most local children simply because of their parents' beliefs. That remains just as wrong now as it was before. RISC has brought together people all across the borough who are deeply passionate about education and communal harmony and we will continue to campaign "to ensure that every state-funded school opening in the borough from now on is inclusive, so that no child can be denied a place in a good local school because of the religion or belief of their parents". This Big Society campaign has people from all backgrounds, with a lot of them tirelessly working in Richmond's state education sector to improve our existing schools and set up new inclusive schools. We are all in it together and will continue to work at the grass root level for the benefit of everyone in our community. I hope that as my kids continue their education in state sector, religious discrimination will end in our state schools. One day, in our multi cultural and diverse and tolerant society, religious discrimination will be as illegal and unacceptable as racial discrimination is today. We brought this challenge to help to bring that day closer and our campaign will go on locally in Richmond and hopefully inspire millions nationally. gaurav
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

Copthal,

There is not a black hole, the choice for children living in your area has not changed.

Indeed, children in that area have access to Twickenham Academy which is a five minute bus journey away from you and where the council have spent £millions upgrading the buildings and facilities and appears to be inclusive, based upon your own criteria.

There would appear to be plenty of places available at this academy which is just a stone's throw away from you.

Do you want the State to build a secondary school on every street corner?

Why cannot Twickenham Academny serve the needs of the families who feel they are in a black hole, yet who live in virtual spitting distance of the refurbished school?

So how are you missing out by the creation of a catholic school in Twickenham when there is already provision in the borough for secondary education in "inclusive" schools a-plenty.
Copthal, There is not a black hole, the choice for children living in your area has not changed. Indeed, children in that area have access to Twickenham Academy which is a five minute bus journey away from you and where the council have spent £millions upgrading the buildings and facilities and appears to be inclusive, based upon your own criteria. There would appear to be plenty of places available at this academy which is just a stone's throw away from you. Do you want the State to build a secondary school on every street corner? Why cannot Twickenham Academny serve the needs of the families who feel they are in a black hole, yet who live in virtual spitting distance of the refurbished school? So how are you missing out by the creation of a catholic school in Twickenham when there is already provision in the borough for secondary education in "inclusive" schools a-plenty. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Sat 17 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Knellerman, Twickenham Academy is almost full. It would have been full a long time ago if its standard of teaching had been 'Good' rather than 'Inadequate'. In the meantime people have been reasonably avoiding it. Its improved buildings will certainly fill it, and I hope their next Ofsted report is worthy of the children who go there (whether it be their first choice or not).

However, nothing can change the fact that it has an unusual Swedish teaching method that will appeal to some and not others. Even if it does manage a 'Good' it won't be popular with everyone.

If our council is going to fill Twickenham with querky schools (whether that be Kunskapskollan or Catholic or girls-only) then it needs to make sure that all children have equal access to them so that everyone can choose the one that they find least querky. That is real 'choice', which our council is meant to be in favour of.

It should go without saying that we expect them all to be equally good.
Knellerman, Twickenham Academy is almost full. It would have been full a long time ago if its standard of teaching had been 'Good' rather than 'Inadequate'. In the meantime people have been reasonably avoiding it. Its improved buildings will certainly fill it, and I hope their next Ofsted report is worthy of the children who go there (whether it be their first choice or not). However, nothing can change the fact that it has an unusual Swedish teaching method that will appeal to some and not others. Even if it does manage a 'Good' it won't be popular with everyone. If our council is going to fill Twickenham with querky schools (whether that be Kunskapskollan or Catholic or girls-only) then it needs to make sure that all children have equal access to them so that everyone can choose the one that they find least querky. That is real 'choice', which our council is meant to be in favour of. It should go without saying that we expect them all to be equally good. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Dellon says...

Knellerman ' 'There is not a black hole, the choice for children living in your area has not changed.'

There have been lots of changes in the last two years. Firstly, the link system has abolished whereby many primaries were linked to our oversubsribed secondary schools. This is because most RC and some community primary schools were not linked. 2013 will be the first year for applications on distance only, and there is new uncertainty about catchment areas around Orleans Park or Teddington, so yes, there are likely to be black holes. Along with the lack of provision for boys, it is understandable that parents in Twickenham are anxious. It is fair that Catholic parents can now apply to local schools, but they now also have an extra option not available to their non-Catholic neighbours.

Secondly, as others have pointed out, it is not now within the council's power to simply set up a new secondary school, but with the expansion of our primary schools by 21 classes in 15 years or so, we need more schools. The new legislation requires all mainstream schools to be academies or free schools - the decision rest with the DfE and there is competition for sites.
Knellerman ' 'There is not a black hole, the choice for children living in your area has not changed.' There have been lots of changes in the last two years. Firstly, the link system has abolished whereby many primaries were linked to our oversubsribed secondary schools. This is because most RC and some community primary schools were not linked. 2013 will be the first year for applications on distance only, and there is new uncertainty about catchment areas around Orleans Park or Teddington, so yes, there are likely to be black holes. Along with the lack of provision for boys, it is understandable that parents in Twickenham are anxious. It is fair that Catholic parents can now apply to local schools, but they now also have an extra option not available to their non-Catholic neighbours. Secondly, as others have pointed out, it is not now within the council's power to simply set up a new secondary school, but with the expansion of our primary schools by 21 classes in 15 years or so, we need more schools. The new legislation requires all mainstream schools to be academies or free schools - the decision rest with the DfE and there is competition for sites. Dellon
  • Score: 0

6:12pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

Guarev,

Have you looked at Waldergrave school, which is fairly selective and exclusive and where your education is determined by your gender. This is a state school in Richmond.

Have you looked at the Tiffin school, which is also a Richmond state school,which is highly selective in its admissions policies and the ability to get into this school appears to depend on how much your parents can afford to spend on private tutoring to get you through the stringent entrance examination.

There are examples of anomalies in the selection and admissions procedures of other schools across Richmond, and indeed, in other parts of the country.

But you appear to only take issue when it involves an example of a faith school laying down an admissions criteria.

This is not so much a campaign for inclusiveness, it is a campaign against people who have religious beliefs, in my honest opinion.

I am an Anglican, but I detect a whiff of good-old fashioned anti-popery going on here.

After all, the CEO of the Humanist Association went to the Henry VIII school, and the anti-catholic stance of that monarch is well documented.

Not that I am suggesting that this is driving his stance, but it is a legitimate question as to whether his own educational influence in itself may have led to a prejudice against catholics. There is no evidence that it has, but perhaps it is something worth pondering and probing.

The campaign against faith schools, while staying silent on the many anomalies that mitigate against "inclusion", leads me to conclude that this is not a campaign to further equalities in education, but an opportunity to use a secular bludgeon to seek to eliminate any religious influence in society and anyone who thinks this campaign is about equal rights is being used as a patsy, for the furtherance of a pure anti-religious agenda.
Guarev, Have you looked at Waldergrave school, which is fairly selective and exclusive and where your education is determined by your gender. This is a state school in Richmond. Have you looked at the Tiffin school, which is also a Richmond state school,which is highly selective in its admissions policies and the ability to get into this school appears to depend on how much your parents can afford to spend on private tutoring to get you through the stringent entrance examination. There are examples of anomalies in the selection and admissions procedures of other schools across Richmond, and indeed, in other parts of the country. But you appear to only take issue when it involves an example of a faith school laying down an admissions criteria. This is not so much a campaign for inclusiveness, it is a campaign against people who have religious beliefs, in my honest opinion. I am an Anglican, but I detect a whiff of good-old fashioned anti-popery going on here. After all, the CEO of the Humanist Association went to the Henry VIII school, and the anti-catholic stance of that monarch is well documented. Not that I am suggesting that this is driving his stance, but it is a legitimate question as to whether his own educational influence in itself may have led to a prejudice against catholics. There is no evidence that it has, but perhaps it is something worth pondering and probing. The campaign against faith schools, while staying silent on the many anomalies that mitigate against "inclusion", leads me to conclude that this is not a campaign to further equalities in education, but an opportunity to use a secular bludgeon to seek to eliminate any religious influence in society and anyone who thinks this campaign is about equal rights is being used as a patsy, for the furtherance of a pure anti-religious agenda. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Sat 17 Nov 12

metis says...

LizzyJ - If parents want and can demonstrate a commitment to 'Querky' (as you put it) Why shouldn't the Council provide it?
LizzyJ - If parents want and can demonstrate a commitment to 'Querky' (as you put it) Why shouldn't the Council provide it? metis
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Knellerman As LizzyJ quite rightly says Twickenham Academy is almost full. The Council's forecasts to justify giving this site to the Catholic Church rested on a number of assumptions, a free school with 100 places from 2013, a new school in Kingston, RPA taking time to build it's reputation and continuing to have capacity etc. which have all since been undermined. It is now certain that the 2014 admissions round, if not this one, will see families without a secondary school place, and that is with all the people who will have moved or gone private because of the uncertainty. That they now anticipate a problem with school places in the area I specified is apparent from the fact that the Council have agreed an admission policy for Turing House School with a catchment centred close to the Green. However Turing House School is not certain of funding or a site and the Councils other option at the College has not even been consulted on yet, let alone got funding. I would not have had a problem with the creation of a Catholic school within the borough if there were inclusive school places aplenty.

In fact it is the Catholic school places that are aplenty. Catholic parents will still for the foreseeable future according to Paul Barber, Catholic Education Officer, have the choice of their preferred option of places in established out of borough schools, of which there are sufficient to meet their needs. There is no sign of middle class families stopping cleaning the silver and schmoosing their priest to get the points they need for the Oratory Lottery of goodness and access to Gumley, Sacred Heart Hammersmith etc. On top of that they have the back up of places at St Richard Reynolds, and the Academies if they live close enough.
Knellerman As LizzyJ quite rightly says Twickenham Academy is almost full. The Council's forecasts to justify giving this site to the Catholic Church rested on a number of assumptions, a free school with 100 places from 2013, a new school in Kingston, RPA taking time to build it's reputation and continuing to have capacity etc. which have all since been undermined. It is now certain that the 2014 admissions round, if not this one, will see families without a secondary school place, and that is with all the people who will have moved or gone private because of the uncertainty. That they now anticipate a problem with school places in the area I specified is apparent from the fact that the Council have agreed an admission policy for Turing House School with a catchment centred close to the Green. However Turing House School is not certain of funding or a site and the Councils other option at the College has not even been consulted on yet, let alone got funding. I would not have had a problem with the creation of a Catholic school within the borough if there were inclusive school places aplenty. In fact it is the Catholic school places that are aplenty. Catholic parents will still for the foreseeable future according to Paul Barber, Catholic Education Officer, have the choice of their preferred option of places in established out of borough schools, of which there are sufficient to meet their needs. There is no sign of middle class families stopping cleaning the silver and schmoosing their priest to get the points they need for the Oratory Lottery of goodness and access to Gumley, Sacred Heart Hammersmith etc. On top of that they have the back up of places at St Richard Reynolds, and the Academies if they live close enough. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Sat 17 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Knellerman, you're right that lots of existing schools have non-inclusive admissions. There's little that can be done about them, because they are legacies of the past. (Tiffin is in Kingston by the way, not Richmond, and its admission policy is against the rules for new schools).

The fact that bad admissions policies exist elsewhere is a very strong argument for getting this one right before it opens.

Metis - querky schools can only be justified if there are enough spaces for everyone to have a reasonable choice.

My son's choices are now - Kunskapskollan, sex-change or Catholicism. That's not a reasonable choice.
Knellerman, you're right that lots of existing schools have non-inclusive admissions. There's little that can be done about them, because they are legacies of the past. (Tiffin is in Kingston by the way, not Richmond, and its admission policy is against the rules for new schools). The fact that bad admissions policies exist elsewhere is a very strong argument for getting this one right before it opens. Metis - querky schools can only be justified if there are enough spaces for everyone to have a reasonable choice. My son's choices are now - Kunskapskollan, sex-change or Catholicism. That's not a reasonable choice. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

LizzyJ,

Should we then launch a campaign against the Swedish educational system?

As you say, the Swedish system does not suit every pupil, and therefore by definition is not inclusive.

Does not this Swedish approach to education, albeit under a state system, exclude those parents and pupils who do not agree with a school system where the pupils are expected to gather together by themselves in the main hall every morning.

It is called self assembly.
LizzyJ, Should we then launch a campaign against the Swedish educational system? As you say, the Swedish system does not suit every pupil, and therefore by definition is not inclusive. Does not this Swedish approach to education, albeit under a state system, exclude those parents and pupils who do not agree with a school system where the pupils are expected to gather together by themselves in the main hall every morning. It is called self assembly. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Sat 17 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Knellerman - TA is inclusive because anyone who wants to go there has a strong chance of getting in. The fact that its methods are unusual, and won't suit everyone, doesn't make it less inclusive. Querky schools have their place, they just shouldn't be the only option available.

And its worth pointing out that Kunskapskollan is considered pretty querky in Sweden too. Its not a mainstream option there.

If St RR had an inclusive admissions policy it would probably still mainly attract Catholics, because most other people wouldn't want to go there. But at least that way people would feel they'd had the choice of more than one school.
Knellerman - TA is inclusive because anyone who wants to go there has a strong chance of getting in. The fact that its methods are unusual, and won't suit everyone, doesn't make it less inclusive. Querky schools have their place, they just shouldn't be the only option available. And its worth pointing out that Kunskapskollan is considered pretty querky in Sweden too. Its not a mainstream option there. If St RR had an inclusive admissions policy it would probably still mainly attract Catholics, because most other people wouldn't want to go there. But at least that way people would feel they'd had the choice of more than one school. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Knellerman I, and I know many other RISC supporters are extremely angry about the implication that RISC is "a bunch of Humanists" or anti Catholic. I am certainly not anti Catholic, I married one. The issue is that it is actually very few parents in the borough who make a choice of school based on devout religious beliefs. Just look at the choice of Waldegrave over Gumley by St James's parents before that catchment shrank. Devout Catholic friends are dismayed by the hypocrisy they see displayed by the strategic church going of parents, and indeed the way in which the social make up of St James's has changed to the extent that it is no longer helping the underprivileged in the way it once did.

I remember why Edward the Confessor School closed in the first place, because local middle class parents deserted it in favour of out of borough schools when the social make up of it's intake changed.

This debate has always been about the availability of good school places on both sides .
Knellerman I, and I know many other RISC supporters are extremely angry about the implication that RISC is "a bunch of Humanists" or anti Catholic. I am certainly not anti Catholic, I married one. The issue is that it is actually very few parents in the borough who make a choice of school based on devout religious beliefs. Just look at the choice of Waldegrave over Gumley by St James's parents before that catchment shrank. Devout Catholic friends are dismayed by the hypocrisy they see displayed by the strategic church going of parents, and indeed the way in which the social make up of St James's has changed to the extent that it is no longer helping the underprivileged in the way it once did. I remember why Edward the Confessor School closed in the first place, because local middle class parents deserted it in favour of out of borough schools when the social make up of it's intake changed. This debate has always been about the availability of good school places on both sides . Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Dellon says...

There are many different styles of education in Sweden. This is a Swedish company which sponsored the two academies and has specific teaching styles, e.g. less emphasis on group work and targets for the whole class to reach at a given time, and more on individual choice, use of IT, non-specialist mentoring, etc. (but you should look at the websites for Twickenham and Hampton to find out more). The approach is innovative but may not suit all children. It is very different from RPA's approach, for example.
There are many different styles of education in Sweden. This is a Swedish company which sponsored the two academies and has specific teaching styles, e.g. less emphasis on group work and targets for the whole class to reach at a given time, and more on individual choice, use of IT, non-specialist mentoring, etc. (but you should look at the websites for Twickenham and Hampton to find out more). The approach is innovative but may not suit all children. It is very different from RPA's approach, for example. Dellon
  • Score: 0

7:05pm Sat 17 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

"more on individual choice, use of IT, non-specialist mentoring, etc"

i.e. working your own way through an online "stepped" curriculum, under the supervision of teachers whose main role is to counsel the kids to strive for ever higher targets, rather than teach inspiring, memorable lessons. If your kids are especially motivated they can work through the modules super-quickly and do their GCSEs early, that is if they don't die of boredom or get eye-strain first.

And they don't even have an orchestra.
"more on individual choice, use of IT, non-specialist mentoring, etc" i.e. working your own way through an online "stepped" curriculum, under the supervision of teachers whose main role is to counsel the kids to strive for ever higher targets, rather than teach inspiring, memorable lessons. If your kids are especially motivated they can work through the modules super-quickly and do their GCSEs early, that is if they don't die of boredom or get eye-strain first. And they don't even have an orchestra. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Dellon says...

Yes, and the point is that the 'vision and values' and teaching style in all of this company's schools is identical - it's a brand. This should be a choice, but not the only option. They were set up in Sweden as a niche alternative, but even as a distinctive choice Twickenham Academy it needs to be effective and has not yet been judged by Ofsted.
Yes, and the point is that the 'vision and values' and teaching style in all of this company's schools is identical - it's a brand. This should be a choice, but not the only option. They were set up in Sweden as a niche alternative, but even as a distinctive choice Twickenham Academy it needs to be effective and has not yet been judged by Ofsted. Dellon
  • Score: 0

11:13pm Sat 17 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

It's interesting that, in all the correspondence on this issue, no one has yet answered the fundamental question: how can it be right to set up a new state-funded school that will discriminate against local children simply because of the religion or beliefs of their parents?

It's a question that will not go away.
It's interesting that, in all the correspondence on this issue, no one has yet answered the fundamental question: how can it be right to set up a new state-funded school that will discriminate against local children simply because of the religion or beliefs of their parents? It's a question that will not go away. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

11:47am Sun 18 Nov 12

Irena P says...

Lord True has shown his true colours throughout this campaign. He has been completely biased, and his ongoing comments demonstrate that not only does he STILL not understand (or perhaps even listen to) the views of many of the constituents of Richmond, but he has no respect for our diverse perspectives. Yes, the BHA and RISC challenged Richmond Council in court, but behind them were many different local people - some which disagree with faith schools and others like myself who do in fact support them but all of which believe that all schools in Richmond should be inclusive no matter what.

Lord True has demonstrated that he is not fit to lead the council, and before he gets too smug (he's proven that he's no diplomat either,) he should know that he may have won the battle (as he has pointed out!,) but certainly the voters of Richmond will have the last laugh at the next election.
Lord True has shown his true colours throughout this campaign. He has been completely biased, and his ongoing comments demonstrate that not only does he STILL not understand (or perhaps even listen to) the views of many of the constituents of Richmond, but he has no respect for our diverse perspectives. Yes, the BHA and RISC challenged Richmond Council in court, but behind them were many different local people - some which disagree with faith schools and others like myself who do in fact support them but all of which believe that all schools in Richmond should be inclusive no matter what. Lord True has demonstrated that he is not fit to lead the council, and before he gets too smug (he's proven that he's no diplomat either,) he should know that he may have won the battle (as he has pointed out!,) but certainly the voters of Richmond will have the last laugh at the next election. Irena P
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Sun 18 Nov 12

WilliamGrogan says...

Lord True’s attack on outsiders elbowing their way into Richmond made me laugh. Where does he think the Catholic Church is based? The Vatican is approximately 1,000Km from Richmond. The ONLY objective of the Catholic Church in being involved in education is to produce more Catholics. To think otherwise is naïve.

I went to Catholic Primary & Secondary schools in Ireland and their successful brain washing of children since the formation of the Irish Republic produced several generations of docile sheep that allowed hundreds of paedophile priests to abuse thousands of children while the authorities, who themselves were “educated” in Catholic schools turned a blind eye.

Last week a 31 year old pregnant Hindu women died unnecessarily in an Irish hospital for want of a termination of her pregnancy which was miscarrying. They told the women and her husband she couldn't have the termination that would have saved her life because “this is a Catholic country”, which due to the brainwashing of generations of children has the most draconian and misogynist abortion rules in the world.

In Ireland there is a major battle to take control of education away from the Catholic Church. To see the UK doing the opposite in 2012 is astonishing.
Lord True’s attack on outsiders elbowing their way into Richmond made me laugh. Where does he think the Catholic Church is based? The Vatican is approximately 1,000Km from Richmond. The ONLY objective of the Catholic Church in being involved in education is to produce more Catholics. To think otherwise is naïve. I went to Catholic Primary & Secondary schools in Ireland and their successful brain washing of children since the formation of the Irish Republic produced several generations of docile sheep that allowed hundreds of paedophile priests to abuse thousands of children while the authorities, who themselves were “educated” in Catholic schools turned a blind eye. Last week a 31 year old pregnant Hindu women died unnecessarily in an Irish hospital for want of a termination of her pregnancy which was miscarrying. They told the women and her husband she couldn't have the termination that would have saved her life because “this is a Catholic country”, which due to the brainwashing of generations of children has the most draconian and misogynist abortion rules in the world. In Ireland there is a major battle to take control of education away from the Catholic Church. To see the UK doing the opposite in 2012 is astonishing. WilliamGrogan
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Sun 18 Nov 12

John Dowdle says...

As an outsider - from Watford - I have followed this saga with some interest. Like many of your contributors, I find the doctrinaire determination of the Orwellian-named Lord True to impose religious indoctrination truly remarkable.
It is his religious preferences which now appear to determine the kind of education that children will receive in Richmond. He is, of course, not alone in his endeavour. He has the full support of the Diocese of Westminster and - no doubt - even higher up in the hierarchy of the Church of Rome.
Indeed, it seems as though any new provision of education will from now on be largely tilted towards religious schooling. This may be based on what is happening in the USA where the establishment of creationist schools and similar setups is becoming a new - if unfashionable - norm. It certainly helps to explain the overall dumbing down of US society and its clear failure to sustain its once former reputation as the world's leading place for science and technology.
Ultimately, the current government is behind all these types of policies which result in a state-imposed outcome, despite the wishes of a large number of local residents.
The solution lies in your own hands. Vote them out at the next opportunity and vote in people who will support secular education.
One final point: I am surprised to see the incorrect spelling of the word quirky used by commentators above. Is this a sign that standards in Richmond are already slipping?
As an outsider - from Watford - I have followed this saga with some interest. Like many of your contributors, I find the doctrinaire determination of the Orwellian-named Lord True to impose religious indoctrination truly remarkable. It is his religious preferences which now appear to determine the kind of education that children will receive in Richmond. He is, of course, not alone in his endeavour. He has the full support of the Diocese of Westminster and - no doubt - even higher up in the hierarchy of the Church of Rome. Indeed, it seems as though any new provision of education will from now on be largely tilted towards religious schooling. This may be based on what is happening in the USA where the establishment of creationist schools and similar setups is becoming a new - if unfashionable - norm. It certainly helps to explain the overall dumbing down of US society and its clear failure to sustain its once former reputation as the world's leading place for science and technology. Ultimately, the current government is behind all these types of policies which result in a state-imposed outcome, despite the wishes of a large number of local residents. The solution lies in your own hands. Vote them out at the next opportunity and vote in people who will support secular education. One final point: I am surprised to see the incorrect spelling of the word quirky used by commentators above. Is this a sign that standards in Richmond are already slipping? John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Sun 18 Nov 12

akhanw says...

Richmond has turned into a national shame and it's community has been divided by Lord True and his council. But what about Vince cable who has not protected the National Lib Dem policy and Coalition agreement on inclusivity in faith schools in his own constituency ?
Richmond has turned into a national shame and it's community has been divided by Lord True and his council. But what about Vince cable who has not protected the National Lib Dem policy and Coalition agreement on inclusivity in faith schools in his own constituency ? akhanw
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Sun 18 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

I am not a member of the LibDems, but must defend Vince Cable here. He originated the proposal of a compromise of 50% faith-based admissions at the new school . He secured a letter from Michael Gove earlier this year supporting the idea of a voluntary 50% limit at the new schools. But all suggestions of compromise were rejected by Lord True and the Diocese. Even recently he has acted behind the scenes in line with the Coalition Agreement, which encourages faith schools but also says they should be more inclusive.

Of course it would have been good if he had unreservedly supported RISC's position, but I can't fault his actions as an even-handed constituency MP acting in line with party and coalition policy.
I am not a member of the LibDems, but must defend Vince Cable here. He originated the proposal of a compromise of 50% faith-based admissions at the new school . He secured a letter from Michael Gove earlier this year supporting the idea of a voluntary 50% limit at the new schools. But all suggestions of compromise were rejected by Lord True and the Diocese. Even recently he has acted behind the scenes in line with the Coalition Agreement, which encourages faith schools but also says they should be more inclusive. Of course it would have been good if he had unreservedly supported RISC's position, but I can't fault his actions as an even-handed constituency MP acting in line with party and coalition policy. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Dellon says...

It seems to me that the Coalition has allowed a lot of grey areas in the provision of schools. For example, if new faith academies need to have 50% inclusive admissions, how can established VA schools be allowed to convert and get the added freedoms and funding of Academy status without meeting that criteria? Christ's CofE school in Richmond (where St Richard Reynolds' new head comesf from) would now meet that. If the LA enabled this school in the first place under the legislation then it should have status and/or local accountability of an LA maintained school.
It seems to me that the Coalition has allowed a lot of grey areas in the provision of schools. For example, if new faith academies need to have 50% inclusive admissions, how can established VA schools be allowed to convert and get the added freedoms and funding of Academy status without meeting that criteria? Christ's CofE school in Richmond (where St Richard Reynolds' new head comesf from) would now meet that. If the LA enabled this school in the first place under the legislation then it should have status and/or local accountability of an LA maintained school. Dellon
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Irena P says...

John Dowdle, creationist schools are NOT the norm in the US. Before you start judging the entire country of the USA by a Louis Theroux documentary, don't forget that there IS a separation between church and state, it is protected in the Constitution, and on this basis the state won't fund exclusive faith schools.
John Dowdle, creationist schools are NOT the norm in the US. Before you start judging the entire country of the USA by a Louis Theroux documentary, don't forget that there IS a separation between church and state, it is protected in the Constitution, and on this basis the state won't fund exclusive faith schools. Irena P
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Sun 18 Nov 12

akhanw says...

The only available site in Twickenham, has now been used for exculsive Catholic schools. So Muslim, Sikh and other families in Twickenham and Whitton who cannot get into this Catholic school could be forced to move away to Hounslow to get a school place. Did the Council ever consider the impact this will have on diversity in Richmond?
The only available site in Twickenham, has now been used for exculsive Catholic schools. So Muslim, Sikh and other families in Twickenham and Whitton who cannot get into this Catholic school could be forced to move away to Hounslow to get a school place. Did the Council ever consider the impact this will have on diversity in Richmond? akhanw
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

Jeremy Rodell, how can it be right that the state funds Waldegrave school which discriminates against boys, yet there is no boys' school in the borough? At least the Catholic diocese will bear some of the costs of the new school.

How can it be right that the state funds both Tiffin schools which discriminate against less academically able children, and which require parents to buy private tuition to pass the entrance exam?

These are fundamental questions which I have not heard Risc addressing.

Why is Risc a single issue campaign group?

What I pick up from many of these posts is that parents don't want the Twickenham Academy option, which many will be left with. Even before the Swedes took over it was an unpopular choice. But instead of saying that the new school becomes the focus of complaint.
Jeremy Rodell, how can it be right that the state funds Waldegrave school which discriminates against boys, yet there is no boys' school in the borough? At least the Catholic diocese will bear some of the costs of the new school. How can it be right that the state funds both Tiffin schools which discriminate against less academically able children, and which require parents to buy private tuition to pass the entrance exam? These are fundamental questions which I have not heard Risc addressing. Why is Risc a single issue campaign group? What I pick up from many of these posts is that parents don't want the Twickenham Academy option, which many will be left with. Even before the Swedes took over it was an unpopular choice. But instead of saying that the new school becomes the focus of complaint. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Sun 18 Nov 12

akhanw says...

A. Gnostic - you raise some valid points. Clifden Road could have been considered for a non denominational boys school - but the Council never considered that option or even offer it to us during consultation. How can they then say this was a democratic process - a consultation that gave only 1 option sfor use of Clifden Road was a farce. The council has not bothered to address the concerns and needs of everyone and hence we have had such a controversy.
Local parents are concerned about TA and even getting involved to help it. Unlike the Catholic community that has decided to opt out of working for our local schools with the rest of the community. TA It is now nearly full and likely to get oversubscribed next year
A. Gnostic - you raise some valid points. Clifden Road could have been considered for a non denominational boys school - but the Council never considered that option or even offer it to us during consultation. How can they then say this was a democratic process - a consultation that gave only 1 option sfor use of Clifden Road was a farce. The council has not bothered to address the concerns and needs of everyone and hence we have had such a controversy. Local parents are concerned about TA and even getting involved to help it. Unlike the Catholic community that has decided to opt out of working for our local schools with the rest of the community. TA It is now nearly full and likely to get oversubscribed next year akhanw
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Sun 18 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

A.Gnostic: you can't get out of answering one question (How can it be right to set up a new state-funded school that will turn away children simply because of their parents' religion or beliefs?) by saying that entirely different questions (about long-established single sex schools and grammar schools) should be asked instead.

Still waiting for an answer.
A.Gnostic: you can't get out of answering one question (How can it be right to set up a new state-funded school that will turn away children simply because of their parents' religion or beliefs?) by saying that entirely different questions (about long-established single sex schools and grammar schools) should be asked instead. Still waiting for an answer. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

I am concerned that Risc's campaign was in some part a veil for anti-Catholicism. I have come across a website which says that Jeremy Rodell was part of the Protest the Pope campaign in 2010 and said "When the Pope visits us it will be forgotten in one or two years but if there’s brick and mortar up there, that will be there for decades to come.” If JR did indeed make these comments, (and given the anarchy that exists on the internet I have no direct evidence that he did), then a reasonable person might conclude that there is a pre-existing prejudice against the Catholic Church. However, I am not accusing him of this.

I am sure many of its supporters are not anti-Catholic but I have not read anything by JR which tackles the issue of unfairness or lack of inclusivity in our current system.

The best schools in this borough are in the most expensive areas and are monopolised by wealthy home owners. This is just as bad to my mind, that the children of the less wealthy are excluded from the best schools. Why is selection by postcode not considered a form of exclusivity? The gap between rich and poor in this borough is very wide, compare house prices for Richmond Hill and Powder Mill Lane.

Whatever school opened in Clifden Road it would have selection criteria, probably based on proximity, which would exclude some. Fulwell and Twickenham Green are still considerably more expensive places to live than the nether regions of this borough.

There seems to be an assumption that the Catholic primaries serve well-heeled families, but recent research suggests that free school meals is a blunt instrument as a measure of poverty or inequality. St Edmund's Catholic Primary school is in the less well-heeled part of the borough.

When a campaign group sees inequality stemming from only one source and not speaking about the wider issues of exclusivity, it raises questions.

The Catholic school is not the perfect solution to the need for school places but it will fill a need and will almost certainly be a good school. Places will be freed up elsewhere, if parents don't like them that is a problem for those schools and not the fault of the new school.

Where Risc goes from here will be interesting and indicative of its real commitment to inclusivity.
I am concerned that Risc's campaign was in some part a veil for anti-Catholicism. I have come across a website which says that Jeremy Rodell was part of the Protest the Pope campaign in 2010 and said "When the Pope visits us it will be forgotten in one or two years but if there’s brick and mortar up there, that will be there for decades to come.” If JR did indeed make these comments, (and given the anarchy that exists on the internet I have no direct evidence that he did), then a reasonable person might conclude that there is a pre-existing prejudice against the Catholic Church. However, I am not accusing him of this. I am sure many of its supporters are not anti-Catholic but I have not read anything by JR which tackles the issue of unfairness or lack of inclusivity in our current system. The best schools in this borough are in the most expensive areas and are monopolised by wealthy home owners. This is just as bad to my mind, that the children of the less wealthy are excluded from the best schools. Why is selection by postcode not considered a form of exclusivity? The gap between rich and poor in this borough is very wide, compare house prices for Richmond Hill and Powder Mill Lane. Whatever school opened in Clifden Road it would have selection criteria, probably based on proximity, which would exclude some. Fulwell and Twickenham Green are still considerably more expensive places to live than the nether regions of this borough. There seems to be an assumption that the Catholic primaries serve well-heeled families, but recent research suggests that free school meals is a blunt instrument as a measure of poverty or inequality. St Edmund's Catholic Primary school is in the less well-heeled part of the borough. When a campaign group sees inequality stemming from only one source and not speaking about the wider issues of exclusivity, it raises questions. The Catholic school is not the perfect solution to the need for school places but it will fill a need and will almost certainly be a good school. Places will be freed up elsewhere, if parents don't like them that is a problem for those schools and not the fault of the new school. Where Risc goes from here will be interesting and indicative of its real commitment to inclusivity. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

A. Gnostic You obviously didn't pick up from many of these posts that in spite of it's singular approach which may not suit all children and the fact that it's leadership was only judged satisfactory by OFSTED, for whom good, the rating earned by the inspirational leadership at Richmond Park is deemed the minimum acceptable, Twickenham Academy is almost full and the Council are anticipating that there will be a black hole of secondary place provision centred west of the green from 2014, if not 2013, depending on the impact of the removal of links . Regadless of understandable misgivings Twickenham Academy isn't going to even be a choice for those parents.

The fact that Waldegrave remained a girl's school whilst Teddington evolved from being a boy's school is a matter of history, as is the fact that a neighbouring borough chose to retain it's Grammar Schools. If Lord True or any other politician were to try to dismantle these existing institutions then there would rightly be a huge outcry from current and prospective parents and pupils. It would be political dogma versus the loyalties of the community to established institutions. However the existence of Waldegrave does create a real inequality for the parents of boys.

Now Lord True has decided that we should add to that inequality, I think it is pretty basic to every value system that two wrongs don't make a right.

As a result of this new school discriminating against local children, as it happens on the basis of religious beliefs, but it would be unfair whatever the basis, then they may well be left with no school place, let alone choice of place. All the more unfair when the section of our community who are being privileged by this school do not face anything like the level of uncertainty about school places. The number of places available to the Richmond Borough Parishes in the nearby, or more distant highly esteemed, out of borough Catholic schools have actually gone up this year. The Catholic parents I know anticipate that those schools will remain first preference for some time to come and that initially St RR will fill up with the children of Catholic parents in neighbouring boroughs dissatisfied with their local Catholic School.

As Jeremy says it just isn't right, and that is why so many people have supported and become involved with RISC.
A. Gnostic You obviously didn't pick up from many of these posts that in spite of it's singular approach which may not suit all children and the fact that it's leadership was only judged satisfactory by OFSTED, for whom good, the rating earned by the inspirational leadership at Richmond Park is deemed the minimum acceptable, Twickenham Academy is almost full and the Council are anticipating that there will be a black hole of secondary place provision centred west of the green from 2014, if not 2013, depending on the impact of the removal of links . Regadless of understandable misgivings Twickenham Academy isn't going to even be a choice for those parents. The fact that Waldegrave remained a girl's school whilst Teddington evolved from being a boy's school is a matter of history, as is the fact that a neighbouring borough chose to retain it's Grammar Schools. If Lord True or any other politician were to try to dismantle these existing institutions then there would rightly be a huge outcry from current and prospective parents and pupils. It would be political dogma versus the loyalties of the community to established institutions. However the existence of Waldegrave does create a real inequality for the parents of boys. Now Lord True has decided that we should add to that inequality, I think it is pretty basic to every value system that two wrongs don't make a right. As a result of this new school discriminating against local children, as it happens on the basis of religious beliefs, but it would be unfair whatever the basis, then they may well be left with no school place, let alone choice of place. All the more unfair when the section of our community who are being privileged by this school do not face anything like the level of uncertainty about school places. The number of places available to the Richmond Borough Parishes in the nearby, or more distant highly esteemed, out of borough Catholic schools have actually gone up this year. The Catholic parents I know anticipate that those schools will remain first preference for some time to come and that initially St RR will fill up with the children of Catholic parents in neighbouring boroughs dissatisfied with their local Catholic School. As Jeremy says it just isn't right, and that is why so many people have supported and become involved with RISC. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Dellon says...

A. Gnostic, Teddington used to be the boys school but it went co-ed some 15 or more years ago before. I don't agree with academic selection either. I don't know what political party would best address these issues in Richmond or nationally but at least RISC concentrated on an issue being decided locally. It's unfair that Lord True is trying to close down debate.
A. Gnostic, Teddington used to be the boys school but it went co-ed some 15 or more years ago before. I don't agree with academic selection either. I don't know what political party would best address these issues in Richmond or nationally but at least RISC concentrated on an issue being decided locally. It's unfair that Lord True is trying to close down debate. Dellon
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

The catchment area of a new school in
Clifden Road would actually cover the full social mix of Twickenham's community, including across the railway line via the pedestrain bridge and quite possibly across the A316.

On what basis do you judge that the best schools in the borough are in the best areas and monopolised by wealthy homeowners? Heathfield School which serves Powder Mill Lane is deemed good and rapidly improving under an inspiring team of teachers by OFSTED. I would like you to repeat that to some of the hardworking teachers who work very hard to deliver an excellent education to all the pupils in our Primary Schools in the borough.


A. Gnostic As a matter of interest why did you change your user name so that you could post the same misinformed views under another name, even though they have already been countered above? I find it hard to believe there are two people in the borough so closely aligned in misinformed opinion?
The catchment area of a new school in Clifden Road would actually cover the full social mix of Twickenham's community, including across the railway line via the pedestrain bridge and quite possibly across the A316. On what basis do you judge that the best schools in the borough are in the best areas and monopolised by wealthy homeowners? Heathfield School which serves Powder Mill Lane is deemed good and rapidly improving under an inspiring team of teachers by OFSTED. I would like you to repeat that to some of the hardworking teachers who work very hard to deliver an excellent education to all the pupils in our Primary Schools in the borough. A. Gnostic As a matter of interest why did you change your user name so that you could post the same misinformed views under another name, even though they have already been countered above? I find it hard to believe there are two people in the borough so closely aligned in misinformed opinion? Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

Jeremy Rodell, your group is called Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign, so why don't you address the whole issue of inclusivity?

By asking the wider questions about existing schools I am trying to address the issue which your group should be asking if it is true to its name. So it is perfectly logical to ask questions about the current system.

They are not 'entirely different questions', they are part of the debate.

What about a lottery for places at secondary schools? We have gender exclusivity (Waldegrave), intellectual exclusivity (Tiffin) and proximity to school gate exclusivity.

Is it not right to expect a group which campaigns for inclusivity to at least have a view on this?
Jeremy Rodell, your group is called Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign, so why don't you address the whole issue of inclusivity? By asking the wider questions about existing schools I am trying to address the issue which your group should be asking if it is true to its name. So it is perfectly logical to ask questions about the current system. They are not 'entirely different questions', they are part of the debate. What about a lottery for places at secondary schools? We have gender exclusivity (Waldegrave), intellectual exclusivity (Tiffin) and proximity to school gate exclusivity. Is it not right to expect a group which campaigns for inclusivity to at least have a view on this? A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Irena P says...

A. Gnostic - As Jeremy Rodell has pointed out, the issue for the catholic children that will be going to the proposed catholic school is that they have to leave the borough to get a catholic education. If they are coming back to the borough, they are not going to free up school places in the borough as you suggest.

The fact that Jeremy does not agree with faith schools is masking a real, objective issue that the school age population of Richmond is growing. The primary schools are bulging and the pregnancy rate is too. 6th formers won't be leaving the borough either now and schools will need to configure their schools for years 13 and 13. While you point out that there is wealth in Richmond, we are living in harder times. There is evidence that many families who would have sent their children to private schools are now not able to afford to do so, and will be needing to send their children to state secondary schools.

In a few years there will not be any available places and there will be a lot of unhappy parents and children. So the pressure is on, and if you look at this issue rationally, strategically and holistically, the catholic school fills a want but not a need.
A. Gnostic - As Jeremy Rodell has pointed out, the issue for the catholic children that will be going to the proposed catholic school is that they have to leave the borough to get a catholic education. If they are coming back to the borough, they are not going to free up school places in the borough as you suggest. The fact that Jeremy does not agree with faith schools is masking a real, objective issue that the school age population of Richmond is growing. The primary schools are bulging and the pregnancy rate is too. 6th formers won't be leaving the borough either now and schools will need to configure their schools for years 13 and 13. While you point out that there is wealth in Richmond, we are living in harder times. There is evidence that many families who would have sent their children to private schools are now not able to afford to do so, and will be needing to send their children to state secondary schools. In a few years there will not be any available places and there will be a lot of unhappy parents and children. So the pressure is on, and if you look at this issue rationally, strategically and holistically, the catholic school fills a want but not a need. Irena P
  • Score: 0

3:23pm Sun 18 Nov 12

akhanw says...

A. Gnostic are you prepared to take action to address the issues you feel are wrong in the state education system, or are you just trying to discredit a grass root campaign that is seeking to address something wrong - Do you agree that it is right to discriminate children on basis of religion in schools ?
Are you expecting a single campaign to solve all the issues in our education sector ?
A. Gnostic are you prepared to take action to address the issues you feel are wrong in the state education system, or are you just trying to discredit a grass root campaign that is seeking to address something wrong - Do you agree that it is right to discriminate children on basis of religion in schools ? Are you expecting a single campaign to solve all the issues in our education sector ? akhanw
  • Score: 0

3:31pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

Copthall resident. I haven't changed my user name. I have only posted my own views and only under this user name.

I agree about hard working teachers, I haven't said anything to the contrary.

I don't call the area you describe as being representative of the full social mix. I live across the A316 and agree that Heathfield is very good. It's run by a different borough but Twickenham children can apply.

I have a lot of sympathy with the views you and others express but you can't ignore existing inequality and I don't like the anti-Catholic tone of some views expressed by some people on this debate.
Copthall resident. I haven't changed my user name. I have only posted my own views and only under this user name. I agree about hard working teachers, I haven't said anything to the contrary. I don't call the area you describe as being representative of the full social mix. I live across the A316 and agree that Heathfield is very good. It's run by a different borough but Twickenham children can apply. I have a lot of sympathy with the views you and others express but you can't ignore existing inequality and I don't like the anti-Catholic tone of some views expressed by some people on this debate. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

Irena P. Any child can apply to an out of borough school, not just Catholics. See my point about Heathfield above. So if places at out of borough Catholic schools are freed up they will be available to parents in and out of that borough.

Many Catholic children are in secondary schools in this borough and if their younger siblings go to the new Catholic school those places will be freed up.

I agree with your other points.
Irena P. Any child can apply to an out of borough school, not just Catholics. See my point about Heathfield above. So if places at out of borough Catholic schools are freed up they will be available to parents in and out of that borough. Many Catholic children are in secondary schools in this borough and if their younger siblings go to the new Catholic school those places will be freed up. I agree with your other points. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

akhanwa, I am not discrediting the campaign. It raised important questions.

Every school has selection criteria and this results in some children not getting places at the schools they or their parents want for them. Do you agree that it's alright to discriminate on the basis of where the child lives, or what sex they are?
akhanwa, I am not discrediting the campaign. It raised important questions. Every school has selection criteria and this results in some children not getting places at the schools they or their parents want for them. Do you agree that it's alright to discriminate on the basis of where the child lives, or what sex they are? A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

Copthall resident, the basis I used was Ofsted reports. Also, Orleans Park proudly states that it is in the top 10 per cent of state secondary schools in the country. Heathfield as I said is in a different borough. Twickenham Academy may be almost full but many children are from out of borough, only to be expected as it is on the fringes of LBRUT.

Your comments about my user name suggest this site is only for people with your views. I thought it was for all. Isn't it an inclusive site?

Risc has raised important questions and done a good job getting local voices heard. Can't it cope with reasoned debate which tries to tackle underlying issues?
Copthall resident, the basis I used was Ofsted reports. Also, Orleans Park proudly states that it is in the top 10 per cent of state secondary schools in the country. Heathfield as I said is in a different borough. Twickenham Academy may be almost full but many children are from out of borough, only to be expected as it is on the fringes of LBRUT. Your comments about my user name suggest this site is only for people with your views. I thought it was for all. Isn't it an inclusive site? Risc has raised important questions and done a good job getting local voices heard. Can't it cope with reasoned debate which tries to tackle underlying issues? A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

A. Gnostic

I have not seen anything associated with the RISC campaign that expressed anti Catholic views. Indeed a few of it's supporters are Catholic and I would be very sensitive because I come from a Catholic background and married a Catholic. One of the things that has impressed me about this campaign has been the way it has been conducted in a principled way and with integrity, and it's leaders embody those values. Many of the people involved also work hard, often voluntarily to improve our schools.

I am afraid the same cannot be said for those supporting the school, and the term "Humanist" has been banded around in a derogatory way by supporters from Lord True down (and lets be clear Lord True is a completely biased supporter of the school, this was always about his networks of influence and never about the local community) in a way I am sure many would find entirely unacceptable if the word Catholic had been substituted. Yet Jeremy Roddell has never responded in kind to the slurs and the way some, including you, have sought to make this campaign personal. We are all grateful to him for the way that he has taken on the role of championing fairness for the local community.

In what way do you not see that a school centred in Twickenham's community would not be representative of it's community. One of the worst manifestations of the long term failure of LBRUT to have a proactive education policy that meets the needs of residents is the fact that the children in our community's end up at different schools, and neighbourhoods break up as people move. In Clifden Road itself children attend 8 different primaries / preps and 6 different Secondaries. Turing House School has attracted so much support because it meets the needs of local parents "We are a small group of parents who care about our local area and its people. Faced with shrinking catchment areas and increased demand for our local secondary schools, we can see our community breaking up as families move away or choose non-local schools. We believe the area needs another excellent secondary school. We know many other people agree with us, so we decided to try and do something about it." Equality is surely about everyone having access to a good local school that serves the community, if that situation had existed then our schools would cater for all but a very small group of devout Catholics and some people who strongly want single sex education, and few would begrudge special provision.
A. Gnostic I have not seen anything associated with the RISC campaign that expressed anti Catholic views. Indeed a few of it's supporters are Catholic and I would be very sensitive because I come from a Catholic background and married a Catholic. One of the things that has impressed me about this campaign has been the way it has been conducted in a principled way and with integrity, and it's leaders embody those values. Many of the people involved also work hard, often voluntarily to improve our schools. I am afraid the same cannot be said for those supporting the school, and the term "Humanist" has been banded around in a derogatory way by supporters from Lord True down (and lets be clear Lord True is a completely biased supporter of the school, this was always about his networks of influence and never about the local community) in a way I am sure many would find entirely unacceptable if the word Catholic had been substituted. Yet Jeremy Roddell has never responded in kind to the slurs and the way some, including you, have sought to make this campaign personal. We are all grateful to him for the way that he has taken on the role of championing fairness for the local community. In what way do you not see that a school centred in Twickenham's community would not be representative of it's community. One of the worst manifestations of the long term failure of LBRUT to have a proactive education policy that meets the needs of residents is the fact that the children in our community's end up at different schools, and neighbourhoods break up as people move. In Clifden Road itself children attend 8 different primaries / preps and 6 different Secondaries. Turing House School has attracted so much support because it meets the needs of local parents "We are a small group of parents who care about our local area and its people. Faced with shrinking catchment areas and increased demand for our local secondary schools, we can see our community breaking up as families move away or choose non-local schools. We believe the area needs another excellent secondary school. We know many other people agree with us, so we decided to try and do something about it." Equality is surely about everyone having access to a good local school that serves the community, if that situation had existed then our schools would cater for all but a very small group of devout Catholics and some people who strongly want single sex education, and few would begrudge special provision. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

5:09pm Sun 18 Nov 12

John Dowdle says...

Again - as an outsider - I am unable to deal with specific local points but one point I think I can address is the choice of an anonymous name by A. Gnostic. This is an indication that he - and he alone - knows the real truth. It is the sort of religious dogmatism that saw innumerable people murdered in this country as a result of religious persecution in the past. It is for this and other similar reasons that most reasonable minded non-religious people wish to avoid seeing religious extremism brought back to this country.
The last witch-craft trial took place in this country as recently as during the Second World War.
I do not blame Richmond parents and children for wanting to avoid becoming enmeshed in any further irrationality and unreasonableness as propagated by religious extremists in the past, which - let us not forget - involved members of the Church of Rome burning other - alive! - people at the stake.
Their recent record on child abuse can hardly inspire any parent to want to trust their children to the barely tender mercies of paedophile priests, can it?
Again - as an outsider - I am unable to deal with specific local points but one point I think I can address is the choice of an anonymous name by A. Gnostic. This is an indication that he - and he alone - knows the real truth. It is the sort of religious dogmatism that saw innumerable people murdered in this country as a result of religious persecution in the past. It is for this and other similar reasons that most reasonable minded non-religious people wish to avoid seeing religious extremism brought back to this country. The last witch-craft trial took place in this country as recently as during the Second World War. I do not blame Richmond parents and children for wanting to avoid becoming enmeshed in any further irrationality and unreasonableness as propagated by religious extremists in the past, which - let us not forget - involved members of the Church of Rome burning other - alive! - people at the stake. Their recent record on child abuse can hardly inspire any parent to want to trust their children to the barely tender mercies of paedophile priests, can it? John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

A. Gnostic Your point about Orleans Park is? It's catchment is diverse for the borough, well across the A316, and it's special needs unit attracts statemented children from a much larger area. "Orleans Park is an over-subscribed, average-sized mixed comprehensive school. Pupils come from a range of economic prosperity with a slightly below average number eligible for free school meals. There are significantly more boys than girls. Most pupils are of White British origin. Over a quarter of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds but with no major group. There is an above average and growing number of pupils for whom English is not their mother tongue, with a small number at an early stage of learning English. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is about average but the number with a statement of special educational needs is well above average. " We are a leafy borough but I certainly would not say that Orleans is full of the offspring of wealthy parents who have bought their way in there. In fact since the borough has a very high proportion of parents in private education, including many who struggle to go private simply because their only other option has been schools judged inadequate by OFSTED it is clear that wealthy parents have bought the education rather than the postcode. East Sheen is amongst the most expensive places to live in the borough and it was not historically anything to do with the school, though I am very pleased to see that parents in that part of the borough are finally getting a school that serves their community.

My comment about your user name was because your views are very similar to Knellerman's and seemed to have failed to register some of the points that had already been made in posts above. I am very happy to debate these issues, as one of the biggest problems with this debate has been that supporters of the school rarely seem to understand the difficulties faced by non Catholics in the borough. When discussing it with a group of old friends our Catholic friends had completely failed to register the traumas we had faced in finding places at both Primary and Secondary level. Traumas I could have solved very easily if I had been prepared to compromise my principles and exploit our Catholic credentials.
A. Gnostic Your point about Orleans Park is? It's catchment is diverse for the borough, well across the A316, and it's special needs unit attracts statemented children from a much larger area. "Orleans Park is an over-subscribed, average-sized mixed comprehensive school. Pupils come from a range of economic prosperity with a slightly below average number eligible for free school meals. There are significantly more boys than girls. Most pupils are of White British origin. Over a quarter of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds but with no major group. There is an above average and growing number of pupils for whom English is not their mother tongue, with a small number at an early stage of learning English. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is about average but the number with a statement of special educational needs is well above average. " We are a leafy borough but I certainly would not say that Orleans is full of the offspring of wealthy parents who have bought their way in there. In fact since the borough has a very high proportion of parents in private education, including many who struggle to go private simply because their only other option has been schools judged inadequate by OFSTED it is clear that wealthy parents have bought the education rather than the postcode. East Sheen is amongst the most expensive places to live in the borough and it was not historically anything to do with the school, though I am very pleased to see that parents in that part of the borough are finally getting a school that serves their community. My comment about your user name was because your views are very similar to Knellerman's and seemed to have failed to register some of the points that had already been made in posts above. I am very happy to debate these issues, as one of the biggest problems with this debate has been that supporters of the school rarely seem to understand the difficulties faced by non Catholics in the borough. When discussing it with a group of old friends our Catholic friends had completely failed to register the traumas we had faced in finding places at both Primary and Secondary level. Traumas I could have solved very easily if I had been prepared to compromise my principles and exploit our Catholic credentials. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Sun 18 Nov 12

jeremyhm says...

may I draw correspondents' attention to the Council's Press Release dated 15 Nov, that informs readers of "...a new centre of educational excellence on the Egerton Road site, including a new secondary school."
may I draw correspondents' attention to the Council's Press Release dated 15 Nov, that informs readers of "...a new centre of educational excellence on the Egerton Road site, including a new secondary school." jeremyhm
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Strategically timed, because they know their ground is shaky. The proposal hasn't been consulted on yet, let alone having any certainty around funding and site. It certainly won't happen in time to address the school places crisis.

Turing House School, initiated by local parents, might meet the need but again no certainty over funding or site.
Strategically timed, because they know their ground is shaky. The proposal hasn't been consulted on yet, let alone having any certainty around funding and site. It certainly won't happen in time to address the school places crisis. Turing House School, initiated by local parents, might meet the need but again no certainty over funding or site. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Dellon says...

jeremyhm, note the following:

1. That site won't be ready till 2017.
2. There have been 20 or so new primary classes added since 2000. The bulge hits secondaries from 2014. There are 30 new places at achrist's and er, that's it.
4. More people are staying in the state system than ever before because they can't afford private.
4. An LA can't set up a new school that's needed without considering a free school or academy. So ultimately Michael Gove decides, not the council.
jeremyhm, note the following: 1. That site won't be ready till 2017. 2. There have been 20 or so new primary classes added since 2000. The bulge hits secondaries from 2014. There are 30 new places at achrist's and er, that's it. 4. More people are staying in the state system than ever before because they can't afford private. 4. An LA can't set up a new school that's needed without considering a free school or academy. So ultimately Michael Gove decides, not the council. Dellon
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Dellon says...

... 30 new places at Christ's ...

And no more space for expansion anywhere else because of sixth forms (though I support them).

So where do the other 19 classes (570 pupils) go?
... 30 new places at Christ's ... And no more space for expansion anywhere else because of sixth forms (though I support them). So where do the other 19 classes (570 pupils) go? Dellon
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Sun 18 Nov 12

John Dowdle says...

What we are witnessing - in Richmond and elsewhere - is the withdrawal of the state from the provision of public services. It will get worse; a recent study has identified the need for central government to slash national spending by an additional £48 billion between now and 2017.
The state has withdrawn from providing a national education service and is also starting to withdraw from providing a national health service.
The recent farcical "elections" of police commissioners (outside London) is just a way of cutting the funding of police services and then putting ritual lambs/scape goats (police commissioners) in place to act as lightning rods to draw the inevitable public anger at policing cuts away from central government.
This is why you are all being forced to swallow having ANY provider - other than the state - providing education for your children.
Vote the right way at the next general election and you will continue being force-fed this diet of privatization for years to come.
What we are witnessing - in Richmond and elsewhere - is the withdrawal of the state from the provision of public services. It will get worse; a recent study has identified the need for central government to slash national spending by an additional £48 billion between now and 2017. The state has withdrawn from providing a national education service and is also starting to withdraw from providing a national health service. The recent farcical "elections" of police commissioners (outside London) is just a way of cutting the funding of police services and then putting ritual lambs/scape goats (police commissioners) in place to act as lightning rods to draw the inevitable public anger at policing cuts away from central government. This is why you are all being forced to swallow having ANY provider - other than the state - providing education for your children. Vote the right way at the next general election and you will continue being force-fed this diet of privatization for years to come. John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Dellon says...

JohnDowdle, every election we are sent leaflets by the LibDems saying 'it's a two-horse race, Labour can't win here'. Nationally the LibDems helped vote in free schools along with the Conservatives and Lord True but locally they still pretend to have some control over local planning. When in fact free schools of all age groups are in competition not only locally for funding and sites but nationally for a limited pot.
JohnDowdle, every election we are sent leaflets by the LibDems saying 'it's a two-horse race, Labour can't win here'. Nationally the LibDems helped vote in free schools along with the Conservatives and Lord True but locally they still pretend to have some control over local planning. When in fact free schools of all age groups are in competition not only locally for funding and sites but nationally for a limited pot. Dellon
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Sun 18 Nov 12

akhanw says...

A. Gnostic - To answer your question, no I do not personally believe that selection by distance is wrong. In my view the best solution is for everyone in the community to go to their nearest school. If there are enough high quality schools serving every area, no one will have an issue. If your local school needsa improvement, then everyone in the community should come forward and help it as opposed to opting out.
This is a model that works very well in most western countries I have experienced US, canada, Europe, Oz ...
Also I personally prefer mixed gender school and am concerned about the under provision for boys in Richmond. However gender is something a child is born with, cannot change or fake. Segregating children by religion using state funds on the other hands is very divisive and hinders bonds and friendships in neighbourhoods. It is not a surprise that nearly 75% of the British public disagree with religious segregation in our state schools.
The Richmond case is finally bringing the topic out in the open.
Now could you please exchange the courtesy and answer my questions - Is it fair to deny a child a place in a school because of religion ?
A. Gnostic - To answer your question, no I do not personally believe that selection by distance is wrong. In my view the best solution is for everyone in the community to go to their nearest school. If there are enough high quality schools serving every area, no one will have an issue. If your local school needsa improvement, then everyone in the community should come forward and help it as opposed to opting out. This is a model that works very well in most western countries I have experienced US, canada, Europe, Oz ... Also I personally prefer mixed gender school and am concerned about the under provision for boys in Richmond. However gender is something a child is born with, cannot change or fake. Segregating children by religion using state funds on the other hands is very divisive and hinders bonds and friendships in neighbourhoods. It is not a surprise that nearly 75% of the British public disagree with religious segregation in our state schools. The Richmond case is finally bringing the topic out in the open. Now could you please exchange the courtesy and answer my questions - Is it fair to deny a child a place in a school because of religion ? akhanw
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Sun 18 Nov 12

pmulak says...

Catholicism is the only true faith and all our kids deserve Catholic education. We do not care about those who do not accept this truth. Lord True is the the trustee of Catholic education and has rightly got the Richmond Council to support our schools. Overwhelming majority in Richmond have said they need Catholic schools. So rather than oppose our schools at Clifden Road, they should be used as inspiration to improve your other under performing non Catholic schools.
Western Civilisation was built upon the recognition that Christianity was the Truth. And Truth deserves privileged position, don't you think. Apart from anything else...secular education (which is government controlled education in the main) is inferior.
Catholicism is the only true faith and all our kids deserve Catholic education. We do not care about those who do not accept this truth. Lord True is the the trustee of Catholic education and has rightly got the Richmond Council to support our schools. Overwhelming majority in Richmond have said they need Catholic schools. So rather than oppose our schools at Clifden Road, they should be used as inspiration to improve your other under performing non Catholic schools. Western Civilisation was built upon the recognition that Christianity was the Truth. And Truth deserves privileged position, don't you think. Apart from anything else...secular education (which is government controlled education in the main) is inferior. pmulak
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Sun 18 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

In case anyone is wondering, as far as I know, pmulak is not a RISC supporter with a strong sense of irony. She/he really means it....
In case anyone is wondering, as far as I know, pmulak is not a RISC supporter with a strong sense of irony. She/he really means it.... JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

9:05pm Sun 18 Nov 12

John Dowdle says...

You have heard the authentic voice of the Church of Rome in the voice of pmulak above. Does this inspire confidence among Richmond residents that such people are fit to be trusted with the impartial education of their children?
These lovers of paedophile priests will do nothing to protect your children.
Incidentally, the headline to this article is incorrect. The judicial review did not back Richmond Council on the principle of religious schooling but simply ruled on the decision-making process. Courts do not take a stance on religious education.
Without wanting to set off on another tack, I find the dogmatic certainty of people like the unlikely named True and pmulak extremely disturbing. It is their kind of fanatical ideology which will inevitably undermine the entire concept of democracy if we let them do it.
As Winston Churchill once remarked, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".
You have heard the authentic voice of the Church of Rome in the voice of pmulak above. Does this inspire confidence among Richmond residents that such people are fit to be trusted with the impartial education of their children? These lovers of paedophile priests will do nothing to protect your children. Incidentally, the headline to this article is incorrect. The judicial review did not back Richmond Council on the principle of religious schooling but simply ruled on the decision-making process. Courts do not take a stance on religious education. Without wanting to set off on another tack, I find the dogmatic certainty of people like the unlikely named True and pmulak extremely disturbing. It is their kind of fanatical ideology which will inevitably undermine the entire concept of democracy if we let them do it. As Winston Churchill once remarked, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance". John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

9:14pm Sun 18 Nov 12

pmulak says...

Yes Jeremy - I am not one of the "fair minded Catholics" you claim support your anti Catholic campaign. In fact I do think you have any Catholic supporters. You and your Humanist and Lib Dem mates should start a Humanist VA school if you so want to promote your religion
Yes Jeremy - I am not one of the "fair minded Catholics" you claim support your anti Catholic campaign. In fact I do think you have any Catholic supporters. You and your Humanist and Lib Dem mates should start a Humanist VA school if you so want to promote your religion pmulak
  • Score: 0

9:24pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

akhanw, fair do's. I will answer your question.

Yes, as long as the state provides an at-least-as-good-as alternative. No child should have an advantage because of their parents' religion.

Also, no, if the state cannot ensure that there is good provision for all children, regardless of religion and other factors beyond the child's control.

Copthall resident: I haven't slurred Jeremy Rodell in the slightest. Nor am I being personal. As leader of Risc I wonder what his views are regarding the Catholic Church. I am being detached and considering different angles. This site is for all residents with a view. I appreciate both sides of the argument but I see nuances.

I am the parent of a child with an autistic spectrum disorder. Parents of neuro-typical children who only have to worry about which school is best for their child have no comprehension of the genuine 'trauma' parents go through when mainstream is not an option.

We have to give up jobs, battle an incredibly bureaucratic system, and fight tooth and nail just for a school that has knowledge of our child's condition.

This is an entirely separate discussion but it has sensitised me to parents' feelings when they want the best for their children. I truly sympathise with parents who want a good school and feel they haven't got one. It's why I am involved in this debate.

I am born and bred in this borough. I care about its schools. I went from Archdeacon Cambridge to a selective out of borough school and it did not harm my friendships with children who stayed in this borough. I still have friends from infants school.

There are many strands to this issue. It makes sense to consider the wider arguments, single issue campaigns have a limited life span.

Thanks to copthall resident and akhanwa for replying to me, I really respect your positions and want the best for your children's school choices. Whatever your beliefs they deserve a good state-funded education.

If the internet has wrongly reported Jeremy Rodell's views he should say so.
akhanw, fair do's. I will answer your question. Yes, as long as the state provides an at-least-as-good-as alternative. No child should have an advantage because of their parents' religion. Also, no, if the state cannot ensure that there is good provision for all children, regardless of religion and other factors beyond the child's control. Copthall resident: I haven't slurred Jeremy Rodell in the slightest. Nor am I being personal. As leader of Risc I wonder what his views are regarding the Catholic Church. I am being detached and considering different angles. This site is for all residents with a view. I appreciate both sides of the argument but I see nuances. I am the parent of a child with an autistic spectrum disorder. Parents of neuro-typical children who only have to worry about which school is best for their child have no comprehension of the genuine 'trauma' parents go through when mainstream is not an option. We have to give up jobs, battle an incredibly bureaucratic system, and fight tooth and nail just for a school that has knowledge of our child's condition. This is an entirely separate discussion but it has sensitised me to parents' feelings when they want the best for their children. I truly sympathise with parents who want a good school and feel they haven't got one. It's why I am involved in this debate. I am born and bred in this borough. I care about its schools. I went from Archdeacon Cambridge to a selective out of borough school and it did not harm my friendships with children who stayed in this borough. I still have friends from infants school. There are many strands to this issue. It makes sense to consider the wider arguments, single issue campaigns have a limited life span. Thanks to copthall resident and akhanwa for replying to me, I really respect your positions and want the best for your children's school choices. Whatever your beliefs they deserve a good state-funded education. If the internet has wrongly reported Jeremy Rodell's views he should say so. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Sun 18 Nov 12

richste says...

A. Gnostic says...
Yes, as long as the state provides an at-least-as-good-as alternative. No child should have an advantage because of their parents' religion.

Also, no, if the state cannot ensure that there is good provision for all children, regardless of religion and other factors beyond the child's control.

So do you mean if there are variable quality schools, 1 religious group should be given exclusive privilege. Are we not all meant to be in it together ?
A. Gnostic says... Yes, as long as the state provides an at-least-as-good-as alternative. No child should have an advantage because of their parents' religion. Also, no, if the state cannot ensure that there is good provision for all children, regardless of religion and other factors beyond the child's control. So do you mean if there are variable quality schools, 1 religious group should be given exclusive privilege. Are we not all meant to be in it together ? richste
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

No, I mean state schools should not be trumped by religious schools in terms of quality.
No, I mean state schools should not be trumped by religious schools in terms of quality. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

10:02pm Sun 18 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

It's clear that you're trying to discredit the principled stand of the hundreds of supporters of RISC by making what you intend to be a personal slur against me. I guess I should have got used to that tactic by now - Lord True has used it repeatedly.

You don't have to believe what I say on the point of "anti-Catholicism", just read Copthall resident's post above (4.50pm 18 Nov), first para.

Now will you please give a clear answer to the question you keep avoiding. Here is is again: How can it be right to set up a new state-funded school that will discriminate against local children simply on the basis of the religion or belief of their parents?

Exactly the same question would arise if it were an exclusive school for Muslims, Anglicans, Jews, Hindus or anything else.
It's clear that you're trying to discredit the principled stand of the hundreds of supporters of RISC by making what you intend to be a personal slur against me. I guess I should have got used to that tactic by now - Lord True has used it repeatedly. You don't have to believe what I say on the point of "anti-Catholicism", just read Copthall resident's post above (4.50pm 18 Nov), first para. Now will you please give a clear answer to the question you keep avoiding. Here is is again: How can it be right to set up a new state-funded school that will discriminate against local children simply on the basis of the religion or belief of their parents? Exactly the same question would arise if it were an exclusive school for Muslims, Anglicans, Jews, Hindus or anything else. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

akhanw, I don't think 'segregating children by religion using state funds on the other hands is very divisive and hinders bonds and friendships in neighbourhoods'. Both my children have friends from our street yet don't go to the local school. One is at a state school in this borough but not the nearest, the other at a specialist school. Both have very local friends and strong bonds with their neighbourhood. Having local friends is a lot about your family and neighbourhood dynamics, I am friends with the neighbours and it's a friendly street.
akhanw, I don't think 'segregating children by religion using state funds on the other hands is very divisive and hinders bonds and friendships in neighbourhoods'. Both my children have friends from our street yet don't go to the local school. One is at a state school in this borough but not the nearest, the other at a specialist school. Both have very local friends and strong bonds with their neighbourhood. Having local friends is a lot about your family and neighbourhood dynamics, I am friends with the neighbours and it's a friendly street. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

10:12pm Sun 18 Nov 12

richste says...

Agnostic - I still do not understand your repsonse. There is no evidence that religious schools in Richmond are better than community. Infact we have excellence across all our primary schools and 2 of the 8 secondary schools that are outstanding are community.
Do you or not agree with religious discrimination in our schools ?
Agnostic - I still do not understand your repsonse. There is no evidence that religious schools in Richmond are better than community. Infact we have excellence across all our primary schools and 2 of the 8 secondary schools that are outstanding are community. Do you or not agree with religious discrimination in our schools ? richste
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Sun 18 Nov 12

akhanw says...

Is it fair for a non Christian religious family to be not able to send their child to their nearest 5 primary schools as they are all CoE or Catholic primaries?
How can you be part of community if you are not even allowed to become part of the family of local schools in your neighbourhood?
Is it fair for a non Christian religious family to be not able to send their child to their nearest 5 primary schools as they are all CoE or Catholic primaries? How can you be part of community if you are not even allowed to become part of the family of local schools in your neighbourhood? akhanw
  • Score: 0

10:38pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

Jeremy R, how have I slurred you? I admire your campaign but want to be assured it's free from prejudice.

How am I trying to discredit your supporters? I have much sympathy with them.

You should respond to innaccuracies about your views as they are shown on the internet. If you are wrongly reported I will staunchly defend you, for what it's worth. Put the record straight instead of saying I am slurring you.

Copthall resident should not answer for you. I admire the principled stand of Risc supporters. Copthall and others have given robust responses which I have really thought about. Good on them.

I have not avoided any question and have very clearly answered the question you and others ask in my post of 9.24 pm. I'm sorry I don't see things in black and white.

Can't you see I'm trying to offer a balanced view, and is that not worthy of respect?
Jeremy R, how have I slurred you? I admire your campaign but want to be assured it's free from prejudice. How am I trying to discredit your supporters? I have much sympathy with them. You should respond to innaccuracies about your views as they are shown on the internet. If you are wrongly reported I will staunchly defend you, for what it's worth. Put the record straight instead of saying I am slurring you. Copthall resident should not answer for you. I admire the principled stand of Risc supporters. Copthall and others have given robust responses which I have really thought about. Good on them. I have not avoided any question and have very clearly answered the question you and others ask in my post of 9.24 pm. I'm sorry I don't see things in black and white. Can't you see I'm trying to offer a balanced view, and is that not worthy of respect? A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

10:45pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

richste, I completely agree with your second and third sentences. I answered your fourth sentence at 9.24 pm, paras 2 and 3.

It's a complicated area.

Long live Risc, keep it free from anti-religious prejudice and we might be getting somewhere.
richste, I completely agree with your second and third sentences. I answered your fourth sentence at 9.24 pm, paras 2 and 3. It's a complicated area. Long live Risc, keep it free from anti-religious prejudice and we might be getting somewhere. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

10:55pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Riverman says...

The only groups to come out of this bigotted exchange with dignity are the catholics and their dignified silence and Lord True and the Council Officers who have been shown in the High Court to have acted legally. I expect the response to this remark to prove my point!
The only groups to come out of this bigotted exchange with dignity are the catholics and their dignified silence and Lord True and the Council Officers who have been shown in the High Court to have acted legally. I expect the response to this remark to prove my point! Riverman
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Sun 18 Nov 12

pmulak says...

Riverman - you are correct. Lord True and the Catholic community have defeated them on every occassion. Every time we had more responses - petition, consultation. They underestimated our power and unity all along.
Riverman - you are correct. Lord True and the Catholic community have defeated them on every occassion. Every time we had more responses - petition, consultation. They underestimated our power and unity all along. pmulak
  • Score: 0

11:19pm Sun 18 Nov 12

A. Gnostic says...

akhanwa 10.32 pm, you can be part of your community even if you don't have children! Child-free couples, the elderly, and single people are part of communities. They are affected by house price fluctuations because of neighbouring schools. We should remember that communities are for all those who live in them, not just those with children.

There are more non-religious schools by far than religious ones, and the former work on proximity criteria, so you'll always get a place nearby if not at the very nearest. Sometimes it's good to go to the school a bus ride away, opens horizons. Extreme localism has its limitations.
akhanwa 10.32 pm, you can be part of your community even if you don't have children! Child-free couples, the elderly, and single people are part of communities. They are affected by house price fluctuations because of neighbouring schools. We should remember that communities are for all those who live in them, not just those with children. There are more non-religious schools by far than religious ones, and the former work on proximity criteria, so you'll always get a place nearby if not at the very nearest. Sometimes it's good to go to the school a bus ride away, opens horizons. Extreme localism has its limitations. A. Gnostic
  • Score: 0

11:31pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Dellon says...

A.Gnostic, there is a very real fear that there soon won't be a place nearby. Community primary schools have doubled in size over recent years. All the catchment areas are shifting because there is no link policy. There always were fewer secondary places than primary places because it was assumed some parents would go private or move to the country. But it's not happening.
A.Gnostic, there is a very real fear that there soon won't be a place nearby. Community primary schools have doubled in size over recent years. All the catchment areas are shifting because there is no link policy. There always were fewer secondary places than primary places because it was assumed some parents would go private or move to the country. But it's not happening. Dellon
  • Score: 0

11:57pm Sun 18 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

A.Gnostic - so you burrow away on the internet until you find something that you think proves I'm anti-religious, you post it here in the public domain, and then you claim that you're not attempting to discredit me (and hence RISC)!

In fact you've misunderstood the quote you found. As I've said in the press before, along with a wide mix of people, including many Catholics, I did attend a meeting organised by a local "Protest the Pope" group that took place in Richmond Reference Library some weeks before the Papal visit. The reason I did so was because it provided a platform on which to draw attention to the issue of the proposed school, which at that stage few people were aware of.

Personally I had no problem with the Pope visiting the UK - he's the leader of a faith with many adherents here (though I didn't think it should have been a state visit, an honour given only to heads of state - in this case the Vatican - which, say, the Dalai Lama has never received). I therefore did not participate in any of the Protest the Pope rallies or other activities.

So what I said in the meeting was that, rather than getting too worked up about a short visit, the plan to set up a new Catholic school (all Voluntary Aided with exclusive admissions policies) which would then be around for decades was more worthy of concern. I was right: we now will have a highly discriminatory school with a 125 year lease.

If I were anti-religious, I would not be a member of Richmond Interfaith Forum, or be increasingly involved in other "interfaith" activities. I'm passionate believer in the importance of mutual tolerance and understanding between those of different beliefs. We are all human beings and should aim to respect each other as such, even if we disagree and sometimes need to argue for what we think is right. In my experience, there is far more that unites people of goodwill, regardless of their beliefs, than divides them.

I'd be more than happy to continue this discussion privately. But please can we focus on the issues now, rather than my personal position?
A.Gnostic - so you burrow away on the internet until you find something that you think proves I'm anti-religious, you post it here in the public domain, and then you claim that you're not attempting to discredit me (and hence RISC)! In fact you've misunderstood the quote you found. As I've said in the press before, along with a wide mix of people, including many Catholics, I did attend a meeting organised by a local "Protest the Pope" group that took place in Richmond Reference Library some weeks before the Papal visit. The reason I did so was because it provided a platform on which to draw attention to the issue of the proposed school, which at that stage few people were aware of. Personally I had no problem with the Pope visiting the UK - he's the leader of a faith with many adherents here (though I didn't think it should have been a state visit, an honour given only to heads of state - in this case the Vatican - which, say, the Dalai Lama has never received). I therefore did not participate in any of the Protest the Pope rallies or other activities. So what I said in the meeting was that, rather than getting too worked up about a short visit, the plan to set up a new Catholic school (all Voluntary Aided with exclusive admissions policies) which would then be around for decades was more worthy of concern. I was right: we now will have a highly discriminatory school with a 125 year lease. If I were anti-religious, I would not be a member of Richmond Interfaith Forum, or be increasingly involved in other "interfaith" activities. I'm passionate believer in the importance of mutual tolerance and understanding between those of different beliefs. We are all human beings and should aim to respect each other as such, even if we disagree and sometimes need to argue for what we think is right. In my experience, there is far more that unites people of goodwill, regardless of their beliefs, than divides them. I'd be more than happy to continue this discussion privately. But please can we focus on the issues now, rather than my personal position? JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

12:03am Mon 19 Nov 12

ruggabugga says...

Here's a recap of a pertinent comment in R&TTimes regarding Lord True’s Catholic interests:

sirarthurbliss says… 12:17am Wed 29 Aug 12

” Time for a reminder that Lord True and his wife are trustees of a charity: “To benefit such Roman Catholic Charitable purposes as the Trustees shall in their absolute discretion from time to time think fit”. Latest figures show it has assets of over £30million:

http://www.charities
direct.com/charities
/sir-harold-hood-cha
ritable-trust-225870
.html

I don’t recall Lord True making a declaration of interest before council debates about the Catholic school."
Here's a recap of a pertinent comment in R&TTimes regarding Lord True’s Catholic interests: sirarthurbliss says… 12:17am Wed 29 Aug 12 ” Time for a reminder that Lord True and his wife are trustees of a charity: “To benefit such Roman Catholic Charitable purposes as the Trustees shall in their absolute discretion from time to time think fit”. Latest figures show it has assets of over £30million: http://www.charities direct.com/charities /sir-harold-hood-cha ritable-trust-225870 .html I don’t recall Lord True making a declaration of interest before council debates about the Catholic school." ruggabugga
  • Score: 0

12:17am Mon 19 Nov 12

Irena P says...

Riverman,

I'm afraid pmulak has let the Catholic side down in the dignified stakes. How dare he say that Catholicism is the only true faith. I can assure you that there are religious people who are part of RISC and who are part of this forum. We are entitled to our beliefs too.

Pmulak - I suggest you consider putting your Bible where your mouth is, and perhaps 'love your neighbour as thyself.'
Riverman, I'm afraid pmulak has let the Catholic side down in the dignified stakes. How dare he say that Catholicism is the only true faith. I can assure you that there are religious people who are part of RISC and who are part of this forum. We are entitled to our beliefs too. Pmulak - I suggest you consider putting your Bible where your mouth is, and perhaps 'love your neighbour as thyself.' Irena P
  • Score: 0

1:32am Mon 19 Nov 12

Dr James Murphy says...

Islam is the only true faith and all our kids deserve Islamic education. We do not care about those who do not accept this truth. Lord True is the trustee of Islamic education and has rightly got the Richmond Council to support our schools...

Thoughts pmulak?
Islam is the only true faith and all our kids deserve Islamic education. We do not care about those who do not accept this truth. Lord True is the trustee of Islamic education and has rightly got the Richmond Council to support our schools... Thoughts pmulak? Dr James Murphy
  • Score: 0

1:32am Mon 19 Nov 12

metis says...

RISC supporters question why they should sponsor an institution with opposing views to their own - which in itself is a valid point. But if you turn the question round; Why are Catholics forced (through taxes) to subsidise state institutions antithetical to their own beliefs? i.e. Teaching young children that sex is primarily a recreational activity, that morals are a matter of personal choice, that aborting a foetus is a womens perogative and that it is perfectly legitimate to redefine the sacrament of holy matrimony.
The familiar 'Tyranny of the majority' argument seems to be acceptable only when it aligns with their own point of view.
The only fair way to ensure parents get a better choice in education for their children is through a voucher system.
Finally, as a lengthy conclusion draws close, I cant help thinking that supporters of RISC and BHS would have been better served had their leaders directed all that time, effort and resources towards launching a school of their own than wasted it on negative campaigning to sabotage the opposition.
RISC supporters question why they should sponsor an institution with opposing views to their own - which in itself is a valid point. But if you turn the question round; Why are Catholics forced (through taxes) to subsidise state institutions antithetical to their own beliefs? i.e. Teaching young children that sex is primarily a recreational activity, that morals are a matter of personal choice, that aborting a foetus is a womens perogative and that it is perfectly legitimate to redefine the sacrament of holy matrimony. The familiar 'Tyranny of the majority' argument seems to be acceptable only when it aligns with their own point of view. The only fair way to ensure parents get a better choice in education for their children is through a voucher system. Finally, as a lengthy conclusion draws close, I cant help thinking that supporters of RISC and BHS would have been better served had their leaders directed all that time, effort and resources towards launching a school of their own than wasted it on negative campaigning to sabotage the opposition. metis
  • Score: 0

5:36am Mon 19 Nov 12

pmulak says...

Well said Metis. The Catholics were made to pay for 3 badly performing academies. If the Tories were in power, they would not have been set up and one of them could have been a larger Catholic school that is needed.
But instead of opposing new Catholic school, Tory Councillors are taking the dignified route of sending their kids private.
Richmond should learn from this ruling - the Govt wants the Church and trusts it to set up high quality schools and not another failing academy. The only schools approved here are now Church schools. Conncil and DFE will not allow non church schools to openhere till 2017. Rather than being inspired by RISC, the Twickenham & Kingston free schools should get practical and if they need to get a school in next year, they take guidance on how to get a VA school from the Council
Well said Metis. The Catholics were made to pay for 3 badly performing academies. If the Tories were in power, they would not have been set up and one of them could have been a larger Catholic school that is needed. But instead of opposing new Catholic school, Tory Councillors are taking the dignified route of sending their kids private. Richmond should learn from this ruling - the Govt wants the Church and trusts it to set up high quality schools and not another failing academy. The only schools approved here are now Church schools. Conncil and DFE will not allow non church schools to openhere till 2017. Rather than being inspired by RISC, the Twickenham & Kingston free schools should get practical and if they need to get a school in next year, they take guidance on how to get a VA school from the Council pmulak
  • Score: 0

7:10am Mon 19 Nov 12

Dellon says...

The Conservatives voted for the academies as did the Catholic representatives on the education committee. RPA has been rated good and had a big improvement in results this year. Hampton Academy has already filled up and soon will Twickenham. If the only new schools can be church schools then the admission policies need to be inclusive to meet the council's statutory duty.
The Conservatives voted for the academies as did the Catholic representatives on the education committee. RPA has been rated good and had a big improvement in results this year. Hampton Academy has already filled up and soon will Twickenham. If the only new schools can be church schools then the admission policies need to be inclusive to meet the council's statutory duty. Dellon
  • Score: 0

8:11am Mon 19 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

*metis* What a load of rubbish! All schools including Catholic ones have to teach about the beliefs of different religions, and the different viewpoints on major ethical issues in order to conform to the frame work for Ofsted Inspections and the examination system. Thanks to just having obtained a GCSE in Religion and ethics and studying for an A level in the Philosophy of Religion my daughter is far better equipped to understand the ethical and religious views of everyone in society, including Catholics, and to reach her own conclusions than anyone of my generation.

This has never been about RISC wanting to promulgate one set of beliefs over any other.
*metis* What a load of rubbish! All schools including Catholic ones have to teach about the beliefs of different religions, and the different viewpoints on major ethical issues in order to conform to the frame work for Ofsted Inspections and the examination system. Thanks to just having obtained a GCSE in Religion and ethics and studying for an A level in the Philosophy of Religion my daughter is far better equipped to understand the ethical and religious views of everyone in society, including Catholics, and to reach her own conclusions than anyone of my generation. This has never been about RISC wanting to promulgate one set of beliefs over any other. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

8:23am Mon 19 Nov 12

Dr James Murphy says...

Judaism is the only true faith... we do not care about those who do not accept this etc etc...

I'd like to hear your thoughts please pmulak.
Judaism is the only true faith... we do not care about those who do not accept this etc etc... I'd like to hear your thoughts please pmulak. Dr James Murphy
  • Score: 0

9:48am Mon 19 Nov 12

jeremyhm says...

In case people have forgotten, may I remind them that the Conservative Manifesto for the local elections in 2010 specifically stated that they would work for a Catholic secondary school. They have done this, so fulfilling the promise for which they had a mandate.
In case people have forgotten, may I remind them that the Conservative Manifesto for the local elections in 2010 specifically stated that they would work for a Catholic secondary school. They have done this, so fulfilling the promise for which they had a mandate. jeremyhm
  • Score: 0

9:54am Mon 19 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

jeremyhm, a Catholic Academy would have fulfilled the same election mandate without causing nearly so much offence.
jeremyhm, a Catholic Academy would have fulfilled the same election mandate without causing nearly so much offence. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

10:44am Mon 19 Nov 12

Dellon says...

The council also argued its case by saying the school was desired but not 'needed' as Catholics have provision out of borough. Catholics responding to the consultation felt the school was needed, but when the consultation started there was still only one RC primary school with a link to a Richmond secondary. That situation changed quickly. I look forward to reading the full judgement.
The council also argued its case by saying the school was desired but not 'needed' as Catholics have provision out of borough. Catholics responding to the consultation felt the school was needed, but when the consultation started there was still only one RC primary school with a link to a Richmond secondary. That situation changed quickly. I look forward to reading the full judgement. Dellon
  • Score: 0

11:27am Mon 19 Nov 12

metis says...

Copthall resident wrote:
*metis* What a load of rubbish! All schools including Catholic ones have to teach about the beliefs of different religions, and the different viewpoints on major ethical issues in order to conform to the frame work for Ofsted Inspections and the examination system. Thanks to just having obtained a GCSE in Religion and ethics and studying for an A level in the Philosophy of Religion my daughter is far better equipped to understand the ethical and religious views of everyone in society, including Catholics, and to reach her own conclusions than anyone of my generation.

This has never been about RISC wanting to promulgate one set of beliefs over any other.
Congratulations on your daughter's exam results. However true proponents of faith schools believe that education is more than just academic success. The correlation between academic success and the strong discipline and moral framework that faith schools try to adhere to may be co-incidental, but I suspect not. Some would like to emulate that success without the tedious religious element and will game the system to that end. The core of Catholic teaching is not to produce perfect specimens for a distant utopia but that humans are imperfect and love and forgiveness is what really counts.
Secondly, you seem to suggest that Ofsted and state agencies should be the over-riding arbiters of moral behaviour. I would rather that power reside with parents and that they be responsible guardians of their offspring.
[quote][p][bold]Copthall resident[/bold] wrote: *metis* What a load of rubbish! All schools including Catholic ones have to teach about the beliefs of different religions, and the different viewpoints on major ethical issues in order to conform to the frame work for Ofsted Inspections and the examination system. Thanks to just having obtained a GCSE in Religion and ethics and studying for an A level in the Philosophy of Religion my daughter is far better equipped to understand the ethical and religious views of everyone in society, including Catholics, and to reach her own conclusions than anyone of my generation. This has never been about RISC wanting to promulgate one set of beliefs over any other.[/p][/quote]Congratulations on your daughter's exam results. However true proponents of faith schools believe that education is more than just academic success. The correlation between academic success and the strong discipline and moral framework that faith schools try to adhere to may be co-incidental, but I suspect not. Some would like to emulate that success without the tedious religious element and will game the system to that end. The core of Catholic teaching is not to produce perfect specimens for a distant utopia but that humans are imperfect and love and forgiveness is what really counts. Secondly, you seem to suggest that Ofsted and state agencies should be the over-riding arbiters of moral behaviour. I would rather that power reside with parents and that they be responsible guardians of their offspring. metis
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

*metis* But your original post of what was taught in non Catholic schools was a long list which was at best divisive, at worst offensive. I would certainly find it offensive if I was a teacher in a state school, but then ask any Catholic teacher and they will tell you that what they teach, and the moral framework within which teach in Catholic and non Catholic Schools are no different. I could of course have retaliated with a long list of misinformed stereotypes of what is taught and the moral framework that prevails in Catholic Schools, stereotypes conveniently confirmed by pmulak above, and indeed by my own husband's education, but I know the former is almost as unrepresentative of Catholicism as Osama bin laden is of Islam, and the practises that went on in my husband's school led to it's closure because parents no longer sent their boys there. It is surely absolutely necessary that society sets down framework for what is taught and the moral framework it is taught in, via OFSTED and the exam system, to ensure that the extremism of whatever nature that exists in seemingly all religions and society's is not allowed to prevail.


The Catholic Schools in the city I went to school in were always, and still are, poor performing schools in comparison to the non Catholic equivalents, regardless of the moral framework because they are a reflection of the Catholic and (since they are undersubscribed) wider community they serve, which is not as affluent as in Richmond. That is not in any way to undervalue the considerable work they do with the underprivileged, those who do not have English as a first language etc., love and forgiveness in action.

I completely respect the wishes of my truly devout friends, and those who grew up in a Catholic culture, to educate their children in Catholic Schools. However I do not think a Catholic ethos is in any way superior to the moral ethos that has to prevail in all schools, indeed that moral framework is undermined by seeking to privilege Catholic parents with choices that the rest of us do not have, compounded by the hypocrisy it encourages in parents seeking access to that privilege .
*metis* But your original post of what was taught in non Catholic schools was a long list which was at best divisive, at worst offensive. I would certainly find it offensive if I was a teacher in a state school, but then ask any Catholic teacher and they will tell you that what they teach, and the moral framework within which teach in Catholic and non Catholic Schools are no different. I could of course have retaliated with a long list of misinformed stereotypes of what is taught and the moral framework that prevails in Catholic Schools, stereotypes conveniently confirmed by pmulak above, and indeed by my own husband's education, but I know the former is almost as unrepresentative of Catholicism as Osama bin laden is of Islam, and the practises that went on in my husband's school led to it's closure because parents no longer sent their boys there. It is surely absolutely necessary that society sets down framework for what is taught and the moral framework it is taught in, via OFSTED and the exam system, to ensure that the extremism of whatever nature that exists in seemingly all religions and society's is not allowed to prevail. The Catholic Schools in the city I went to school in were always, and still are, poor performing schools in comparison to the non Catholic equivalents, regardless of the moral framework because they are a reflection of the Catholic and (since they are undersubscribed) wider community they serve, which is not as affluent as in Richmond. That is not in any way to undervalue the considerable work they do with the underprivileged, those who do not have English as a first language etc., love and forgiveness in action. I completely respect the wishes of my truly devout friends, and those who grew up in a Catholic culture, to educate their children in Catholic Schools. However I do not think a Catholic ethos is in any way superior to the moral ethos that has to prevail in all schools, indeed that moral framework is undermined by seeking to privilege Catholic parents with choices that the rest of us do not have, compounded by the hypocrisy it encourages in parents seeking access to that privilege . Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Mon 19 Nov 12

George TW1 says...

Well done to the RISC (with support from the BHA) for taking a stand on this issue on behalf of the many people in the borough who did not agree with the voluntary aided school proposal in the first place, nor the arrogant & high-handed way it was pushed through by the Council.
Well done to the RISC (with support from the BHA) for taking a stand on this issue on behalf of the many people in the borough who did not agree with the voluntary aided school proposal in the first place, nor the arrogant & high-handed way it was pushed through by the Council. George TW1
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Mon 19 Nov 12

metis says...

Okay, we are talking about value judgements here. I dont mind you taking offence at my opinions, what I do object to is your use of higher authority to impose your values on me. So no, I dont believe it is necessary for the state to use its powers to make me conform to your beliefs anymore than I should make you conform to mine.
Okay, we are talking about value judgements here. I dont mind you taking offence at my opinions, what I do object to is your use of higher authority to impose your values on me. So no, I dont believe it is necessary for the state to use its powers to make me conform to your beliefs anymore than I should make you conform to mine. metis
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Mon 19 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

Metis - the point here is not so much the values issue (my guess is that the core values of compassion, respect for others, community responsibility, respect for the law and democracy etc) instilled in children at any good school will not be much different, whether or not its a faith school.

The issue here is whether it is right for a state-funded school of whatever type to be able to discriminate against local children simply because of the religion or beliefs of their parents. RISC supporters think that's wrong. What do you think?
Metis - the point here is not so much the values issue (my guess is that the core values of compassion, respect for others, community responsibility, respect for the law and democracy etc) instilled in children at any good school will not be much different, whether or not its a faith school. The issue here is whether it is right for a state-funded school of whatever type to be able to discriminate against local children simply because of the religion or beliefs of their parents. RISC supporters think that's wrong. What do you think? JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Mon 19 Nov 12

metis says...

I think there is a subtle difference in 'discriminating against' something and discriminating in favour of ones own in order to promote the integrity of the institution in question.
The 'core' values quoted are noble indeed. But whereas common values are decided by an ever shifting consensus and are subject to the vagaries of time. The Christian values derive from The Almighty, are (supposed) to be immutable, timeless and regardless of status. The difference is dependent on ones beliefs. I think I prefer the latter, since there is less likelihood of them being hi-jacked for political reasons and secondly I find reassurance that the great and the mighty are subject to the same 'core' values as the common man. If it doesn't work in practice, I think it a worthwhile ambition.
I think there is a subtle difference in 'discriminating against' something and discriminating in favour of ones own in order to promote the integrity of the institution in question. The 'core' values quoted are noble indeed. But whereas common values are decided by an ever shifting consensus and are subject to the vagaries of time. The Christian values derive from The Almighty, are (supposed) to be immutable, timeless and regardless of status. The difference is dependent on ones beliefs. I think I prefer the latter, since there is less likelihood of them being hi-jacked for political reasons and secondly I find reassurance that the great and the mighty are subject to the same 'core' values as the common man. If it doesn't work in practice, I think it a worthwhile ambition. metis
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Mon 19 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

What's the "subtle difference" between discriminating against black people and discriminating in favour of white people?
What's the "subtle difference" between discriminating against black people and discriminating in favour of white people? JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Mon 19 Nov 12

metis says...

That would depend on what the end objectives are. For instance, until recently car insurance companies could discriminate in favour of women drivers based on the fact that they made fewer claims. This is now outlawed on the basis of sex discrimination. You may think that is justified but a lot of women may beg to differ.
That would depend on what the end objectives are. For instance, until recently car insurance companies could discriminate in favour of women drivers based on the fact that they made fewer claims. This is now outlawed on the basis of sex discrimination. You may think that is justified but a lot of women may beg to differ. metis
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Mon 19 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

That's a false comparison - insurance is based on risk assessment and probability, provision of schooling is not.

The implication is that there are circumstances where, in your view, it would be ok to discriminate against black people - and in favour of white people - in provision of state-funded education. Is that correct?
That's a false comparison - insurance is based on risk assessment and probability, provision of schooling is not. The implication is that there are circumstances where, in your view, it would be ok to discriminate against black people - and in favour of white people - in provision of state-funded education. Is that correct? JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Mon 19 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

Well, sex discrimination is not legal but my son can still not get into Waldegrave.

There are local priorities and differences in many areas - I have friends who are unable to access IVF in their local area as this is not funded by their PCT whereas in neighbouring areas it is.

I understand that many see no need for a Catholic secondary school in the borough but most Catholics do.
Well, sex discrimination is not legal but my son can still not get into Waldegrave. There are local priorities and differences in many areas - I have friends who are unable to access IVF in their local area as this is not funded by their PCT whereas in neighbouring areas it is. I understand that many see no need for a Catholic secondary school in the borough but most Catholics do. SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

6:29pm Mon 19 Nov 12

metis says...

No Jeremy - that is not what I am saying at all. You seem to assert that ALL discrimination is bad. I am saying that in some circumstances discrimination is justified dependent on what the end objective is.
No Jeremy - that is not what I am saying at all. You seem to assert that ALL discrimination is bad. I am saying that in some circumstances discrimination is justified dependent on what the end objective is. metis
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

metis I also note that schools like St Georges Weybridge manage not to "discriminate in favour" of the Catholic churches own and yet I have never heard any of my Catholic friends who have children there claiming the non Catholics there were a threat to the integrity of the institution, quite the reverse because of the diversity they introduce. However they of course do discriminate academically and economically. So it is OK to suffer the little children providing they are Catholic, clever or rich......doesn't sound very Christian to me.
metis I also note that schools like St Georges Weybridge manage not to "discriminate in favour" of the Catholic churches own and yet I have never heard any of my Catholic friends who have children there claiming the non Catholics there were a threat to the integrity of the institution, quite the reverse because of the diversity they introduce. However they of course do discriminate academically and economically. So it is OK to suffer the little children providing they are Catholic, clever or rich......doesn't sound very Christian to me. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Mon 19 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

If non Catholics are keen to have a Catholic education I would have no problem at all with inclusive admissions as long as there were enough places for practising Catholics, so a super sized school with enough places or two schools.

Except this would mean less choice for those who do not want a faith based education wouldn't it?

Would you support two Catholic schools in the borough?
If non Catholics are keen to have a Catholic education I would have no problem at all with inclusive admissions as long as there were enough places for practising Catholics, so a super sized school with enough places or two schools. Except this would mean less choice for those who do not want a faith based education wouldn't it? Would you support two Catholic schools in the borough? SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Dellon says...

As has been pointed out, we weren't given the opportunity to express a preference for a boy's school to balance out Waldegrave. Most Catholic schools are single-sex - I can't see any decision to make Gumley House or the Oratory co-ed going down too well. Indeed, some Richmond parents may still get the option of a school that is Catholic AND single sex. On top of all the other local options.
As has been pointed out, we weren't given the opportunity to express a preference for a boy's school to balance out Waldegrave. Most Catholic schools are single-sex - I can't see any decision to make Gumley House or the Oratory co-ed going down too well. Indeed, some Richmond parents may still get the option of a school that is Catholic AND single sex. On top of all the other local options. Dellon
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Dellon says...

There is already a CofE school in the borough where practising Catholics are given greater priority over baptised Anglicans who don't go to church regularly. As the head will be going on to St RR's, how different will the ethos really be?
There is already a CofE school in the borough where practising Catholics are given greater priority over baptised Anglicans who don't go to church regularly. As the head will be going on to St RR's, how different will the ethos really be? Dellon
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Mon 19 Nov 12

metis says...

It is increasingly clear that all parents want different things for their children. It has to have the right ethos, it has to be close enough, it has to be single sex, the right teaching methods,exam results and even an orchestra!
It is high time that power was given back to the parents and not the dictated by the State. Anyone should be able to start a school and provided there was enough support it would be viable under the voucher system - where the money followed the child and not the institution. Free schools go someway towards this but has further to go.
This is my last posting on this subject...........fo
r now.
It is increasingly clear that all parents want different things for their children. It has to have the right ethos, it has to be close enough, it has to be single sex, the right teaching methods,exam results and even an orchestra! It is high time that power was given back to the parents and not the dictated by the State. Anyone should be able to start a school and provided there was enough support it would be viable under the voucher system - where the money followed the child and not the institution. Free schools go someway towards this but has further to go. This is my last posting on this subject...........fo r now. metis
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Mon 19 Nov 12

ruggabugga says...

At least you won't find any discrimination within the Catholic church.
Or will you?
At least you won't find any discrimination within the Catholic church. Or will you? ruggabugga
  • Score: 0

8:38pm Mon 19 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Metis - parental choice is exactly the driver behind the Free School system. If the Diocese had opted for a Free School we wouldn't be having this argument because they'd be competing on an equal footing as everyone else! However, they decided to thumb their nose at the rest of society and push themselves to the front of the queue, grabbing the best site with no competition. That's why we're all so furious. If any other group had done the same we'd be furious with them too. But they haven't. Its just the Catholics.
Metis - parental choice is exactly the driver behind the Free School system. If the Diocese had opted for a Free School we wouldn't be having this argument because they'd be competing on an equal footing as everyone else! However, they decided to thumb their nose at the rest of society and push themselves to the front of the queue, grabbing the best site with no competition. That's why we're all so furious. If any other group had done the same we'd be furious with them too. But they haven't. Its just the Catholics. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Sarah, If there were plans in place to provide sufficient places in non Catholic Schools to meet demand over the next five years and the Catholic Church had followed the same process of applying for funding from the D of E required of all schools and demonstrated sufficient demand then I would have no problem with two inclusive Catholic Free Schools. However there is absolutely no certainty around site or funding for any of the current plans to meet the need for non Catholic places.

Moreover parents seeking a non Catholic education in this borough have for decades been faced with difficult decisions about secondary school which Catholic parents were innoculated from. Many moving, going private and going through the hoops to get into the out of borough Catholic Schools with all the resultant stress, breaking up of communities etc. If all those parents had turned up at the Council's door and insisted on a place at a local school there would be more than two big new schools.

What is unfair is that an additional Catholic School has been delivered by the back door specifically to ensure it is exclusive, and given a desired site in the heart of our community, furthering the privilege of an already privileged group, and denying entirely that privilege to local children on the basis of their beliefs.
Catholics will continue to have the preferred options of the established out of borough schools according to Paul Barber and the submission in court.


Quite a few parents from St James's sent their daughters to LEH and before the catchment shrunk, Waldegrave in preference to Gumley. For many parents currently following the Catholic School route the choice was about the certainty of a good education rather than a Catholic education. If that demand was met I doubt very much we would be talking two big new Catholic schools to meet demand.
Sarah, If there were plans in place to provide sufficient places in non Catholic Schools to meet demand over the next five years and the Catholic Church had followed the same process of applying for funding from the D of E required of all schools and demonstrated sufficient demand then I would have no problem with two inclusive Catholic Free Schools. However there is absolutely no certainty around site or funding for any of the current plans to meet the need for non Catholic places. Moreover parents seeking a non Catholic education in this borough have for decades been faced with difficult decisions about secondary school which Catholic parents were innoculated from. Many moving, going private and going through the hoops to get into the out of borough Catholic Schools with all the resultant stress, breaking up of communities etc. If all those parents had turned up at the Council's door and insisted on a place at a local school there would be more than two big new schools. What is unfair is that an additional Catholic School has been delivered by the back door specifically to ensure it is exclusive, and given a desired site in the heart of our community, furthering the privilege of an already privileged group, and denying entirely that privilege to local children on the basis of their beliefs. Catholics will continue to have the preferred options of the established out of borough schools according to Paul Barber and the submission in court. Quite a few parents from St James's sent their daughters to LEH and before the catchment shrunk, Waldegrave in preference to Gumley. For many parents currently following the Catholic School route the choice was about the certainty of a good education rather than a Catholic education. If that demand was met I doubt very much we would be talking two big new Catholic schools to meet demand. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Mon 19 Nov 12

metis says...

LizzyJ wrote:
Metis - parental choice is exactly the driver behind the Free School system. If the Diocese had opted for a Free School we wouldn't be having this argument because they'd be competing on an equal footing as everyone else! However, they decided to thumb their nose at the rest of society and push themselves to the front of the queue, grabbing the best site with no competition. That's why we're all so furious. If any other group had done the same we'd be furious with them too. But they haven't. Its just the Catholics.
Under a truly free school system the founders/governors/p
arents would determine their own admission system - not the Government.
[quote][p][bold]LizzyJ[/bold] wrote: Metis - parental choice is exactly the driver behind the Free School system. If the Diocese had opted for a Free School we wouldn't be having this argument because they'd be competing on an equal footing as everyone else! However, they decided to thumb their nose at the rest of society and push themselves to the front of the queue, grabbing the best site with no competition. That's why we're all so furious. If any other group had done the same we'd be furious with them too. But they haven't. Its just the Catholics.[/p][/quote]Under a truly free school system the founders/governors/p arents would determine their own admission system - not the Government. metis
  • Score: 0

10:07pm Mon 19 Nov 12

pmulak says...

Lord True and his Council have given the Catholics their promised site and school. If Jews and Muslims also want a school, they should ask their own, rather than oppose Catholic schools. People should stop using scaremongering tactics about the "black hole" around Clifden Road and trust the Councils Director - there is no need for a school in Richmond till 2017. They also have option of moving - there are interested buyers for houses close to the new schools.
Lord True and his Council have given the Catholics their promised site and school. If Jews and Muslims also want a school, they should ask their own, rather than oppose Catholic schools. People should stop using scaremongering tactics about the "black hole" around Clifden Road and trust the Councils Director - there is no need for a school in Richmond till 2017. They also have option of moving - there are interested buyers for houses close to the new schools. pmulak
  • Score: 0

10:30pm Mon 19 Nov 12

richste says...

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/iplayer/episode/b01
p2wh9/Sunday_Morning
_Live_Series_3_Episo
de_19/

Sunday Morning Live discussing faith schools and whether admissions should be selective on religious grounds (segment starts at 45 mins)
http://www.bbc.co.uk /iplayer/episode/b01 p2wh9/Sunday_Morning _Live_Series_3_Episo de_19/ Sunday Morning Live discussing faith schools and whether admissions should be selective on religious grounds (segment starts at 45 mins) richste
  • Score: 0

10:33pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Twickenham resident says...

I've tried to wade back through this thread which I think tops all previous records for the RTT online forum and apologise if my points have already been covered but I should like to make the following observation:

As entry to the new Catholic state school on the Clifden Road site discriminates on the basis of religion (rather un PC in 2012), as oppose to the current accepted discrimination of how close you live or if you have siblings at the school, I should like to know how many local residents, who live within walking, cycling or a short bus ride, have applied for a place for their child.

I know people who do not live within car or cycling distance who have applied and who if successful, will have to drive their children to the school, along already overly congested roads, in the centre of Twickenham which is a nightmare during school operating hours.

Once off the High Street, the only route to the Clifden site is along residential roads, either Copthall Gardens, Clifden Road or Station Road. This road is gridlocked during peak times and has a dangerous blind bend by the Albany pub, where there is no pavement. Any child who takes the train to Twickenham or walking from the Albany area risks its life walking along this stretch of road. Will the Catholic Church or the Counci pay to improve safety in this area or will try try to enforce a one way system on existing residents? If so they will meet fierce opposition.

Parents intending to drive their children to this new school can expect a journey of up to an hour in the morning if they come from the other side of the A316.

When this site was previously a school there was no where near as many cars or traffic. However, none of these issues appear to have been addressed and the propoganda we are given tells us that traffic in this area once the school is in operation will be less.
I've tried to wade back through this thread which I think tops all previous records for the RTT online forum and apologise if my points have already been covered but I should like to make the following observation: As entry to the new Catholic state school on the Clifden Road site discriminates on the basis of religion (rather un PC in 2012), as oppose to the current accepted discrimination of how close you live or if you have siblings at the school, I should like to know how many local residents, who live within walking, cycling or a short bus ride, have applied for a place for their child. I know people who do not live within car or cycling distance who have applied and who if successful, will have to drive their children to the school, along already overly congested roads, in the centre of Twickenham which is a nightmare during school operating hours. Once off the High Street, the only route to the Clifden site is along residential roads, either Copthall Gardens, Clifden Road or Station Road. This road is gridlocked during peak times and has a dangerous blind bend by the Albany pub, where there is no pavement. Any child who takes the train to Twickenham or walking from the Albany area risks its life walking along this stretch of road. Will the Catholic Church or the Counci pay to improve safety in this area or will try try to enforce a one way system on existing residents? If so they will meet fierce opposition. Parents intending to drive their children to this new school can expect a journey of up to an hour in the morning if they come from the other side of the A316. When this site was previously a school there was no where near as many cars or traffic. However, none of these issues appear to have been addressed and the propoganda we are given tells us that traffic in this area once the school is in operation will be less. Twickenham resident
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Twickenham resident says...

sorry meant to write "I know people who do not live within WALKING or cycling distance who have applied....." who
sorry meant to write "I know people who do not live within WALKING or cycling distance who have applied....." who Twickenham resident
  • Score: 0

11:05pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Twickenham resident These issues were raised in the consultation but in planning terms once a school, always a school. However Andy Cole's assertion that there will "hopefully" be less traffic ought to end up as a planning condition, with measures required to ensure there will be no more traffic than at present , which I think it would be reasonable to specify should not be concentrated in two hours of the day, rather than across the day, that parking restrictions will be strictly enforced and that no delivery or service vehicles will approach the school between 3pm and 9am. All these planning conditions are in place for the College and they have kept to them. Obviously people near to the college need to be careful to ensure that continues to be the case once the planning process gets going, but all the signals from the planning people is that they are going to stick with current planning precedents . However I am sure the school and parents, will with this famed ethos and moral framework, do everything in their power to make sure they respect local residents and in particular the safety of the children of local residents as they make their journeys to whatever schools they can find a place in......and there will not be a 4*4 in sight, just like outside St James's every morning and night. I'm still rigging up a webcam and speed dial to Andy Cole in the event anyone strays from the straight and narrow and dares to block my parking, litter my garden etc

I am also worried about what happens when all these children arrive and leave by train and encounter the heavily policed Richmond College Flashmob. If it scared Vince Cable what will it do to all those alterboys who didn't succeed in getting into the Oratory?

Besides who would want to join that other great black hole of Twickenham, the Station Road ratrun jam!
Twickenham resident These issues were raised in the consultation but in planning terms once a school, always a school. However Andy Cole's assertion that there will "hopefully" be less traffic ought to end up as a planning condition, with measures required to ensure there will be no more traffic than at present , which I think it would be reasonable to specify should not be concentrated in two hours of the day, rather than across the day, that parking restrictions will be strictly enforced and that no delivery or service vehicles will approach the school between 3pm and 9am. All these planning conditions are in place for the College and they have kept to them. Obviously people near to the college need to be careful to ensure that continues to be the case once the planning process gets going, but all the signals from the planning people is that they are going to stick with current planning precedents . However I am sure the school and parents, will with this famed ethos and moral framework, do everything in their power to make sure they respect local residents and in particular the safety of the children of local residents as they make their journeys to whatever schools they can find a place in......and there will not be a 4*4 in sight, just like outside St James's every morning and night. I'm still rigging up a webcam and speed dial to Andy Cole in the event anyone strays from the straight and narrow and dares to block my parking, litter my garden etc I am also worried about what happens when all these children arrive and leave by train and encounter the heavily policed Richmond College Flashmob. If it scared Vince Cable what will it do to all those alterboys who didn't succeed in getting into the Oratory? Besides who would want to join that other great black hole of Twickenham, the Station Road ratrun jam! Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

11:09pm Mon 19 Nov 12

milessm says...

Sarah - A Catholic school should not admit non Catholics to protect the Catholic ethos.
talking of discrimination, it will be unfair to turn a Catholic child away in favour of a non Catholic. The Catholic parents contribute to the Church in many ways not to be denied a place in their own school !!!
Sarah - A Catholic school should not admit non Catholics to protect the Catholic ethos. talking of discrimination, it will be unfair to turn a Catholic child away in favour of a non Catholic. The Catholic parents contribute to the Church in many ways not to be denied a place in their own school !!! milessm
  • Score: 0

11:43pm Mon 19 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

Still no-one (including metis) has given a decent answer to the simple question: how can it be right to set up a new state-funded school which will discriminate against local children simply because of their parents' religion or beliefs? Or because of the colour of their parents' skin?

pamluk and milessm are clear: they think it's fine as long as the members of their tribe (in this case Catholics, but their argument would apply equally to white people, or black people, or Muslims, or Chelsea supporters) are the ones to enjoy the privilege.

Metis seems to be saying that there are some "end objectives" which would justify racial discrimination in school selection. What are they exactly?
Still no-one (including metis) has given a decent answer to the simple question: how can it be right to set up a new state-funded school which will discriminate against local children simply because of their parents' religion or beliefs? Or because of the colour of their parents' skin? pamluk and milessm are clear: they think it's fine as long as the members of their tribe (in this case Catholics, but their argument would apply equally to white people, or black people, or Muslims, or Chelsea supporters) are the ones to enjoy the privilege. Metis seems to be saying that there are some "end objectives" which would justify racial discrimination in school selection. What are they exactly? JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

12:17am Tue 20 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

Jeremy, I have said that I would not necessarily be against more inclusive admissions if there were still enough places for practicing Catholics.

Perhaps with a bigger school, or two schools. If non-Catholics would value a Catholic education and are prepared to support the school's ethos then they would be welcome.

Would you support two Catholic schools in the borough?
Jeremy, I have said that I would not necessarily be against more inclusive admissions if there were still enough places for practicing Catholics. Perhaps with a bigger school, or two schools. If non-Catholics would value a Catholic education and are prepared to support the school's ethos then they would be welcome. Would you support two Catholic schools in the borough? SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

1:34am Tue 20 Nov 12

metis says...

Jeremy, I think Sarah has beaten me to it.
You and others here seem to be under the impression that religion is just an exam subject where assembly and RE lessons are just an optional extra. Religion is a belief system that affects every aspect of your life and how you conduct yourself in it. So, I have no problem with non-catholics attending provided they demonstrate a genuine commitment to the whole package. To favour one who is Not committed above one who is - is not in anyone's interest. I hope that answers your question.
Let me clear one thing up; I am not in favour of any discrimination on grounds of skin colour whether it be a positive or negative discrimination. Exercising discrimination on other basis can sometimes be justified depending on circumstances.
Jeremy, I think Sarah has beaten me to it. You and others here seem to be under the impression that religion is just an exam subject where assembly and RE lessons are just an optional extra. Religion is a belief system that affects every aspect of your life and how you conduct yourself in it. So, I have no problem with non-catholics attending provided they demonstrate a genuine commitment to the whole package. To favour one who is Not committed above one who is - is not in anyone's interest. I hope that answers your question. Let me clear one thing up; I am not in favour of any discrimination on grounds of skin colour whether it be a positive or negative discrimination. Exercising discrimination on other basis can sometimes be justified depending on circumstances. metis
  • Score: 0

6:05am Tue 20 Nov 12

milessm says...

The only circumstance in which non Catholics should be allowed is if they are committed in following the Caholic religion. The admission criteria for St Richard Reynolds allows 1/3rd places for such parents and is a great compromise from a traditional Catholic school admission policy.
The only circumstance in which non Catholics should be allowed is if they are committed in following the Caholic religion. The admission criteria for St Richard Reynolds allows 1/3rd places for such parents and is a great compromise from a traditional Catholic school admission policy. milessm
  • Score: 0

6:21am Tue 20 Nov 12

milessm says...

Catholic schools across the country are very inclusive. RISC supporters are just not listening to the views of people who run education in this country. The Education department, Council officers,leader and all councillors have agreed to Catholic schools and no need for an other school.
Copthall - your views on black hole, traffic etc are not shared by the majority. Everyone got a chance to have their say in the consultation on type of schools and their view on issues and the overwhelming majority agreed with the Councils position. A few naysayers will always exist. You should now accept the democratic result.
Catholic schools across the country are very inclusive. RISC supporters are just not listening to the views of people who run education in this country. The Education department, Council officers,leader and all councillors have agreed to Catholic schools and no need for an other school. Copthall - your views on black hole, traffic etc are not shared by the majority. Everyone got a chance to have their say in the consultation on type of schools and their view on issues and the overwhelming majority agreed with the Councils position. A few naysayers will always exist. You should now accept the democratic result. milessm
  • Score: 0

7:06am Tue 20 Nov 12

richste says...

If Catholic schools have inclusive admissions and deliver outstanding education for the benefit of everyone in the community, then yes there could be more than 1 Catholic school.
What is good should be available for everyone without any discrimination. There are many Caholic schools in privare sector that have inclusive admissions and there are no problems or dilution of ethos.
Instead what the Conservatives and the Council have done is built walls, not preseved community relations and created a big division in our society.
If Catholic schools have inclusive admissions and deliver outstanding education for the benefit of everyone in the community, then yes there could be more than 1 Catholic school. What is good should be available for everyone without any discrimination. There are many Caholic schools in privare sector that have inclusive admissions and there are no problems or dilution of ethos. Instead what the Conservatives and the Council have done is built walls, not preseved community relations and created a big division in our society. richste
  • Score: 0

7:36am Tue 20 Nov 12

Irena P says...

Clearly there is a financial incentive for a voluntary aided school that an academy wouldn't provide. Why wouldn't a cash strapped government wish to offload 2 schools to an 'experienced' provider, particularly when it is one of the world's wealthiest organisations? To think that this decision is out of the democratic and moral duty of michael gove etc is naive.
Clearly there is a financial incentive for a voluntary aided school that an academy wouldn't provide. Why wouldn't a cash strapped government wish to offload 2 schools to an 'experienced' provider, particularly when it is one of the world's wealthiest organisations? To think that this decision is out of the democratic and moral duty of michael gove etc is naive. Irena P
  • Score: 0

8:12am Tue 20 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

milessm Nobody knows what the majority think, there has been no process that met the requirements of a democratic or research exercise. What we know is that the majority either didn't know or didn't care enough to respond to the consultation. We know that the vast majority who responded to the consultation in favour were Catholic helped by the fact that response was urged from the pulpit and even paper forms given out to make response easier for all sections of the Catholic community (but the same arrangements were not in place to facilitate such responses from similar sections of the rest of the community). We know that the numbers of parents directly affected by the proposal i.e the parents of school age children voted equally for and against and we know the vast majority of local parents voted against as did the majority of non Catholic Christians and the majority of non Catholics. That is all we know.

On traffic the Council have measures in place to limit the use of cars and lorries/vans travelling to the site and the hours during which they can do so recognising that the narrow approach roads are already congestyed. It is not an issue unless people are wrongly anticipating that they will drive their children right up to the school gate.

What the "majority" may not have caught up with on the black hole is that the Council have now conceded that with many of the assumptions underpinning their forecasts, a new free school from 2013, a new school in Kingston, the impact of removal of links, having been undermined they need to amend their forecasts. They are now working with the new Free School and have actively promoted a catchment centred just west of the Green, equidistant from Teddington, Orleans and Twickenham Academy to meet the expected shortfall in school places there, however funding and a site for that school is not certain.
milessm Nobody knows what the majority think, there has been no process that met the requirements of a democratic or research exercise. What we know is that the majority either didn't know or didn't care enough to respond to the consultation. We know that the vast majority who responded to the consultation in favour were Catholic helped by the fact that response was urged from the pulpit and even paper forms given out to make response easier for all sections of the Catholic community (but the same arrangements were not in place to facilitate such responses from similar sections of the rest of the community). We know that the numbers of parents directly affected by the proposal i.e the parents of school age children voted equally for and against and we know the vast majority of local parents voted against as did the majority of non Catholic Christians and the majority of non Catholics. That is all we know. On traffic the Council have measures in place to limit the use of cars and lorries/vans travelling to the site and the hours during which they can do so recognising that the narrow approach roads are already congestyed. It is not an issue unless people are wrongly anticipating that they will drive their children right up to the school gate. What the "majority" may not have caught up with on the black hole is that the Council have now conceded that with many of the assumptions underpinning their forecasts, a new free school from 2013, a new school in Kingston, the impact of removal of links, having been undermined they need to amend their forecasts. They are now working with the new Free School and have actively promoted a catchment centred just west of the Green, equidistant from Teddington, Orleans and Twickenham Academy to meet the expected shortfall in school places there, however funding and a site for that school is not certain. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

9:20am Tue 20 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Milessm The 10 places available to local children is in the primary school only, in the senior school it translates to a maximum of 10 local children in an intake of 150 in seven years time. That is not a third by my Maths.

The church conceded 10 places in the primary school because a Catholic primary school on this site was not justified by either a need or a desire. However there is a need for Primary School places for non Catholic children and our Education Officer saw meeting that need as the only way of justifying a primary school on the site. It wasn't a great compromise, it was a way to get a Catholic Primary School where it wasn't otherwise going to be allowed.

That there isn't a need or desire was deemonstarted by the fact that an additional class at Sacred Heart Primary could not be filled. Many non Catholic parents were very upset to find themselves being offered places there even though they had not included it in their preferences. Even more upset when they realised that Catholic first children would have priority over their siblings.
Milessm The 10 places available to local children is in the primary school only, in the senior school it translates to a maximum of 10 local children in an intake of 150 in seven years time. That is not a third by my Maths. The church conceded 10 places in the primary school because a Catholic primary school on this site was not justified by either a need or a desire. However there is a need for Primary School places for non Catholic children and our Education Officer saw meeting that need as the only way of justifying a primary school on the site. It wasn't a great compromise, it was a way to get a Catholic Primary School where it wasn't otherwise going to be allowed. That there isn't a need or desire was deemonstarted by the fact that an additional class at Sacred Heart Primary could not be filled. Many non Catholic parents were very upset to find themselves being offered places there even though they had not included it in their preferences. Even more upset when they realised that Catholic first children would have priority over their siblings. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

9:30am Tue 20 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

We are in danger here of re-hashing the same old arguments again and again.

There will be a Catholic school on the Clifden Road site. Lets now have some positive work to help make the Turing School a reality as well as the school on the college site.

Even Jeremy wished the Catholic school well immediately following the Judicial Review result. If he and RISC mean it lets see some positive work for the other proposed schools rather than this continued negative stuff.
We are in danger here of re-hashing the same old arguments again and again. There will be a Catholic school on the Clifden Road site. Lets now have some positive work to help make the Turing School a reality as well as the school on the college site. Even Jeremy wished the Catholic school well immediately following the Judicial Review result. If he and RISC mean it lets see some positive work for the other proposed schools rather than this continued negative stuff. SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

9:53am Tue 20 Nov 12

lottieprosser says...

Sarah. As someone who has followed this mainly from a distance online and is not personally affected, I still feel absolute horror at the way Lord True and his acolytes and the Catholic Church have behaved. It is now very hard to feel positive as it is very clear that no adequate plans are in place for the majority of children as described in so many well explained posts above. The dedicated parents who have worked so hard to put together a free school proposal for a truly inclusive school have not received the backing that they deserve from the Council (although they will probably diplomatically deny this as they have to keep good relations going) and it is clear that there is no adequate site for their school locally now the only suitable site has been given to the Catholic church. The reason why we keep re-hashing the arguments is because new people are joining in the debate who don't understand the local pressures on school places and because the Catholic School followers are still in absolute denial about the needs of the 90%, presumably because they realise that what they want conflicts with the approach they would have to take if they cared about all children and the whole community not just their own group. I am proud that the church which I grew up attending in Hampton is opening a primary school for the whole community - that's real Christianity for me. I'd be unable to stay very long in a church that contained people who express views like pmulak above eg. "Catholicism is the true faith, we do not care about those who do not accept this truth". I'd have a lot more respect for Lord True and the Catholic followers if they admitted they are taking what they want now using local council taxpayers money, but in return the Catholic Church will be donating £30m to buy a site for Turing House School. So how about going to see Lord True and organising yourselves along those lines?
Sarah. As someone who has followed this mainly from a distance online and is not personally affected, I still feel absolute horror at the way Lord True and his acolytes and the Catholic Church have behaved. It is now very hard to feel positive as it is very clear that no adequate plans are in place for the majority of children as described in so many well explained posts above. The dedicated parents who have worked so hard to put together a free school proposal for a truly inclusive school have not received the backing that they deserve from the Council (although they will probably diplomatically deny this as they have to keep good relations going) and it is clear that there is no adequate site for their school locally now the only suitable site has been given to the Catholic church. The reason why we keep re-hashing the arguments is because new people are joining in the debate who don't understand the local pressures on school places and because the Catholic School followers are still in absolute denial about the needs of the 90%, presumably because they realise that what they want conflicts with the approach they would have to take if they cared about all children and the whole community not just their own group. I am proud that the church which I grew up attending in Hampton is opening a primary school for the whole community - that's real Christianity for me. I'd be unable to stay very long in a church that contained people who express views like pmulak above eg. "Catholicism is the true faith, we do not care about those who do not accept this truth". I'd have a lot more respect for Lord True and the Catholic followers if they admitted they are taking what they want now using local council taxpayers money, but in return the Catholic Church will be donating £30m to buy a site for Turing House School. So how about going to see Lord True and organising yourselves along those lines? lottieprosser
  • Score: 0

10:10am Tue 20 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

I have seen your very clear views before on Mumsnet. You are entitled to your opinion. I just happen not to agree with them.

ANY school that I opens is invariably closed to 90% of the population due to it's size, catchment etc.

The Diocese of Westminster is responding to long-held requests from local parishioners. The council have kept it's promise to support a Carholic school whilst at the same time successfully identifying another site at Richmond college.

The Turing School have identified another site.

It is absolutely not true to say that the council has not supported the new Free School proposal. I have it under very good authority that they have and continue to meet with the steering group to offer help and assistance. The only thing that Nick Whitfield did say was that they would not support a community school on the Clifden Road site in 2013 as it would be to the detriment of already existing, undersubscribed academies.

The Catholic community are paying for this school through taxes as well as having to fundraise to pay for the refurbishment costs and the longer term 10% building costs.
I have seen your very clear views before on Mumsnet. You are entitled to your opinion. I just happen not to agree with them. ANY school that I opens is invariably closed to 90% of the population due to it's size, catchment etc. The Diocese of Westminster is responding to long-held requests from local parishioners. The council have kept it's promise to support a Carholic school whilst at the same time successfully identifying another site at Richmond college. The Turing School have identified another site. It is absolutely not true to say that the council has not supported the new Free School proposal. I have it under very good authority that they have and continue to meet with the steering group to offer help and assistance. The only thing that Nick Whitfield did say was that they would not support a community school on the Clifden Road site in 2013 as it would be to the detriment of already existing, undersubscribed academies. The Catholic community are paying for this school through taxes as well as having to fundraise to pay for the refurbishment costs and the longer term 10% building costs. SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

10:28am Tue 20 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

Having drilled down into the detail of this whole issue, the question of a new catholic school is peripheral to the overall needs of children in R and T

If you put a Richmond Council hat on and try to see it from their point of view, then you can see what is really going on here.

The council need to take a strategic view and think about the medium to long-term future of educational provision in the borough. They have to balance out the need to provide the best education for local children while getting Best Value for local council tax payers.

The borough already has some of the best educational provision in the country and no doubt they want to build on this.

So let's talk about the elephant in the room. RISC no doubt have supporters who take a principled stand, but it appears to me from the debate that has developed over many months, that there is a real fear from parents in Twickenham that their child might have to attend WHitton School, now known as Twickenham Academy.

To put it crudely, some parents in Twickenham do not want their children mixing with those "smelly" kids from Feltham.

Children from Feltham (who are not in the borough) get places in TA because the school is undersubscribed by R and T residents.

The council know they have to provide more places through whatever means over the next few years.

Therefore should they open a new state school in Clifden Road or work towards increasing uptake at the existing state provision at TA?

To this end, TA has basically built a brand new school and new management appointed to transform the school, presumably in academic attainment.

The bottom line is that the new catholic school meets part of the strategy by creating more secondary school places.

I think it is no coincidence that at the same time the linked school system has been scrapped which is likely to drive more local pupils towards TA.

My son is due to go to secondary school in 2013. He is in a former link school for Orleans. It looks now that he has no chance of going to what would have been out first choice.

I have no resentment towards local catholics developing their own school. SImply because what they are doing is lawful.

It looks like our son might end up in TA.

As committed and supportive parents, if this is the case then we will do our best to support the school and play our role in helping to drive up standards there.

I suggest that others, who may have a prejudice towards TA start to take a more positive outlook and resolve to help create a great school, thus improving the inclusive access to a good education for more local children, rather than brooding over the creation of a new catholic school.
Having drilled down into the detail of this whole issue, the question of a new catholic school is peripheral to the overall needs of children in R and T If you put a Richmond Council hat on and try to see it from their point of view, then you can see what is really going on here. The council need to take a strategic view and think about the medium to long-term future of educational provision in the borough. They have to balance out the need to provide the best education for local children while getting Best Value for local council tax payers. The borough already has some of the best educational provision in the country and no doubt they want to build on this. So let's talk about the elephant in the room. RISC no doubt have supporters who take a principled stand, but it appears to me from the debate that has developed over many months, that there is a real fear from parents in Twickenham that their child might have to attend WHitton School, now known as Twickenham Academy. To put it crudely, some parents in Twickenham do not want their children mixing with those "smelly" kids from Feltham. Children from Feltham (who are not in the borough) get places in TA because the school is undersubscribed by R and T residents. The council know they have to provide more places through whatever means over the next few years. Therefore should they open a new state school in Clifden Road or work towards increasing uptake at the existing state provision at TA? To this end, TA has basically built a brand new school and new management appointed to transform the school, presumably in academic attainment. The bottom line is that the new catholic school meets part of the strategy by creating more secondary school places. I think it is no coincidence that at the same time the linked school system has been scrapped which is likely to drive more local pupils towards TA. My son is due to go to secondary school in 2013. He is in a former link school for Orleans. It looks now that he has no chance of going to what would have been out first choice. I have no resentment towards local catholics developing their own school. SImply because what they are doing is lawful. It looks like our son might end up in TA. As committed and supportive parents, if this is the case then we will do our best to support the school and play our role in helping to drive up standards there. I suggest that others, who may have a prejudice towards TA start to take a more positive outlook and resolve to help create a great school, thus improving the inclusive access to a good education for more local children, rather than brooding over the creation of a new catholic school. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

11:06am Tue 20 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Knellerman, your 'Feltham' comments are offensive. Many Hounslow children are lucky to have access to good and outstanding community secondary schools. Many more of them would have access to such schools if their local admissions weren't skewed by faith-based admissions systems. As a Sikh school has been approved to open there in 2013, even more separation will occur in future.

If you can guarantee to get your son into TA then you're one of the lucky ones. If you also like the Kunskappskolan ethos, then you're even luckier. However, if you're one of those people, like me, who are further away and don't know if there are going to be any TA places left for my son, then things are less certain.

When I went to look round TA the children were lovely. Its the education methodology, and the Head's weak defence of it that I don't like, and now that the council have no control over the school that's not going to change. Nevertheless, I'll be grateful for a place if that's all we're offered. Grateful, but still angry about Clifden Road.
Knellerman, your 'Feltham' comments are offensive. Many Hounslow children are lucky to have access to good and outstanding community secondary schools. Many more of them would have access to such schools if their local admissions weren't skewed by faith-based admissions systems. As a Sikh school has been approved to open there in 2013, even more separation will occur in future. If you can guarantee to get your son into TA then you're one of the lucky ones. If you also like the Kunskappskolan ethos, then you're even luckier. However, if you're one of those people, like me, who are further away and don't know if there are going to be any TA places left for my son, then things are less certain. When I went to look round TA the children were lovely. Its the education methodology, and the Head's weak defence of it that I don't like, and now that the council have no control over the school that's not going to change. Nevertheless, I'll be grateful for a place if that's all we're offered. Grateful, but still angry about Clifden Road. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

11:28am Tue 20 Nov 12

Dellon says...

Knellerman, I think you're right that the council wants to fill up the academies. As a separate issue to the Catholic school debate, there's understandable fear over the lack of local accountability in the new structures of schools. I don't know how much will change with the schools that until this year were LA-maintained, but at least they don't have sponsors who impose a specific methodology. Richmond Park Academy does have a very strong board of local governors.

The Coalition Agreement does promote inclusivity in our schools. Lord True appears to ignore that and the unforeseen consequences of the new Education Act which he voted for. It appears we now have a situation where exclusive VA schools are still allowed, and it is even easier to set them up if local councils are sympathetic, yet more religious schools are also allowed as free schools and there will be more of them (along with schools sponsored by companies who may hope to profit). This two-track system inevitably will lead to more segregation and fewer inclusive mainstream schools where local parents feel they have a voice.
Knellerman, I think you're right that the council wants to fill up the academies. As a separate issue to the Catholic school debate, there's understandable fear over the lack of local accountability in the new structures of schools. I don't know how much will change with the schools that until this year were LA-maintained, but at least they don't have sponsors who impose a specific methodology. Richmond Park Academy does have a very strong board of local governors. The Coalition Agreement does promote inclusivity in our schools. Lord True appears to ignore that and the unforeseen consequences of the new Education Act which he voted for. It appears we now have a situation where exclusive VA schools are still allowed, and it is even easier to set them up if local councils are sympathetic, yet more religious schools are also allowed as free schools and there will be more of them (along with schools sponsored by companies who may hope to profit). This two-track system inevitably will lead to more segregation and fewer inclusive mainstream schools where local parents feel they have a voice. Dellon
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Tue 20 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

Here's yet another attempt at asking the key question (most recently avoided by metis who went off on a tangent about RE): "how can it be right to set up a new state-funded school that will discriminate against local children simply because of the religion or beliefs of their parents?" And how is that different, for those on the receiving end, to discrimination on the basis of skin colour?

Indeed I do wish the new school well in that the children who will attend it are just children. No one wants to deny them a successful education. It's not their fault that the school has been designed to be highly discriminatory and was forced through in the way that it was, to the disadvantage of others.

But the argument about inclusive admissions will not go away. Catholic VA schools are NOT inclusive - they only take children of non-Catholics when there are spare places after the local Catholic parents have taken what they want. The 10 "community" places (out of 30) at the small primary here is very much an exception, and of course, they are open to children of Catholics too.

One day we'll have a government with the courage to remove the legal exemption that enables this blatant discrimination to continue. All faith schools will then be genuinely inclusive, as many are already.
Here's yet another attempt at asking the key question (most recently avoided by metis who went off on a tangent about RE): "how can it be right to set up a new state-funded school that will discriminate against local children simply because of the religion or beliefs of their parents?" And how is that different, for those on the receiving end, to discrimination on the basis of skin colour? Indeed I do wish the new school well in that the children who will attend it are just children. No one wants to deny them a successful education. It's not their fault that the school has been designed to be highly discriminatory and was forced through in the way that it was, to the disadvantage of others. But the argument about inclusive admissions will not go away. Catholic VA schools are NOT inclusive - they only take children of non-Catholics when there are spare places after the local Catholic parents have taken what they want. The 10 "community" places (out of 30) at the small primary here is very much an exception, and of course, they are open to children of Catholics too. One day we'll have a government with the courage to remove the legal exemption that enables this blatant discrimination to continue. All faith schools will then be genuinely inclusive, as many are already. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Tue 20 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

So Jeremy, would you support two Catholic schools or a supersized Catholic school to ensure that all that wanted a Catholic education had the opportunity to attend?

It would seem an odd argument otherwise to have only one small school where not even all children attending Catholic primaries could get in.

I agree, that in an ideal world all children would be able to receive a Catholic education. I surprised that you think the same.
So Jeremy, would you support two Catholic schools or a supersized Catholic school to ensure that all that wanted a Catholic education had the opportunity to attend? It would seem an odd argument otherwise to have only one small school where not even all children attending Catholic primaries could get in. I agree, that in an ideal world all children would be able to receive a Catholic education. I surprised that you think the same. SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Now that the Catholic community has distanced itself from the rest of Twickenham, and comments on here appear to underline that fact, the urgent requirement is for the provision of good quality secondary education to meet the predicted surge in demand in the Twickenham area in the coming years.

Twickenham Academy may well outstrip other schools in the area in terms of academic results in the next few years if what I hear is correct. But the fact remains that there will still not be enough secondary school places for all non-Catholic Twickenham children.

Looking at brown field sites in the area, the old sorting office land by the station would seem to be the best site for a new secondary school, but sadly it is earmarked for something else?
Now that the Catholic community has distanced itself from the rest of Twickenham, and comments on here appear to underline that fact, the urgent requirement is for the provision of good quality secondary education to meet the predicted surge in demand in the Twickenham area in the coming years. Twickenham Academy may well outstrip other schools in the area in terms of academic results in the next few years if what I hear is correct. But the fact remains that there will still not be enough secondary school places for all non-Catholic Twickenham children. Looking at brown field sites in the area, the old sorting office land by the station would seem to be the best site for a new secondary school, but sadly it is earmarked for something else? Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Tue 20 Nov 12

metis says...

Faith is a choice, skin colour isnt. A child's choice in the matter of faith should be determined by their legal guardians until mature enough to make their own choice.
Faith is a choice, skin colour isnt. A child's choice in the matter of faith should be determined by their legal guardians until mature enough to make their own choice. metis
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Then it isn't the 'child's choice' is it, Metis? It is the legal guardian's choice. What you seem to mean is that a child has no choice....and I disagree with that.
Then it isn't the 'child's choice' is it, Metis? It is the legal guardian's choice. What you seem to mean is that a child has no choice....and I disagree with that. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

2:38pm Tue 20 Nov 12

odtaaa says...

A week ago I used to live in Richmond upon Thames but now I appear to be living in Bible-belt town of Richmond upon Mississippi where a small religious group have seized power of the council and a running the town for their religious benefit.

Last year around £150,000 was allocated to the Catholic Children's Society to provide counselling and support school aged children and families in distress. I cannot see how this organisation can deal with say a 15 year who has had unprotected sex, and should be advised to instantly take a morning after pill, if she is not a Catholic, along with longer term support and advice.

Now against the interests of borough residents they have given the Catholic Church the right to discriminate against 90% of the population in the borough.

This is going to force many resident secondary students to seek their schooling out of the borough.

Primary schools are being rapidly expanded and will therefore increase demand for secondary places.

The council is also funding Richmond schools to set up sixth form colleges, which will mean a dramatic reduction in the number of class rooms available and therefore a dramatic reduction in the number of secondary school places.

Having lived in Manchester, Scotland and worked in Northern Ireland I have seen at first hand the violence and conflict because of religious segregation. Hopefully this will not happen here, but I am pessimistic.
A week ago I used to live in Richmond upon Thames but now I appear to be living in Bible-belt town of Richmond upon Mississippi where a small religious group have seized power of the council and a running the town for their religious benefit. Last year around £150,000 was allocated to the Catholic Children's Society to provide counselling and support school aged children and families in distress. I cannot see how this organisation can deal with say a 15 year who has had unprotected sex, and should be advised to instantly take a morning after pill, if she is not a Catholic, along with longer term support and advice. Now against the interests of borough residents they have given the Catholic Church the right to discriminate against 90% of the population in the borough. This is going to force many resident secondary students to seek their schooling out of the borough. Primary schools are being rapidly expanded and will therefore increase demand for secondary places. The council is also funding Richmond schools to set up sixth form colleges, which will mean a dramatic reduction in the number of class rooms available and therefore a dramatic reduction in the number of secondary school places. Having lived in Manchester, Scotland and worked in Northern Ireland I have seen at first hand the violence and conflict because of religious segregation. Hopefully this will not happen here, but I am pessimistic. odtaaa
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Tue 20 Nov 12

lottieprosser says...

Sarah - I'm glad my views are very clear! I just have to disagree again that the Council is adequately supporting the Turing House School proposal. Even the Council's own projections that it relied on to prove it was OK to have a Catholic secondary school excluding 90% of children, showed a new inclusive secondary free school taking 100 children from September 2013. If the Council had been equally supportive it would now have bought a site for Turing House School, like it has done for the Catholic School, and the many parents who are pinning their hopes on being able to get their children into Turing House because they see no other alternative due to their geographic location would be able to have confidence that it will open in 2014. A suitable site is by far the biggest challenge facing any secondary school proposal in this area. There are huge question marks over Turing House being able to use part of NPL as you must know including the fact that the building they have chosen is too small, next to the Grade 1 listed Bushy House and was due to be pulled down some time ago, and the site is not suitable for expansion. Rejigging the College to squeeze in a school by 2017 may not happen either, but even if it does persuade the College to be squeezed it is meant to be a second new secondary school that is opening in 2017 even on the Council's projections. This is what I mean about putting your head in the sand not supporting the whole community.
Sarah - I'm glad my views are very clear! I just have to disagree again that the Council is adequately supporting the Turing House School proposal. Even the Council's own projections that it relied on to prove it was OK to have a Catholic secondary school excluding 90% of children, showed a new inclusive secondary free school taking 100 children from September 2013. If the Council had been equally supportive it would now have bought a site for Turing House School, like it has done for the Catholic School, and the many parents who are pinning their hopes on being able to get their children into Turing House because they see no other alternative due to their geographic location would be able to have confidence that it will open in 2014. A suitable site is by far the biggest challenge facing any secondary school proposal in this area. There are huge question marks over Turing House being able to use part of NPL as you must know including the fact that the building they have chosen is too small, next to the Grade 1 listed Bushy House and was due to be pulled down some time ago, and the site is not suitable for expansion. Rejigging the College to squeeze in a school by 2017 may not happen either, but even if it does persuade the College to be squeezed it is meant to be a second new secondary school that is opening in 2017 even on the Council's projections. This is what I mean about putting your head in the sand not supporting the whole community. lottieprosser
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Tue 20 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

Am I mistaken in thinking that there is a different system for the funding of free school land and buildings?

You need to make sure your facts are right about the help that the council are giving Turing School. You are very wrong and will be causing unfounded anxiety.
Am I mistaken in thinking that there is a different system for the funding of free school land and buildings? You need to make sure your facts are right about the help that the council are giving Turing School. You are very wrong and will be causing unfounded anxiety. SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Sarah How can you say that the anxiety of parents is unfounded?

-- As a result of the shortage of suitable sites and the impact of planning issues, quite a few of those free schools already approved for funding are being delayed or even not opening, especially in London (http://www.guardian
.co.uk/education/201
2/oct/08/free-school
s-without-sites)


- The process for finding and funding a site for a Free School is that once it is approved, then the D of E can use it's powers to force a local authority (if it is not already willing) to hand over the preferred site at a peppercorn rent for 125 years. That is what would have happened if Turing House had been approved and the Clifden College site available, or were to make another site available to meet the clear local need. If the preferred site is another government building not currently in use a similar process applies as with the NPL BUT if it not already a school then the Planning process can become an obstacle. That is exactly the problem with the NPL site, the current planning consent is for it to be pulled down as a condition of other development. It's neighbours are also forming themselves into a pressure group to argue that it is also unsuitable because of access and the impact of additional traffic etc. on their amenity. Of course with Clifden College all those issues have already been thrashed out with neighbours and it is a matter of the new school honouring the existing conditions.


- I agree the Council are working with Turing House School NOW finally acknowledging it is needed but they have very limited control over whether it is funded, although the forecasts they produced to justify the Catholic School may well have undermined the case for funding in 2013. Who knows what the politics of the process the Dof E will use to decide funding for 2014, it is opaque and one that presumably will balance resources with need on a national basis.

- The Council have now acknowledged that their forecasts need to be amended. Parents could see they were risky in the first place, nobody wanted those risks to materialise but they have, the new school in Kingston is now not certain to be funded and may well be smaller, RPA has exceeded everybody's expectations in terms of improvement, Turing House did not get funding for 2013.
Sarah How can you say that the anxiety of parents is unfounded? -- As a result of the shortage of suitable sites and the impact of planning issues, quite a few of those free schools already approved for funding are being delayed or even not opening, especially in London (http://www.guardian .co.uk/education/201 2/oct/08/free-school s-without-sites) - The process for finding and funding a site for a Free School is that once it is approved, then the D of E can use it's powers to force a local authority (if it is not already willing) to hand over the preferred site at a peppercorn rent for 125 years. That is what would have happened if Turing House had been approved and the Clifden College site available, or were to make another site available to meet the clear local need. If the preferred site is another government building not currently in use a similar process applies as with the NPL BUT if it not already a school then the Planning process can become an obstacle. That is exactly the problem with the NPL site, the current planning consent is for it to be pulled down as a condition of other development. It's neighbours are also forming themselves into a pressure group to argue that it is also unsuitable because of access and the impact of additional traffic etc. on their amenity. Of course with Clifden College all those issues have already been thrashed out with neighbours and it is a matter of the new school honouring the existing conditions. - I agree the Council are working with Turing House School NOW finally acknowledging it is needed but they have very limited control over whether it is funded, although the forecasts they produced to justify the Catholic School may well have undermined the case for funding in 2013. Who knows what the politics of the process the Dof E will use to decide funding for 2014, it is opaque and one that presumably will balance resources with need on a national basis. - The Council have now acknowledged that their forecasts need to be amended. Parents could see they were risky in the first place, nobody wanted those risks to materialise but they have, the new school in Kingston is now not certain to be funded and may well be smaller, RPA has exceeded everybody's expectations in terms of improvement, Turing House did not get funding for 2013. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Slightly harsh and unnecessary comment.

It is certainly the case that the Turing School has so far not identified a location. It is also true that acceptance by the DfE depends upon potential sites having been identified.

If LBRUT has been actively working to identify a site it is not obvious. The TS Steering group appear to be doing all of the work with LBRUT passing comment....and all credit to the TS Steering Group and all involved.

Of course there might have been a very obvious site which is in public use at the moment but then that is no longer available to the community at large.
Slightly harsh and unnecessary comment. It is certainly the case that the Turing School has so far not identified a location. It is also true that acceptance by the DfE depends upon potential sites having been identified. If LBRUT has been actively working to identify a site it is not obvious. The TS Steering group appear to be doing all of the work with LBRUT passing comment....and all credit to the TS Steering Group and all involved. Of course there might have been a very obvious site which is in public use at the moment but then that is no longer available to the community at large. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

I agree with Copthall resident. Well said. ....and I am not a Copthall resident
I agree with Copthall resident. Well said. ....and I am not a Copthall resident Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

So Knellerman has drilled into the detail of the issue and decided that amongst all the arguments and principles and details of school numbers and forecasts the nub of the issue is a few snobs!!! Twickenham children already share many activities with these "smelly" children though I don't recognise the description, at Whitton netball, theatre groups etc etc.From what I gather the meetings at Twickenham Academy have been full of parents going up there with best will in the world and being underwhelmed by the leadership and their enthusiasm for the educational methods. However it is no matter without places at other schools the limited spare capacity at TA will fill anyway. and there is no sign that people in Hounslow are being attracted back into Hounslow schools.
So Knellerman has drilled into the detail of the issue and decided that amongst all the arguments and principles and details of school numbers and forecasts the nub of the issue is a few snobs!!! Twickenham children already share many activities with these "smelly" children though I don't recognise the description, at Whitton netball, theatre groups etc etc.From what I gather the meetings at Twickenham Academy have been full of parents going up there with best will in the world and being underwhelmed by the leadership and their enthusiasm for the educational methods. However it is no matter without places at other schools the limited spare capacity at TA will fill anyway. and there is no sign that people in Hounslow are being attracted back into Hounslow schools. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Tue 20 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

Copthall Resident I was referring to the fact that twice now Lottie Prosser has stated as fact that the council are doing nothing to help Turing House Free School. I take exception to this as I know that it is not true.

For less informed parents who may be reading this I feel it is really important to put the record straight. Of course if it were true it would cause anxiety for parents.

Council staff have been meeting with the Free school proposers since the start!
Copthall Resident I was referring to the fact that twice now Lottie Prosser has stated as fact that the council are doing nothing to help Turing House Free School. I take exception to this as I know that it is not true. For less informed parents who may be reading this I feel it is really important to put the record straight. Of course if it were true it would cause anxiety for parents. Council staff have been meeting with the Free school proposers since the start! SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

5:34pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

Some of the arguments on here against a catholic school, just ooze prejudice.

I will try to summarise some of them

1. The catholics used to burn people at the stake, so therefore they are an undesirable body, therefore there should not be a catholic school.

- If this is the quality yardstick, then I suppose we can argue that in the 20th century, the two great secularists, Stalin and Hitler caused the deaths of some 40 million people, including six million jews who were part of a genocide.

So by the logic displayed, we should not have any secular schools at all, based upon the past crimes of secularists.

2. Why is the state funding an organisation of child sex abusers.

While the abuse of children within the care of the catholic church was shameful and has been acknowledged as such, it pales into insignificance the level of abuse at secular children's care homes, with a tinge of the BBC.

Because of their experience, as far as I can see, catholic institutions now have some of the best child safety policies around.


3. The creation of catholic schools is divisive - do we want a repeat of the troubles that we had in Northern Ireland?

- the troubles in Northern Ireland stemmed from a civil rights issue where catholics were excluded from jobs and were generally disadvantaged. Feeling excluded by their Protestant masters, they threw their lot in with the Republican movement where they identified more with their catholic cultural values.

To suggest that the creation of a new catholic school in Twickenham is going to spark some kind of violent reaction against religious segregation is a bit of a desperate and fanciful notion.

4. A hindu woman died for want of an abortion in catholic Ireland: Therefore all catholics are bad and evil.

- we are yet to find out why this woman dies. There is a growing feeling that it may have been more down to a medical error, rather than due to a religious stricture.

Besides, the abortion laws in Ireland do not apply here and from what I understand, most ENglish catholics do not follow the Vatican throughts and actually use contraception.

Contrary to some of the views on here, catholics do not have two heads or webbed feet. They are just ordinary people who happen to attend a particular church.

And if there are enough of them around to want their own schools, then there is nothing wrong with the State giving a helping hand.

After all, catholic and Anglican schools have been the bedrock of our educational system for over 1,000 years.

If we are going to ditch that millennium-long tradition, then we need a much more considered debate than RISC's objection to the establishment of one catholic school in Twickenham.
Some of the arguments on here against a catholic school, just ooze prejudice. I will try to summarise some of them 1. The catholics used to burn people at the stake, so therefore they are an undesirable body, therefore there should not be a catholic school. - If this is the quality yardstick, then I suppose we can argue that in the 20th century, the two great secularists, Stalin and Hitler caused the deaths of some 40 million people, including six million jews who were part of a genocide. So by the logic displayed, we should not have any secular schools at all, based upon the past crimes of secularists. 2. Why is the state funding an organisation of child sex abusers. While the abuse of children within the care of the catholic church was shameful and has been acknowledged as such, it pales into insignificance the level of abuse at secular children's care homes, with a tinge of the BBC. Because of their experience, as far as I can see, catholic institutions now have some of the best child safety policies around. 3. The creation of catholic schools is divisive - do we want a repeat of the troubles that we had in Northern Ireland? - the troubles in Northern Ireland stemmed from a civil rights issue where catholics were excluded from jobs and were generally disadvantaged. Feeling excluded by their Protestant masters, they threw their lot in with the Republican movement where they identified more with their catholic cultural values. To suggest that the creation of a new catholic school in Twickenham is going to spark some kind of violent reaction against religious segregation is a bit of a desperate and fanciful notion. 4. A hindu woman died for want of an abortion in catholic Ireland: Therefore all catholics are bad and evil. - we are yet to find out why this woman dies. There is a growing feeling that it may have been more down to a medical error, rather than due to a religious stricture. Besides, the abortion laws in Ireland do not apply here and from what I understand, most ENglish catholics do not follow the Vatican throughts and actually use contraception. Contrary to some of the views on here, catholics do not have two heads or webbed feet. They are just ordinary people who happen to attend a particular church. And if there are enough of them around to want their own schools, then there is nothing wrong with the State giving a helping hand. After all, catholic and Anglican schools have been the bedrock of our educational system for over 1,000 years. If we are going to ditch that millennium-long tradition, then we need a much more considered debate than RISC's objection to the establishment of one catholic school in Twickenham. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

...however most of the arguments against the Catholic school on here are expressing concern that LBRUT has placed the needs of the few before the needs of many, Knellerman.
...however most of the arguments against the Catholic school on here are expressing concern that LBRUT has placed the needs of the few before the needs of many, Knellerman. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Knellerman, that is not a summary, it is cherry picking. There are a couple of people on here with extreme views but they are detached from the mainstream debate on either side, which is why most reasonable people largely ignore them. Frankly you are posting yourself into the same camp.
Knellerman, that is not a summary, it is cherry picking. There are a couple of people on here with extreme views but they are detached from the mainstream debate on either side, which is why most reasonable people largely ignore them. Frankly you are posting yourself into the same camp. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Tue 20 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

Interesting that none of the RISC supporters saw fit to distance themselves from John Dowdle's comments though...

Whether they would like my prayers or not, I am praying that Turing House School and the Richmond college school proposals are successful. I want all children in our borough to be happy. Not that this fits in well with your selfish Catholic stereotype.
Interesting that none of the RISC supporters saw fit to distance themselves from John Dowdle's comments though... Whether they would like my prayers or not, I am praying that Turing House School and the Richmond college school proposals are successful. I want all children in our borough to be happy. Not that this fits in well with your selfish Catholic stereotype. SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

6:00pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Sarah I, and I am pretty sure Lottie too, it's on the webcam, have watched our Education Officer sigh (in that world weary way, why are these people sent to try me way he does) and say he wishes that Free Schools were not an issue, whilst professing that when he took on the job he saw delivering a Catholic School as his chief personal challenge. I think it is clear where his priorities lay and to interpret those early meetings as going through the motions.

However the Council really needs Turing House now. An election in 2014 when these eggs come home to roost must be alarming even Lord True, even if he has achieved his legacy. I know the political thinking was that by 2014 TA, HA, RPA would be improved enough for people to be choosing them and everyone would be happy. The irony looks to be that they will have improved so quickly, that together with the impact of removing links and sixth forms they will have filled to capacity and there will be no flexibility to provide the resultant places needed without Turing House.
Sarah I, and I am pretty sure Lottie too, it's on the webcam, have watched our Education Officer sigh (in that world weary way, why are these people sent to try me way he does) and say he wishes that Free Schools were not an issue, whilst professing that when he took on the job he saw delivering a Catholic School as his chief personal challenge. I think it is clear where his priorities lay and to interpret those early meetings as going through the motions. However the Council really needs Turing House now. An election in 2014 when these eggs come home to roost must be alarming even Lord True, even if he has achieved his legacy. I know the political thinking was that by 2014 TA, HA, RPA would be improved enough for people to be choosing them and everyone would be happy. The irony looks to be that they will have improved so quickly, that together with the impact of removing links and sixth forms they will have filled to capacity and there will be no flexibility to provide the resultant places needed without Turing House. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Sarah, you didn't distance yourself from pmulaks and metis's either. I think I have made it pretty clear what I think of people resorting to stereotypes on both sides.
Sarah, you didn't distance yourself from pmulaks and metis's either. I think I have made it pretty clear what I think of people resorting to stereotypes on both sides. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Whatever the allegiances and stereotypes, LBRUTs action and inaction and poor decsion making have left secondary education for many in the area in a complete and utter mess at least for the foreseeable future.

As has always been the case in the Borough it will be parents who sort it out in the end. Just as credit for educational excellence which Lord True is trying to steal should really be aimed at parents.
Whatever the allegiances and stereotypes, LBRUTs action and inaction and poor decsion making have left secondary education for many in the area in a complete and utter mess at least for the foreseeable future. As has always been the case in the Borough it will be parents who sort it out in the end. Just as credit for educational excellence which Lord True is trying to steal should really be aimed at parents. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Tue 20 Nov 12

akhanw says...

Sarah - The Catholic community has excluded itself from the rest of us - a number of us are working with the academies and also working on free school proposal.
I find it shocking for the Catholics to suggest that we should move out of Twickenham if we are concerned about Clifden Road being a Catholic school. Seems like Lord True and his Catholic acolytes want - a physical religious separation in our borough.
Sarah - The Catholic community has excluded itself from the rest of us - a number of us are working with the academies and also working on free school proposal. I find it shocking for the Catholics to suggest that we should move out of Twickenham if we are concerned about Clifden Road being a Catholic school. Seems like Lord True and his Catholic acolytes want - a physical religious separation in our borough. akhanw
  • Score: 0

6:56pm Tue 20 Nov 12

SarahThomas says...

Akhanw where on earth have you got that from?

I think you may need to go back and read my posts - I have reapeatedly said I would welcome more Catholic schools - this would enable everyone to be educated together. This would not of course be welcomed by those who actually do not want faith schools at all.

You have no idea what I do for a living and in what way I am actively supporting various schools in this borough.

The Catholic community are very much involved in this borough at primary level and beyond. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this ONE secondary school will do anything less.
To try and suggest anything less is disingenuous and just trying to stir up trouble.

The Judical Review found in the council's favour. If it found in Risc's favour and I was posting some of the rhetoric that I read here you would be shouting that 'the law should be respected'

It is a shame that now that the decision is made and the school will be welcoming pupils in less than a year people can't try and use their energies to make a real difference for the other schools that I wish nothing but success for.
Akhanw where on earth have you got that from? I think you may need to go back and read my posts - I have reapeatedly said I would welcome more Catholic schools - this would enable everyone to be educated together. This would not of course be welcomed by those who actually do not want faith schools at all. You have no idea what I do for a living and in what way I am actively supporting various schools in this borough. The Catholic community are very much involved in this borough at primary level and beyond. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this ONE secondary school will do anything less. To try and suggest anything less is disingenuous and just trying to stir up trouble. The Judical Review found in the council's favour. If it found in Risc's favour and I was posting some of the rhetoric that I read here you would be shouting that 'the law should be respected' It is a shame that now that the decision is made and the school will be welcoming pupils in less than a year people can't try and use their energies to make a real difference for the other schools that I wish nothing but success for. SarahThomas
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Why do you think that 'people' are not using their energies to make a real difference for 'the other' schools, Sarah?

All the evidence around the Borough is that 'people' are doing nothing but.......
Why do you think that 'people' are not using their energies to make a real difference for 'the other' schools, Sarah? All the evidence around the Borough is that 'people' are doing nothing but....... Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Tue 20 Nov 12

lottieprosser says...

Sarah I suspect that the majority of the people disagreeing with you on here are parents and others who are very actively involved in positive action in various schools. That's why they know what a big problem this borough is now facing. Where is the money going to come from to buy more sites big enough for secondary schools and where is the free land? Unless local Catholics move en masse to Sir Richard Reynolds and stop sending their children to the other local Catholic schools that they are used to such as Gumley, the Oratory, Gunnersbury etc., to Waldegrave, to their ringfenced places at Christ's school and to private schools Sir RR will be taking in chidren from well outside LB Richmond and leaving boys who live practically on its doorstep in South Twickenham and Fulwell with no school to go to at all. Not fair and not sensible.
Sarah I suspect that the majority of the people disagreeing with you on here are parents and others who are very actively involved in positive action in various schools. That's why they know what a big problem this borough is now facing. Where is the money going to come from to buy more sites big enough for secondary schools and where is the free land? Unless local Catholics move en masse to Sir Richard Reynolds and stop sending their children to the other local Catholic schools that they are used to such as Gumley, the Oratory, Gunnersbury etc., to Waldegrave, to their ringfenced places at Christ's school and to private schools Sir RR will be taking in chidren from well outside LB Richmond and leaving boys who live practically on its doorstep in South Twickenham and Fulwell with no school to go to at all. Not fair and not sensible. lottieprosser
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Tue 20 Nov 12

lottieprosser says...

PS. By the way I didn't "state as a fact" that the Council was doing "nothing" to help the Turing House School proposal. I said that they were not supporting it equally or adequately compared to the way they have behaved in relation to the Catholic school proposal.
PS. By the way I didn't "state as a fact" that the Council was doing "nothing" to help the Turing House School proposal. I said that they were not supporting it equally or adequately compared to the way they have behaved in relation to the Catholic school proposal. lottieprosser
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Tue 20 Nov 12

metis says...

Sarah - you are a brave spirit.
God Bless you.
Sarah - you are a brave spirit. God Bless you. metis
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Tue 20 Nov 12

akhanw says...

Sarah - I do respect the law of the land and this judgement. Just do not think it is morally fair to discriminate children on religious grounds - its shocking that in this day and age when we need to understand and respect diversity and inclusivity, we are building walls in the community. The Catholic community has not respected the views and concerns on the other side and failed to deliver any sort of compromise.

Why dont you get the Catholic schools admissions policy to become inclusive, so that everyone in the local community will be in harmony. If these schools do well for our local community, then I and am sure lot of locals will support another Catholic school with inclusive admissions. Win our hearts and minds first, rather than exluding us please !
Sarah - I do respect the law of the land and this judgement. Just do not think it is morally fair to discriminate children on religious grounds - its shocking that in this day and age when we need to understand and respect diversity and inclusivity, we are building walls in the community. The Catholic community has not respected the views and concerns on the other side and failed to deliver any sort of compromise. Why dont you get the Catholic schools admissions policy to become inclusive, so that everyone in the local community will be in harmony. If these schools do well for our local community, then I and am sure lot of locals will support another Catholic school with inclusive admissions. Win our hearts and minds first, rather than exluding us please ! akhanw
  • Score: 0

10:09pm Tue 20 Nov 12

akhanw says...

Sarah - as a strong believer I also wish that my God blesses you.
Sarah - as a strong believer I also wish that my God blesses you. akhanw
  • Score: 0

10:19pm Tue 20 Nov 12

richste says...

Can I please remind everyone of Jeremy's speech presenting the RISC petition on 13 Sep 2011.

"Our petition doesn’t rule out new faith schools in the borough, even Catholic ones. Some of the petitioners support state-funded faith schools, others don’t. But that’s a national policy issue. And everyone agrees we need good schools. Our petition is simply about one issue: inclusive admissions at new borough schools. And that need not preclude faith schools: half the Anglican primaries in the country have inclusive admissions. And the Church of England is moving towards more inclusivity in its other schools as well.
All we are asking is that the council ensures that state-funded schools opening in the borough from now on – whoever is running them – have inclusive admissions policies, such that no child can be denied a place in a good local school simply because of the religion or belief of their parents.

Does any Catholic school supporter disagree with this petition ?
Can I please remind everyone of Jeremy's speech presenting the RISC petition on 13 Sep 2011. "Our petition doesn’t rule out new faith schools in the borough, even Catholic ones. Some of the petitioners support state-funded faith schools, others don’t. But that’s a national policy issue. And everyone agrees we need good schools. Our petition is simply about one issue: inclusive admissions at new borough schools. And that need not preclude faith schools: half the Anglican primaries in the country have inclusive admissions. And the Church of England is moving towards more inclusivity in its other schools as well. All we are asking is that the council ensures that state-funded schools opening in the borough from now on – whoever is running them – have inclusive admissions policies, such that no child can be denied a place in a good local school simply because of the religion or belief of their parents. Does any Catholic school supporter disagree with this petition ? richste
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Dellon says...

'half the Anglican primaries in the country have inclusive admissions'.

Is that true of Richmond/Twickenham?
'half the Anglican primaries in the country have inclusive admissions'. Is that true of Richmond/Twickenham? Dellon
  • Score: 0

11:51pm Tue 20 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

No. We have no Voluntary Controlled (as opposed to Voluntary Aided) CofE schools here. Generally CofE VC schools are inclusive, while the VA schools - including the borough CofE primaries and Christ's - have a degree of faith-based selection, though few as extreme as Catholic VA schools such as the secondary at Clifden Road.

But the new CofE primary Free School in Hampton, due to open in 2013, will have fully inclusive admissions (which is why RISC has not commented on it).
No. We have no Voluntary Controlled (as opposed to Voluntary Aided) CofE schools here. Generally CofE VC schools are inclusive, while the VA schools - including the borough CofE primaries and Christ's - have a degree of faith-based selection, though few as extreme as Catholic VA schools such as the secondary at Clifden Road. But the new CofE primary Free School in Hampton, due to open in 2013, will have fully inclusive admissions (which is why RISC has not commented on it). JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

7:48am Wed 21 Nov 12

pmulak says...

The Anglicans have gone down a wrong path that will waterdown their Christian ethos and fill their schools with children whose minds are securalised.
Hopefully this judgement will encourage them to follow the Catholic school model - it gives them more chances of funding as well
The Anglicans have gone down a wrong path that will waterdown their Christian ethos and fill their schools with children whose minds are securalised. Hopefully this judgement will encourage them to follow the Catholic school model - it gives them more chances of funding as well pmulak
  • Score: 0

8:31am Wed 21 Nov 12

John Dowdle says...

I do not wish to engage in any local controversy; I just want to set the record straight. Stalin trained as an Orthodox Christian monk before embarking on a change of career as a bank robber, after which he became - eventually - the dictator of the Soviet Union, in which capacity he created a new religion of Communism. Hitler was a church tax paying Christian right up until he blew his brains out in the Fuhrerbunker in May 1945, after having tried - unsuccessfully - with people like Himmler to establish a new Nazi religion in the Reich.
Please do not label these people as secularists, as they as far removed from secularism as any of the medieval despots who claimed a "divine" right to rule (possibly like your local True character?).
I do not wish to engage in any local controversy; I just want to set the record straight. Stalin trained as an Orthodox Christian monk before embarking on a change of career as a bank robber, after which he became - eventually - the dictator of the Soviet Union, in which capacity he created a new religion of Communism. Hitler was a church tax paying Christian right up until he blew his brains out in the Fuhrerbunker in May 1945, after having tried - unsuccessfully - with people like Himmler to establish a new Nazi religion in the Reich. Please do not label these people as secularists, as they as far removed from secularism as any of the medieval despots who claimed a "divine" right to rule (possibly like your local True character?). John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

10:06am Wed 21 Nov 12

Dellon says...

It doesn't follow that inclusive admissions water down the Christian ethos. In fact it is more likely to spread a positive Christian message as it may reach what I think they call the 'dechurched' and their children.

The CofE primaries that prioritise church goers over other children admitted on distance do not have a sub-category of 'baptised Christians' below that of church attendance. St RR's school admissions policy has several categories of baptised Catholics without a requirement that either children or parents have been to church regularly if at all. They may be lapsed or atheist, and they will be prioritised over local children who may be practising Anglicans, of other religions, or who simply need an education when the schools fill up.
It doesn't follow that inclusive admissions water down the Christian ethos. In fact it is more likely to spread a positive Christian message as it may reach what I think they call the 'dechurched' and their children. The CofE primaries that prioritise church goers over other children admitted on distance do not have a sub-category of 'baptised Christians' below that of church attendance. St RR's school admissions policy has several categories of baptised Catholics without a requirement that either children or parents have been to church regularly if at all. They may be lapsed or atheist, and they will be prioritised over local children who may be practising Anglicans, of other religions, or who simply need an education when the schools fill up. Dellon
  • Score: 0

10:15am Wed 21 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Yes, there are 3 families I know where the parents are lapsed Catholics and yet the children are baptised Catholic for reasons of family tradition. They didn't support the Catholic VA school, and they signed the RISC petition, but they've already pre-apologised to me and others for the fact that they will be applying to St RR. I don't blame them. I'm just sad our children will no longer be able to go to school together.
Yes, there are 3 families I know where the parents are lapsed Catholics and yet the children are baptised Catholic for reasons of family tradition. They didn't support the Catholic VA school, and they signed the RISC petition, but they've already pre-apologised to me and others for the fact that they will be applying to St RR. I don't blame them. I'm just sad our children will no longer be able to go to school together. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

11:21am Wed 21 Nov 12

Dellon says...

I'm glad Christ's school doesn't allow that. It has places for practising Christians, including Catholics, but 50% open places for local children, many of which are likely to be baptised but not regular church goers. There may be many reasons why people define themselves as Christians but don't go to church. Or they may have doubts, but don't want to shut any doors for their children. Having open admissions doesn't reduce religion to a tick-box exercise. In the end, children will make up their own mind. But they still need an education.
I'm glad Christ's school doesn't allow that. It has places for practising Christians, including Catholics, but 50% open places for local children, many of which are likely to be baptised but not regular church goers. There may be many reasons why people define themselves as Christians but don't go to church. Or they may have doubts, but don't want to shut any doors for their children. Having open admissions doesn't reduce religion to a tick-box exercise. In the end, children will make up their own mind. But they still need an education. Dellon
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Wed 21 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

Contrary to what pmulak implies, "secularism" is not a "religion", and certainly not a different word for "atheism". It is simply the idea of neutrality between religions and beliefs. That protects the rights of religious people - especially minority religions - just as much as it protects those of Catholics, Anglicans or the non-religious.

What pmulak seems to wants is exclusive schools for his/her tribe, which are set up to indoctrinate children rather than just educate them. But children of devout Catholics grow up in Catholic families and their parents will, no doubt, aim for them to see themselves as Catholics in any case. That's a parent's right. But it is not a right to expect the state to fund exclusive schooling, especially when it's to the detriment of others.

What is really so threatening about mixing at school with children from other backgrounds, even at schools run by the Church? Is it a fear that children will begin to think for themselves? If so, then children from Catholic families are in any case likely to conclude that they want to be Catholics. But they will do so having worked with, and maybe enjoyed the company of, those with different beliefs. That is the world they will live in.

There are plenty of examples where segregation has led to misery, but very few where breaking down barriers has been other than a good thing.

Despite the question being posed several times in this thread, no-one has yet explained in what way it is ethically justifiable to set up a state-funded school that will discriminate against local children simply because of their parents' religion or beliefs. That remains the key argument. But the impact of segregation on children and society is another reason why it's a bad idea.
Contrary to what pmulak implies, "secularism" is not a "religion", and certainly not a different word for "atheism". It is simply the idea of neutrality between religions and beliefs. That protects the rights of religious people - especially minority religions - just as much as it protects those of Catholics, Anglicans or the non-religious. What pmulak seems to wants is exclusive schools for his/her tribe, which are set up to indoctrinate children rather than just educate them. But children of devout Catholics grow up in Catholic families and their parents will, no doubt, aim for them to see themselves as Catholics in any case. That's a parent's right. But it is not a right to expect the state to fund exclusive schooling, especially when it's to the detriment of others. What is really so threatening about mixing at school with children from other backgrounds, even at schools run by the Church? Is it a fear that children will begin to think for themselves? If so, then children from Catholic families are in any case likely to conclude that they want to be Catholics. But they will do so having worked with, and maybe enjoyed the company of, those with different beliefs. That is the world they will live in. There are plenty of examples where segregation has led to misery, but very few where breaking down barriers has been other than a good thing. Despite the question being posed several times in this thread, no-one has yet explained in what way it is ethically justifiable to set up a state-funded school that will discriminate against local children simply because of their parents' religion or beliefs. That remains the key argument. But the impact of segregation on children and society is another reason why it's a bad idea. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

John Dowdle at 8.31 in his post just about sums up the lengths of distortion that the anti-catholic brigade will go to in order to justify their own position.

He actually tries to make an argument that Stalin and Hitler were not secularists, but misguided Christians!!!

The reality is this. We are not a secularist state. Our monarch is Defender of the Faith.

This means that when people of Faith want to organise themselves so that their Faith can be furthered through schools, then the State is obliged to support them, because this is the attitude which the Crown supports.

It is not about denying people access to opportunities, but defending those who wish to pursue their Faith.

Government is keen to, if you like, privatise the establishment of new schools which meet different needs.

If you were starting from scratch and wanted to privatise educational provision completely, then religious schools would win all the tenders because the reality is that they have generally provided good quality education over more than 1,000 years.

The idea that the johhny-come-latelys at RISC can come along and disrupt a 1,000-year tradition based on one school in Twickenham is obviously a nonsense based upon current trendy thinking of people who are opposed to religion.

But the reality is that parents think differently, and have rejected the attempt by RISC to impose their own perception of equality on the wisdom of the ages.

The reality is that for 100,000 years, there is evidence that the human species have consistently made artistic and other expressions to understand the spiritual nature of our existence.

If you look at all the ceremonies if State and the prayers said in Parliament on a daily basis, as a society we are not yet ready to abandon the wisdom of 1,000 years of spiritual wonder, just for the sake of an ephemeral campaign by RISC.

You can rant all you want about the establishment of a new faith school in Twickenham. But the reality is that there are still enough people around who believe that there is a greater power than themselves in the universe, rather than the humanists who appear to follow a creed which determines that they are the greatest thing in the universe.

Certainly there is discrimination going on here. But it is discrimination towards those who
believe in high values based upon faith.

Of course it is unfair, because if you do not follow a faith or religion you will exclude yourself from the new school which seeks to follow Christian principles and asks pupils to think about themselves in a wider moral and spiritual context.

Secular schools do not do this, no matter how you might want to argue "inclusivety".

Because we are not a secular state, the role of faith in education and other matters is still considered valuable in the creation of a compassionate and enlightened society. It is not the only factor, but people of faith are still considered to have a voice in our country.

If you look at the history of our country over the last 200 years, every social advance and every march towards social justice was initially sparked by people of Faith, from the abolition of the slave trade, to the establishment of labour rights.

People of Faith have an enduring track record of advancing social good, and therefore I welcome the establishment of a new Faith school in Twickenham.

The establishment of a new Faith school in Twickenham, is likely to create a new generation of people who will find common cause with secularists in the pursuit of equality and justice.

The establishment of a new catholic school will add to the diversity, that the secularists often cite as being vital to a healthy society.

It appears to me that the secularists are all for diversity, except for the diversity allowing religion to exist.

Which makes me wonder if they are not really fascists at heart.
John Dowdle at 8.31 in his post just about sums up the lengths of distortion that the anti-catholic brigade will go to in order to justify their own position. He actually tries to make an argument that Stalin and Hitler were not secularists, but misguided Christians!!! The reality is this. We are not a secularist state. Our monarch is Defender of the Faith. This means that when people of Faith want to organise themselves so that their Faith can be furthered through schools, then the State is obliged to support them, because this is the attitude which the Crown supports. It is not about denying people access to opportunities, but defending those who wish to pursue their Faith. Government is keen to, if you like, privatise the establishment of new schools which meet different needs. If you were starting from scratch and wanted to privatise educational provision completely, then religious schools would win all the tenders because the reality is that they have generally provided good quality education over more than 1,000 years. The idea that the johhny-come-latelys at RISC can come along and disrupt a 1,000-year tradition based on one school in Twickenham is obviously a nonsense based upon current trendy thinking of people who are opposed to religion. But the reality is that parents think differently, and have rejected the attempt by RISC to impose their own perception of equality on the wisdom of the ages. The reality is that for 100,000 years, there is evidence that the human species have consistently made artistic and other expressions to understand the spiritual nature of our existence. If you look at all the ceremonies if State and the prayers said in Parliament on a daily basis, as a society we are not yet ready to abandon the wisdom of 1,000 years of spiritual wonder, just for the sake of an ephemeral campaign by RISC. You can rant all you want about the establishment of a new faith school in Twickenham. But the reality is that there are still enough people around who believe that there is a greater power than themselves in the universe, rather than the humanists who appear to follow a creed which determines that they are the greatest thing in the universe. Certainly there is discrimination going on here. But it is discrimination towards those who believe in high values based upon faith. Of course it is unfair, because if you do not follow a faith or religion you will exclude yourself from the new school which seeks to follow Christian principles and asks pupils to think about themselves in a wider moral and spiritual context. Secular schools do not do this, no matter how you might want to argue "inclusivety". Because we are not a secular state, the role of faith in education and other matters is still considered valuable in the creation of a compassionate and enlightened society. It is not the only factor, but people of faith are still considered to have a voice in our country. If you look at the history of our country over the last 200 years, every social advance and every march towards social justice was initially sparked by people of Faith, from the abolition of the slave trade, to the establishment of labour rights. People of Faith have an enduring track record of advancing social good, and therefore I welcome the establishment of a new Faith school in Twickenham. The establishment of a new Faith school in Twickenham, is likely to create a new generation of people who will find common cause with secularists in the pursuit of equality and justice. The establishment of a new catholic school will add to the diversity, that the secularists often cite as being vital to a healthy society. It appears to me that the secularists are all for diversity, except for the diversity allowing religion to exist. Which makes me wonder if they are not really fascists at heart. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Reading Knellerman's words I actually feel quite sorry for children who have to attend non-inclusive 'faith' schools.
Reading Knellerman's words I actually feel quite sorry for children who have to attend non-inclusive 'faith' schools. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

....and I object to being called a 'fascist'
....and I object to being called a 'fascist' Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Wed 21 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

The outrageous distortions in Knellerman's post speak for themselves. But he/she is ignoring the fact that RISC has never opposed faith schools: some supporters are for them, some against, and there are people of faith in both categories.

The issue that unites RISC supporters is inclusive admissions, and the exclusion of children at the new schools simply because of their parents' religion or belief. That's why we did not comment at all on the proposal to establish a new, fully inclusive, CofE primary in Hampton.

We were criticised for putting out a leaflet with a mock-up of the school sign saying "Children of the non-religious, Anglicans, other Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs & others need not apply". Yet that is exactly the situation. This school will exclude children of religious parents as much as non-religious.

We indeed do not have a secular state, as the Queen is formally Head of the CofE. But we also have a modern country in which fairness and equality are generally regarded as core values and are enshrined in law. That means that, in most areas of life, no group has a right to claim state-funded privilege over others groups, faith or non-faith alike: there is no faith-based discrimination in NHS hospital admissions. Schools are an exception in law. That does not make discrimination in school admissions right, it just means it's not currently unlawful.

Slavery, racial discrimination and disenfranchisement of women were legal once. One day, faith-based discrimination against children at state-funded schools will, I hope, be outlawed too.
The outrageous distortions in Knellerman's post speak for themselves. But he/she is ignoring the fact that RISC has never opposed faith schools: some supporters are for them, some against, and there are people of faith in both categories. The issue that unites RISC supporters is inclusive admissions, and the exclusion of children at the new schools simply because of their parents' religion or belief. That's why we did not comment at all on the proposal to establish a new, fully inclusive, CofE primary in Hampton. We were criticised for putting out a leaflet with a mock-up of the school sign saying "Children of the non-religious, Anglicans, other Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs & others need not apply". Yet that is exactly the situation. This school will exclude children of religious parents as much as non-religious. We indeed do not have a secular state, as the Queen is formally Head of the CofE. But we also have a modern country in which fairness and equality are generally regarded as core values and are enshrined in law. That means that, in most areas of life, no group has a right to claim state-funded privilege over others groups, faith or non-faith alike: there is no faith-based discrimination in NHS hospital admissions. Schools are an exception in law. That does not make discrimination in school admissions right, it just means it's not currently unlawful. Slavery, racial discrimination and disenfranchisement of women were legal once. One day, faith-based discrimination against children at state-funded schools will, I hope, be outlawed too. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Wed 21 Nov 12

John Dowdle says...

I am sorry Mr Knellerman insists on parading his ignorance of historically founded facts. The young Stalin and his mother were effectively abandoned by his father, which led to her having to take on a position as a housekeeper to a Christian Orthodox priest. So, it is possible to see that Stalin grew up in an immensely devout household, which only seemed to serve to motivate him to carry out some of the most appalling crimes in history. Likewise, Hitler disliked atheists and humanists, and persecuted them alongside other minorities. The only people he left alone were those good Christian burgers, so long as they let him do what he wanted to - which most of them did.
The Monarch is Supreme Sovereign of the Church of England. The title Defender of the Faith was originally awarded to Henry VIII by the Pope but subsequently withdrawn after he divorced Queen Katharine, so the continued use of the title is dubious - to say the very least.
Following the vote at Synod, we now have a situation in which The Monarch can be a woman and Supreme Sovereign of the Church of England but women are not allowed to be bishops in the same church. How rational is this - and is this any sort of basis for arranging for the education of our next generation?
I am sorry Mr Knellerman insists on parading his ignorance of historically founded facts. The young Stalin and his mother were effectively abandoned by his father, which led to her having to take on a position as a housekeeper to a Christian Orthodox priest. So, it is possible to see that Stalin grew up in an immensely devout household, which only seemed to serve to motivate him to carry out some of the most appalling crimes in history. Likewise, Hitler disliked atheists and humanists, and persecuted them alongside other minorities. The only people he left alone were those good Christian burgers, so long as they let him do what he wanted to - which most of them did. The Monarch is Supreme Sovereign of the Church of England. The title Defender of the Faith was originally awarded to Henry VIII by the Pope but subsequently withdrawn after he divorced Queen Katharine, so the continued use of the title is dubious - to say the very least. Following the vote at Synod, we now have a situation in which The Monarch can be a woman and Supreme Sovereign of the Church of England but women are not allowed to be bishops in the same church. How rational is this - and is this any sort of basis for arranging for the education of our next generation? John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

Jeremy,

It appears to me that your arguments are falling apart, and it seems that the courts would support this view.

There is another meaning of the word "discriminate" which means to make one choice as opposed to another.

What about all the bright children in the borough who are denied access to Eton because their parents cannot afford the fees. How inclusive is that?

I cannot see how the establishment of a catholic school in Twickenham is going to disadvantage non-catholic children.

There are ample places in local state schools to accommodate all pupils, despite what the scare mongerers say.

So how does the creation of a catholic school - which will fund 20pc of its costs - harm the life chances or education of non-catholics in the borough?

From a practical point of view, the new catholic school is actually increasing overall provision for secondary school places in the borough in a way which is cost-effective to council tax payers.

Having said that, why can we not have schools which select on the basis of faith?

You harp on about diversity, but this can also mean that there is a choice for parents which discriminates in favour of the way they want their children to be educated.

The alternative is a Stalinist sausage-machine educational system where everyone is force-fed the same, which in itself creates the danger of developing a society where the educational system churns out people who all think the same.

How diverse is that?

Hopefully in the future, we will have many different schools that serve the aspirations of many different and diverse opinions and attitudes.

It is that diversity of outlook that keeps society strong, not the creation of a generation of robotic Zombies who all believe in the same thing.

If you want to do something useful with your life, then I suggest that you direct your campaign against the likes of Eton, from whence most of our political masters have hailed over many generations.

The chances of a bright child from the borough getting into Eton without the serious financial backing of a parent are zilch.

How inclusive is that?

But instead of tackling the real inequalities in society and the alarming lack of social mobility, you seem to spend your energy opposing the creation of as catholic school, which is peripheral to the real inequalities.

Just get over it. You have made your point, but have lost the argument.

Perhaps you should take up another issue that would actually make a difference for society, especially in the context of inclusivety and equality.

It is apparent that you are tilting at windmills as far as your opposition to the establishment of a catholic school in Twickenham is concerned.
Jeremy, It appears to me that your arguments are falling apart, and it seems that the courts would support this view. There is another meaning of the word "discriminate" which means to make one choice as opposed to another. What about all the bright children in the borough who are denied access to Eton because their parents cannot afford the fees. How inclusive is that? I cannot see how the establishment of a catholic school in Twickenham is going to disadvantage non-catholic children. There are ample places in local state schools to accommodate all pupils, despite what the scare mongerers say. So how does the creation of a catholic school - which will fund 20pc of its costs - harm the life chances or education of non-catholics in the borough? From a practical point of view, the new catholic school is actually increasing overall provision for secondary school places in the borough in a way which is cost-effective to council tax payers. Having said that, why can we not have schools which select on the basis of faith? You harp on about diversity, but this can also mean that there is a choice for parents which discriminates in favour of the way they want their children to be educated. The alternative is a Stalinist sausage-machine educational system where everyone is force-fed the same, which in itself creates the danger of developing a society where the educational system churns out people who all think the same. How diverse is that? Hopefully in the future, we will have many different schools that serve the aspirations of many different and diverse opinions and attitudes. It is that diversity of outlook that keeps society strong, not the creation of a generation of robotic Zombies who all believe in the same thing. If you want to do something useful with your life, then I suggest that you direct your campaign against the likes of Eton, from whence most of our political masters have hailed over many generations. The chances of a bright child from the borough getting into Eton without the serious financial backing of a parent are zilch. How inclusive is that? But instead of tackling the real inequalities in society and the alarming lack of social mobility, you seem to spend your energy opposing the creation of as catholic school, which is peripheral to the real inequalities. Just get over it. You have made your point, but have lost the argument. Perhaps you should take up another issue that would actually make a difference for society, especially in the context of inclusivety and equality. It is apparent that you are tilting at windmills as far as your opposition to the establishment of a catholic school in Twickenham is concerned. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

7:26pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Dellon says...

The alternative for isn't a 'Stalinist sausage-machine educational system'. We have never had that in this country. I'm proud of existing community schools in this borough (academies now). We need more of them.

The judge has decided that the council followed the law. It doesn't mean to say people can't still debate or feel strongly about the policies on which the governing parties have voted which entered into law. Governing parties can get voted out (phew!).

Within the current law, the new alternatives are faith schools with inclusive admissions policies like Hampton CofE primary. Or even voluntary aided schools with open places for local children? Local children would only take up the places if they had no other option or if they were Catholic.

If you want to start a campaign to tackle social mobility, how would you do it ? Do you think Lord True or Michael Gove would take your ideas on board?
The alternative for isn't a 'Stalinist sausage-machine educational system'. We have never had that in this country. I'm proud of existing community schools in this borough (academies now). We need more of them. The judge has decided that the council followed the law. It doesn't mean to say people can't still debate or feel strongly about the policies on which the governing parties have voted which entered into law. Governing parties can get voted out (phew!). Within the current law, the new alternatives are faith schools with inclusive admissions policies like Hampton CofE primary. Or even voluntary aided schools with open places for local children? Local children would only take up the places if they had no other option or if they were Catholic. If you want to start a campaign to tackle social mobility, how would you do it ? Do you think Lord True or Michael Gove would take your ideas on board? Dellon
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

I now feel totally duped by RISC.

One of the main strands of their argument was that through their own survey, they had evidence that most people were against this new school.

But I have just found and objective survey conducted by Richmond and Twickenham Council over jan/feb 2012 which shows 95pc support for the establishment of a new catholic school at Clifden Road,, and 93pc agreement that the establishment of a new catholic school will add to the diversity of the borough.

No doubt RISC will have some mealy mouthed platitudes to explain away how the will of local people is overwhelmingly at odds with their position.

And no doubt they will attempt to make a case how their "superior view" trumps the overwhelming view of local tax payers.

And no doubt they will argue that the council asked the wrong question, or didn't ask the question that suited them.

Until proved otherwise, I am left with the impression that RISC have been manipulating surveys and figures in order to further their own cause, rather than relying on objective data.

I hope I am wrong. Because if I am right, then impartial observers might conclude that this is a hallmark of fascism. But I am not jumping to such a conclusion.
I now feel totally duped by RISC. One of the main strands of their argument was that through their own survey, they had evidence that most people were against this new school. But I have just found and objective survey conducted by Richmond and Twickenham Council over jan/feb 2012 which shows 95pc support for the establishment of a new catholic school at Clifden Road,, and 93pc agreement that the establishment of a new catholic school will add to the diversity of the borough. No doubt RISC will have some mealy mouthed platitudes to explain away how the will of local people is overwhelmingly at odds with their position. And no doubt they will attempt to make a case how their "superior view" trumps the overwhelming view of local tax payers. And no doubt they will argue that the council asked the wrong question, or didn't ask the question that suited them. Until proved otherwise, I am left with the impression that RISC have been manipulating surveys and figures in order to further their own cause, rather than relying on objective data. I hope I am wrong. Because if I am right, then impartial observers might conclude that this is a hallmark of fascism. But I am not jumping to such a conclusion. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Wed 21 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Knellerman, if you've 'just found' that then you've obviously joined this whole debate much later than everyone else and it would take quite a long time to fill in all the blanks. The reasons why that survey wasn't representative have been well documented elsewhere, and perhaps if you keep looking for long enough you'll find them too.
Knellerman, if you've 'just found' that then you've obviously joined this whole debate much later than everyone else and it would take quite a long time to fill in all the blanks. The reasons why that survey wasn't representative have been well documented elsewhere, and perhaps if you keep looking for long enough you'll find them too. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

8:26pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Dellon says...

From those figures I think you've got confused with a consultation run by the Diocese of Westminster and not the council, Knellerman, to which 100% of the respondents were Catholic. I would hope that they do support the school set up for them.
From those figures I think you've got confused with a consultation run by the Diocese of Westminster and not the council, Knellerman, to which 100% of the respondents were Catholic. I would hope that they do support the school set up for them. Dellon
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Dellon says...

There were two consultations - one run by the Catholic Diocese of Westminster with the responses you indicated, to which 79.2% stated they were Catholic.

http://beta.rcdow.or
g.uk/att/files/educa
tion/news+files/2012
/richmondconsultatio
nresponsesummary.pdf


The other was run by the council - there were 4244 responses, of which 1182 used paper forms (and an FOI request revealed 99% were Catholic), and overall 57% were Catholic.

http://www.richmond.
gov.uk/clifden_road_
site_consultation_20
12_final.pdf
There were two consultations - one run by the Catholic Diocese of Westminster with the responses you indicated, to which 79.2% stated they were Catholic. http://beta.rcdow.or g.uk/att/files/educa tion/news+files/2012 /richmondconsultatio nresponsesummary.pdf The other was run by the council - there were 4244 responses, of which 1182 used paper forms (and an FOI request revealed 99% were Catholic), and overall 57% were Catholic. http://www.richmond. gov.uk/clifden_road_ site_consultation_20 12_final.pdf Dellon
  • Score: 0

8:42pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

Copthall resident wrote:
milessm Nobody knows what the majority think, there has been no process that met the requirements of a democratic or research exercise. What we know is that the majority either didn't know or didn't care enough to respond to the consultation. We know that the vast majority who responded to the consultation in favour were Catholic helped by the fact that response was urged from the pulpit and even paper forms given out to make response easier for all sections of the Catholic community (but the same arrangements were not in place to facilitate such responses from similar sections of the rest of the community). We know that the numbers of parents directly affected by the proposal i.e the parents of school age children voted equally for and against and we know the vast majority of local parents voted against as did the majority of non Catholic Christians and the majority of non Catholics. That is all we know.

On traffic the Council have measures in place to limit the use of cars and lorries/vans travelling to the site and the hours during which they can do so recognising that the narrow approach roads are already congestyed. It is not an issue unless people are wrongly anticipating that they will drive their children right up to the school gate.

What the "majority" may not have caught up with on the black hole is that the Council have now conceded that with many of the assumptions underpinning their forecasts, a new free school from 2013, a new school in Kingston, the impact of removal of links, having been undermined they need to amend their forecasts. They are now working with the new Free School and have actively promoted a catchment centred just west of the Green, equidistant from Teddington, Orleans and Twickenham Academy to meet the expected shortfall in school places there, however funding and a site for that school is not certain.
Good grief Knellerman I thought you had trawled through the arguments . If you wanted a comment on the "survey" which even Lord True called a consultation, you did not need to look very far. For your information a survey takes a representative sample of the population, taking great care it represents all segments of the population and then to ensure there is no bias in the questioning or methodology aims to find out their views on an issue or likely voting/consumer behaviour . Lord True himself said the consultation was never aimed to find out what the majority thought, it was "to elicit the quality of the arguments for and against". As I say above this was neither a democratic process or a survey. It was a consultation according to rules defined by the Council and, it is clear amended as they went on, to get a clear result. The handing out of paper forms to enable a section of the Catholic community to vote, whilst denying that facility to similar groups in the rest of the community is about as extreme an example of bias in methodology as you could get.
[quote][p][bold]Copthall resident[/bold] wrote: milessm Nobody knows what the majority think, there has been no process that met the requirements of a democratic or research exercise. What we know is that the majority either didn't know or didn't care enough to respond to the consultation. We know that the vast majority who responded to the consultation in favour were Catholic helped by the fact that response was urged from the pulpit and even paper forms given out to make response easier for all sections of the Catholic community (but the same arrangements were not in place to facilitate such responses from similar sections of the rest of the community). We know that the numbers of parents directly affected by the proposal i.e the parents of school age children voted equally for and against and we know the vast majority of local parents voted against as did the majority of non Catholic Christians and the majority of non Catholics. That is all we know. On traffic the Council have measures in place to limit the use of cars and lorries/vans travelling to the site and the hours during which they can do so recognising that the narrow approach roads are already congestyed. It is not an issue unless people are wrongly anticipating that they will drive their children right up to the school gate. What the "majority" may not have caught up with on the black hole is that the Council have now conceded that with many of the assumptions underpinning their forecasts, a new free school from 2013, a new school in Kingston, the impact of removal of links, having been undermined they need to amend their forecasts. They are now working with the new Free School and have actively promoted a catchment centred just west of the Green, equidistant from Teddington, Orleans and Twickenham Academy to meet the expected shortfall in school places there, however funding and a site for that school is not certain.[/p][/quote]Good grief Knellerman I thought you had trawled through the arguments . If you wanted a comment on the "survey" which even Lord True called a consultation, you did not need to look very far. For your information a survey takes a representative sample of the population, taking great care it represents all segments of the population and then to ensure there is no bias in the questioning or methodology aims to find out their views on an issue or likely voting/consumer behaviour . Lord True himself said the consultation was never aimed to find out what the majority thought, it was "to elicit the quality of the arguments for and against". As I say above this was neither a democratic process or a survey. It was a consultation according to rules defined by the Council and, it is clear amended as they went on, to get a clear result. The handing out of paper forms to enable a section of the Catholic community to vote, whilst denying that facility to similar groups in the rest of the community is about as extreme an example of bias in methodology as you could get. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

8:44pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

You people are really precious.

While you tried to discredit my reference to the survey because it was run by the Westiminster diocese, of course in the interest of balanced debate you did not refer me to the full council consultation which came up with a similar result.

Oh what beautiful democrats you are.

Here is a link to the council survey which appears to kill many half-truths and apparent lies from RISC about what local people really want, in my opinion.

http://www.richmond.
gov.uk/clifden_road_
site_consultation_20
12_final.pdf
You people are really precious. While you tried to discredit my reference to the survey because it was run by the Westiminster diocese, of course in the interest of balanced debate you did not refer me to the full council consultation which came up with a similar result. Oh what beautiful democrats you are. Here is a link to the council survey which appears to kill many half-truths and apparent lies from RISC about what local people really want, in my opinion. http://www.richmond. gov.uk/clifden_road_ site_consultation_20 12_final.pdf Knellerman
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Wed 21 Nov 12

richste says...

Knellerman - whilst you are on your treasure hunt, please do try and find out the following

1. How many people signed the RISC petition
2. How many people signed the Catholic school petition
3. How many people responded to the Richmond Council consultation on Clifden Road site
4. What % of Catholics said they needed Catholic schools at Clifden Road
5. What % of Non Catholics said that they did not support Catholic schools at Clifden Road
6. What % of people in the UK do not support faith based selection in our state schools as per a recent poll ?

Some clues - You will find a large no of support on both sides and that overwhelming majority of Catholics support Catholic schools and overwhelming majority of non Catholics including Anglicans do not support the Catholic schools.

This is a very complex issue involving a lot of dimensions such as principle of inclusivity in faith schools, demand and supply of school places and sites and funding in Richmond etc etc. It has been debated for over 18 months and will continue to be - hopefully in a constructive and healthy manner as few matters are more important to us than our childrens education.
Knellerman - whilst you are on your treasure hunt, please do try and find out the following 1. How many people signed the RISC petition 2. How many people signed the Catholic school petition 3. How many people responded to the Richmond Council consultation on Clifden Road site 4. What % of Catholics said they needed Catholic schools at Clifden Road 5. What % of Non Catholics said that they did not support Catholic schools at Clifden Road 6. What % of people in the UK do not support faith based selection in our state schools as per a recent poll ? Some clues - You will find a large no of support on both sides and that overwhelming majority of Catholics support Catholic schools and overwhelming majority of non Catholics including Anglicans do not support the Catholic schools. This is a very complex issue involving a lot of dimensions such as principle of inclusivity in faith schools, demand and supply of school places and sites and funding in Richmond etc etc. It has been debated for over 18 months and will continue to be - hopefully in a constructive and healthy manner as few matters are more important to us than our childrens education. richste
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Wed 21 Nov 12

milessm says...

Copthall - you seem to be a local acolyte of Lord True. Perhaps you should read his latest statement

" A period of silence from certain all too well ventilated local voices would also be welcome"
Copthall - you seem to be a local acolyte of Lord True. Perhaps you should read his latest statement " A period of silence from certain all too well ventilated local voices would also be welcome" milessm
  • Score: 0

9:41pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

milessm I will defend to the ends of the world your right to free speech, I hope you would do the same...

I'll shut up when I see that fairness, rather than influence and dogma prevails, believe me no one will be happier than me if we are wrong and all my neighbour's children have, in future, access to "good" (as rated by OFSTED) local schools, something denied to my own children.
milessm I will defend to the ends of the world your right to free speech, I hope you would do the same... I'll shut up when I see that fairness, rather than influence and dogma prevails, believe me no one will be happier than me if we are wrong and all my neighbour's children have, in future, access to "good" (as rated by OFSTED) local schools, something denied to my own children. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

10:47pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Riverman says...

Richste - "overwhelming majority of non Catholics including Anglicans do not support the Catholic schools". Rubbish!! I am an Anglican. I admire the ethos and high standards of Catholic schools, who are almost always top of the league tables and set a standard for others. Don't assume that the silent majority is against them. And whoever said that a school should be put on the post office site - it doesn't belong to the council so not our land!
Richste - "overwhelming majority of non Catholics including Anglicans do not support the Catholic schools". Rubbish!! I am an Anglican. I admire the ethos and high standards of Catholic schools, who are almost always top of the league tables and set a standard for others. Don't assume that the silent majority is against them. And whoever said that a school should be put on the post office site - it doesn't belong to the council so not our land! Riverman
  • Score: 0

11:03pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Dellon says...

The consultation said:

45% of Anglicans agreed with the proposal.

Note that only 12.9% of those who responded were Anglicans. More than a third of the places in Twickenham primary schools are in CofE schools.
The consultation said: 45% of Anglicans agreed with the proposal. Note that only 12.9% of those who responded were Anglicans. More than a third of the places in Twickenham primary schools are in CofE schools. Dellon
  • Score: 0

11:11pm Wed 21 Nov 12

richste says...

Hi Riverman - with respect I have to say that you are misinterpreting what I wrote. The statement " overwhelming majority of non Catholics including Anglicans do not support the Catholic schools" in context of the Richmond consultation result and the Catholic school proposals at Clifden Road and in that around 75% of non Catholics including Anglicans did vote against the proposed Catholic schools.
The debate is not for or against Catholic schools, but for or against inclusive admissions in the Richmond Catholic schools.
Having studied in an inclusive Catholic school, I agree with you that Catholic schools have high standards. To whom much is given, much is expected - hence I believe in faith schools having inclusive admissions and support RISC .
Catholic schools however do not have monopoly over excellence both locally and nationally. A clear evidence in seen in Richmond's primary schools where we have excellence across all type of schools and 2 of the 8 secondary schools that are outstanding are Community schools.
Hi Riverman - with respect I have to say that you are misinterpreting what I wrote. The statement " overwhelming majority of non Catholics including Anglicans do not support the Catholic schools" in context of the Richmond consultation result and the Catholic school proposals at Clifden Road and in that around 75% of non Catholics including Anglicans did vote against the proposed Catholic schools. The debate is not for or against Catholic schools, but for or against inclusive admissions in the Richmond Catholic schools. Having studied in an inclusive Catholic school, I agree with you that Catholic schools have high standards. To whom much is given, much is expected - hence I believe in faith schools having inclusive admissions and support RISC . Catholic schools however do not have monopoly over excellence both locally and nationally. A clear evidence in seen in Richmond's primary schools where we have excellence across all type of schools and 2 of the 8 secondary schools that are outstanding are Community schools. richste
  • Score: 0

6:19am Thu 22 Nov 12

milessm says...

The Conservative government wants more faith schools and is doing everything in its power to promote choice and diversity. Under their watch it has been made clear by both national and Richmond leaders that there will not be non faith places in faith schools as it does not makes sense to turn a person of faith from attending their faith school!
The DfE rightly intervened in this legal case and have got the judgement that will end the need to have 50% quota for non faith places. The law of the land has been clarified by an elected government and needs to be respected.
The Conservative government wants more faith schools and is doing everything in its power to promote choice and diversity. Under their watch it has been made clear by both national and Richmond leaders that there will not be non faith places in faith schools as it does not makes sense to turn a person of faith from attending their faith school! The DfE rightly intervened in this legal case and have got the judgement that will end the need to have 50% quota for non faith places. The law of the land has been clarified by an elected government and needs to be respected. milessm
  • Score: 0

8:04am Thu 22 Nov 12

Dellon says...

So will new VA schools be allowed to convert to academies and get increased state funding even though, unlike older established schools, they did not contribute a building or land? And which arguments prevailed, the council's - that no school is needed, not even a Catholic one, but it was desired - or the Secretary of State's, whatever that was?
So will new VA schools be allowed to convert to academies and get increased state funding even though, unlike older established schools, they did not contribute a building or land? And which arguments prevailed, the council's - that no school is needed, not even a Catholic one, but it was desired - or the Secretary of State's, whatever that was? Dellon
  • Score: 0

8:22am Thu 22 Nov 12

Irena P says...

Can somebody from the Catholic side please explain to me in plain English, in less than 100 words, why Catholic children must go to school together and only be educated with people of the same religion?

I know this seems like a basic question nearly a week into this debate but with all the comments and opinions and history I'm now unsure how we got here to begin with.
Can somebody from the Catholic side please explain to me in plain English, in less than 100 words, why Catholic children must go to school together and only be educated with people of the same religion? I know this seems like a basic question nearly a week into this debate but with all the comments and opinions and history I'm now unsure how we got here to begin with. Irena P
  • Score: 0

8:31am Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Where is the best place to keep up to date on initiatives to increase secondary school places for non-Catholics? Since LBRUT cannot be trusted is the RISC site the first port of call? We have seen reference to Turing House and the problem of identifying sites now the obvious ones have gone. Are there other initiatives? How do we help with site identification etc?
Where is the best place to keep up to date on initiatives to increase secondary school places for non-Catholics? Since LBRUT cannot be trusted is the RISC site the first port of call? We have seen reference to Turing House and the problem of identifying sites now the obvious ones have gone. Are there other initiatives? How do we help with site identification etc? Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

8:49am Thu 22 Nov 12

Irena P says...

Frank, the DfE has been building a database of government owned properties that could POSSIBLY used for schools.

However it's not just about finding a site - the site and building needs to be safe and accessible, and appropriate for school provision. It needs to be value for money - eg if it's going to cost £10m to make it fit for purpose for a school it's not going to be viable.

In addition the planning process means that some sites would be earmarked for other uses (even though its set to change im not sure it really has!) so ideally you need to find a site that is already D1 in class use otherwise it can be a mountain to climb. Though it's not impossible. It will take time and the DfE need to really believe in the free school proposal to go through the gymnastics and cost required.

I have helped other school groups to find suitable sites in Richmond and Twickenham AND met with planners and found that this borough is particularly difficult. And conservative. Sites like the post office are totally unaffordable even though it has the size and access to playing fields. I think the best way is to start small and then move to another location.
Frank, the DfE has been building a database of government owned properties that could POSSIBLY used for schools. However it's not just about finding a site - the site and building needs to be safe and accessible, and appropriate for school provision. It needs to be value for money - eg if it's going to cost £10m to make it fit for purpose for a school it's not going to be viable. In addition the planning process means that some sites would be earmarked for other uses (even though its set to change im not sure it really has!) so ideally you need to find a site that is already D1 in class use otherwise it can be a mountain to climb. Though it's not impossible. It will take time and the DfE need to really believe in the free school proposal to go through the gymnastics and cost required. I have helped other school groups to find suitable sites in Richmond and Twickenham AND met with planners and found that this borough is particularly difficult. And conservative. Sites like the post office are totally unaffordable even though it has the size and access to playing fields. I think the best way is to start small and then move to another location. Irena P
  • Score: 0

9:10am Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Thank you Irena. How do people get involved, keep up to date etc? The injustice of recent events has galvanised a lot people in the community.
Thank you Irena. How do people get involved, keep up to date etc? The injustice of recent events has galvanised a lot people in the community. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

9:17am Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

As the catholic church is about to take a community public facility out of public 'ownership', perhaps they could contribute to the cost of buying land for an inclusive school? Having visited the Vatican recently I would imagine that the unimaginable wealth on display could be used to pay for exclusive Catholic schools.
As the catholic church is about to take a community public facility out of public 'ownership', perhaps they could contribute to the cost of buying land for an inclusive school? Having visited the Vatican recently I would imagine that the unimaginable wealth on display could be used to pay for exclusive Catholic schools. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

9:22am Thu 22 Nov 12

Heliview says...

Frank, I've followed this debate closely for a long time and by far the best place to keep up with developments in the Richmond Education system is Mumsnet, where a very civilised discussion/blog has been taking place ever since the council published its Education White Paper back at the start of 2011. The latest thread is at http://www.mumsnet.c
om/Talk/local_richmo
nd_upon_thames/a1608
426-New-Secondary-Sc
hools-for-Richmond-4
, and if you can spare half a day I recommend reading through from the beginning of the first thread to catch up.
Frank, I've followed this debate closely for a long time and by far the best place to keep up with developments in the Richmond Education system is Mumsnet, where a very civilised discussion/blog has been taking place ever since the council published its Education White Paper back at the start of 2011. The latest thread is at http://www.mumsnet.c om/Talk/local_richmo nd_upon_thames/a1608 426-New-Secondary-Sc hools-for-Richmond-4 , and if you can spare half a day I recommend reading through from the beginning of the first thread to catch up. Heliview
  • Score: 0

9:23am Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Thank you
Thank you Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

9:27am Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Actually the 'unimaginable' wealth in the Vatican might be better used to feed the poor of the world, but the Westminster Diocese?...that is a different matter.
Actually the 'unimaginable' wealth in the Vatican might be better used to feed the poor of the world, but the Westminster Diocese?...that is a different matter. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

9:41am Thu 22 Nov 12

lottieprosser says...

I agree Frank and this was one of my suggestions about 100 posts back. As I understand it the Lib Dems support for a Catholic secondary school was always based on the fact that the Catholic church would buy its own site not have one bought for it by the local authority with council tax payers money, for example a few years ago there was a suggestion that the Catholic school would be situated on land owned by St Mary's college, a Catholic institution. The minimum size for a successful inclusive mixed ability secondary school I have learned from the Turing House School proposal and recent expansion of Christ's School from 120 to 150 intake, is generally agreed to be 150 pupils per year so that you can have a range of appropriate teaching groups for subjects that need to be setted by ability eg. maths, science. That quickly builds up into a fairly large school and opening it on a site that is very limited in size is not advisable when it is so incredibly difficult and expensive to get sites in this area. I'm sure any suggestions for sites would be welcomed but given how limited the D of E grants for free schools are it seems impossible that they will pay for a large site in the Twickenham area and build a school on it even if one is available. I don't know what the answer to this is. I'm sure there are people out there who think it would be a good idea to have lots of little secondary schools in disused shops (probably teaching everyone Latin) but not sure this will work!
I agree Frank and this was one of my suggestions about 100 posts back. As I understand it the Lib Dems support for a Catholic secondary school was always based on the fact that the Catholic church would buy its own site not have one bought for it by the local authority with council tax payers money, for example a few years ago there was a suggestion that the Catholic school would be situated on land owned by St Mary's college, a Catholic institution. The minimum size for a successful inclusive mixed ability secondary school I have learned from the Turing House School proposal and recent expansion of Christ's School from 120 to 150 intake, is generally agreed to be 150 pupils per year so that you can have a range of appropriate teaching groups for subjects that need to be setted by ability eg. maths, science. That quickly builds up into a fairly large school and opening it on a site that is very limited in size is not advisable when it is so incredibly difficult and expensive to get sites in this area. I'm sure any suggestions for sites would be welcomed but given how limited the D of E grants for free schools are it seems impossible that they will pay for a large site in the Twickenham area and build a school on it even if one is available. I don't know what the answer to this is. I'm sure there are people out there who think it would be a good idea to have lots of little secondary schools in disused shops (probably teaching everyone Latin) but not sure this will work! lottieprosser
  • Score: 0

9:57am Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

It would appear that Lord True is presiding over an impending disaster of his own making for the local community, and is crowing about it.
It would appear that Lord True is presiding over an impending disaster of his own making for the local community, and is crowing about it. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

10:11am Thu 22 Nov 12

milessm says...

Catholics are also tax payers in this borough and if they can pay for your underperforming academies, why cant they expect to get their promised outstanding Catholic school.
Its time the few handful of RISC naysayers left, stopped using Richmond children as playthings and tell their national leaders at BHA to stop elbowing in Richmond.
Catholics are also tax payers in this borough and if they can pay for your underperforming academies, why cant they expect to get their promised outstanding Catholic school. Its time the few handful of RISC naysayers left, stopped using Richmond children as playthings and tell their national leaders at BHA to stop elbowing in Richmond. milessm
  • Score: 0

10:17am Thu 22 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

milessm wrote:
The Conservative government wants more faith schools and is doing everything in its power to promote choice and diversity. Under their watch it has been made clear by both national and Richmond leaders that there will not be non faith places in faith schools as it does not makes sense to turn a person of faith from attending their faith school!
The DfE rightly intervened in this legal case and have got the judgement that will end the need to have 50% quota for non faith places. The law of the land has been clarified by an elected government and needs to be respected.
Actually with the exception of Lord True, that just isn't true. There is still a law passed by the elected government that is consistent with Gove's assertion that all Free Schools should have 50% non faith admissions. http://www.catholich
erald.co.uk/news/201
2/07/26/gove-i-wont-
relax-rules-on-catho
lic-free-schools/ This ruling is actually inconsistent with Gove's other ramblings on the matter but then that is politics, especially when it is Gove. All that has happened is that a judge, not the government, has ruled that the Council's decision making process was legal.
[quote][p][bold]milessm[/bold] wrote: The Conservative government wants more faith schools and is doing everything in its power to promote choice and diversity. Under their watch it has been made clear by both national and Richmond leaders that there will not be non faith places in faith schools as it does not makes sense to turn a person of faith from attending their faith school! The DfE rightly intervened in this legal case and have got the judgement that will end the need to have 50% quota for non faith places. The law of the land has been clarified by an elected government and needs to be respected.[/p][/quote]Actually with the exception of Lord True, that just isn't true. There is still a law passed by the elected government that is consistent with Gove's assertion that all Free Schools should have 50% non faith admissions. http://www.catholich erald.co.uk/news/201 2/07/26/gove-i-wont- relax-rules-on-catho lic-free-schools/ This ruling is actually inconsistent with Gove's other ramblings on the matter but then that is politics, especially when it is Gove. All that has happened is that a judge, not the government, has ruled that the Council's decision making process was legal. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

10:18am Thu 22 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Milessm, the community schools, whether they be Outstanding or in need of improvement, belong to all of us equally, including Catholics.

Many Catholics already send their children to the Outstanding ones, and will continue to do so. Unlike the rest of us they have a choice whether or not to send their children to the 'improving' ones. Whether they do or not does not absolve them of any responsibility towards those schools.
Milessm, the community schools, whether they be Outstanding or in need of improvement, belong to all of us equally, including Catholics. Many Catholics already send their children to the Outstanding ones, and will continue to do so. Unlike the rest of us they have a choice whether or not to send their children to the 'improving' ones. Whether they do or not does not absolve them of any responsibility towards those schools. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

10:24am Thu 22 Nov 12

Copthall resident says...

milessm Nobody is elbowing in Richmond, there is a huge groundswell of local parents who are deeply unhappy with the Council's schools strategy and have been for decades. We are deeply grateful that RISC and BHA have provided us with a platform to ensure the issues come out in the open. When the Council bought the Clifden site I thought that , at last, a proactive step was being taken to deliver much needed local school places. What motivated me into action was utter disbelief that it was being given to the Catholic church to give Catholic parents in the borough even more choice when other parents had long been denied any.
milessm Nobody is elbowing in Richmond, there is a huge groundswell of local parents who are deeply unhappy with the Council's schools strategy and have been for decades. We are deeply grateful that RISC and BHA have provided us with a platform to ensure the issues come out in the open. When the Council bought the Clifden site I thought that , at last, a proactive step was being taken to deliver much needed local school places. What motivated me into action was utter disbelief that it was being given to the Catholic church to give Catholic parents in the borough even more choice when other parents had long been denied any. Copthall resident
  • Score: 0

11:48am Thu 22 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

This whole debate is turning into an absurd parody of what happens in more deprived boroughs where one section of the community is competing for resources with another section of the community.

I feel like I am living in Tower Hamlets where, if the council backs an initiative that supports the Bangladeshi community, then the white working class community kick up a stink and talk about council policies that are not "inclusive", because they appear to favour one community over another.

When it comes to schooling, well motivated parents will seek to exploit every advantage they can in order to get the best education for their children. Which is only natural.

What is happening here, is that one section of the community has created an institution which reflects their own cultural and educational choice. And the key word is choice.

And suddenly all those parents who have been more than willing to exploit their own advantages, suddenly feel disadvantaged.

The state already gives preferential funding to support all kinds of different cultural and racial groups, in many different ways, often providing grants through voluntary organisations.

In many educational settings, the state will fund initiatives which helps support children to learn about and identify the particular culture that is part of their heritage.

The scenario that RISC paints in Richmond is absurd.

The establishment of a new catholic school does not change one jot the choices that parents have in gaining a secondary school place. The number of places for non-catholics remain exactly the same, if not slightly better if catholic children free up more places in secondary schools in the borough.

Parents in Richmond are blessed with some of the best schools in the country, so therefore the real objection must be that someone has got a better advantage than MY advantage.

Of course it it right that any legitimate organisation which seeks to serve the interests of its own cultural or religious community should be able to provide an exclusive service to preserve its own identity, within a pluralistic society.

What is so wrong with that?

The mantra used by RISC always relates to us creating a "multi-cultural" society and "diversity".

Personally, I find this sloganising rather Orwellian, and an example of double-think.

How can you advocate a multi-cultural society - which seeks to make everyone the same - and yet in the same breath you proclaim diversity, which says that everyone is different?

How can you have a society where the state will support programmes which, for example, helps black people to understand their Afro-Caribbean roots, but at the same time denies state funding for catholics to maintain their own faith-based community and catholic heritage?

The argument that providing state support for catholics is divisive has no traction. The UK was built upon many different tribes who coalesced into making a strong nation.

Encouraging different faiths or cultural groups to have the freedom to maintain their own sense of identity and purpose within the national context, actually creates a healthier society where the debate is not about a shared fascistic vision of some kind of Aryan homegeny.

As an Anglican, I really welcome the addition of a new catholic school into the cultural mix.

Of course, I could have issues about some of the attitudes of the catholic church towards certain issues. But so do many of the catholics I have met.

The establishment of a catholic school is an investment in the future vibrancy of our national life.

I hope that by inculcating children with a doctrine based on spiritual values, they may develop some individuals who in future may choose to dissent against the monochrome society that the secularists are striving for.

The secularists, no doubt, believe they are driving society into some kind of Utopian future.

Already, they rant about the perceived preferential role of religion and no doubt they would like to eliminate all trace of religious influence.

They would claim not, but scratch beneath the surface and you find a resentment against religious belief.

And I find the idea of a future, where religious and spiritual life- which sustains billions of people on this planet - was supressed to be a very bleak prospect, not least in the diversity of thought.
This whole debate is turning into an absurd parody of what happens in more deprived boroughs where one section of the community is competing for resources with another section of the community. I feel like I am living in Tower Hamlets where, if the council backs an initiative that supports the Bangladeshi community, then the white working class community kick up a stink and talk about council policies that are not "inclusive", because they appear to favour one community over another. When it comes to schooling, well motivated parents will seek to exploit every advantage they can in order to get the best education for their children. Which is only natural. What is happening here, is that one section of the community has created an institution which reflects their own cultural and educational choice. And the key word is choice. And suddenly all those parents who have been more than willing to exploit their own advantages, suddenly feel disadvantaged. The state already gives preferential funding to support all kinds of different cultural and racial groups, in many different ways, often providing grants through voluntary organisations. In many educational settings, the state will fund initiatives which helps support children to learn about and identify the particular culture that is part of their heritage. The scenario that RISC paints in Richmond is absurd. The establishment of a new catholic school does not change one jot the choices that parents have in gaining a secondary school place. The number of places for non-catholics remain exactly the same, if not slightly better if catholic children free up more places in secondary schools in the borough. Parents in Richmond are blessed with some of the best schools in the country, so therefore the real objection must be that someone has got a better advantage than MY advantage. Of course it it right that any legitimate organisation which seeks to serve the interests of its own cultural or religious community should be able to provide an exclusive service to preserve its own identity, within a pluralistic society. What is so wrong with that? The mantra used by RISC always relates to us creating a "multi-cultural" society and "diversity". Personally, I find this sloganising rather Orwellian, and an example of double-think. How can you advocate a multi-cultural society - which seeks to make everyone the same - and yet in the same breath you proclaim diversity, which says that everyone is different? How can you have a society where the state will support programmes which, for example, helps black people to understand their Afro-Caribbean roots, but at the same time denies state funding for catholics to maintain their own faith-based community and catholic heritage? The argument that providing state support for catholics is divisive has no traction. The UK was built upon many different tribes who coalesced into making a strong nation. Encouraging different faiths or cultural groups to have the freedom to maintain their own sense of identity and purpose within the national context, actually creates a healthier society where the debate is not about a shared fascistic vision of some kind of Aryan homegeny. As an Anglican, I really welcome the addition of a new catholic school into the cultural mix. Of course, I could have issues about some of the attitudes of the catholic church towards certain issues. But so do many of the catholics I have met. The establishment of a catholic school is an investment in the future vibrancy of our national life. I hope that by inculcating children with a doctrine based on spiritual values, they may develop some individuals who in future may choose to dissent against the monochrome society that the secularists are striving for. The secularists, no doubt, believe they are driving society into some kind of Utopian future. Already, they rant about the perceived preferential role of religion and no doubt they would like to eliminate all trace of religious influence. They would claim not, but scratch beneath the surface and you find a resentment against religious belief. And I find the idea of a future, where religious and spiritual life- which sustains billions of people on this planet - was supressed to be a very bleak prospect, not least in the diversity of thought. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Thu 22 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

milessm wrote:
Catholics are also tax payers in this borough and if they can pay for your underperforming academies, why cant they expect to get their promised outstanding Catholic school.
Its time the few handful of RISC naysayers left, stopped using Richmond children as playthings and tell their national leaders at BHA to stop elbowing in Richmond.
milessm's post contains some of the greatest hits from Lord True's utterances over the past year. We have:
- "naysayers", a 2011 hit, meaning people who don't agree with him;
- Richmond children as "playthings", when it is his school that will discriminate against 90% of them; and
- the falsehood that RISC is somehow subject to "national leaders at BHA" - disappointed not to see the word "acolyte" also here - when the campaign was started, run and is supported by local people from a wide range of background. The BHA Chief Exec would be amused to hear that he has any control over RISC. He hasn't. But we're really pleased that the BHA has become involved because of the national angle. That both enabled the legal case and has ensured our struggles here have received wider publicity.

Having said that, the wording in the post that will be most offensive to many people is "your" (as in "your underperforming academies"), with the implicit contrast with "our" brilliant schools (which we won't let "you" into). The evidence for the claimed superiority of faith schools is questionable once social selection is taken into account (the data show that Richmond Catholic primaries are particularly bad on social selection).

And we are all taxpayers, so Catholics contribute to the "underperforming academies" (which are fast improving) and non-Catholics contribute to exclusive state-funded Catholic schools. In fact non-Catholics (over 90% of the UK population) pay almost all the costs of state-funded Catholic schools.

It's not "yours" (non-Catholics) and "ours" (Catholics), it's all "ours" (Catholics and non-Catholics together).
[quote][p][bold]milessm[/bold] wrote: Catholics are also tax payers in this borough and if they can pay for your underperforming academies, why cant they expect to get their promised outstanding Catholic school. Its time the few handful of RISC naysayers left, stopped using Richmond children as playthings and tell their national leaders at BHA to stop elbowing in Richmond.[/p][/quote]milessm's post contains some of the greatest hits from Lord True's utterances over the past year. We have: - "naysayers", a 2011 hit, meaning people who don't agree with him; - Richmond children as "playthings", when it is his school that will discriminate against 90% of them; and - the falsehood that RISC is somehow subject to "national leaders at BHA" - disappointed not to see the word "acolyte" also here - when the campaign was started, run and is supported by local people from a wide range of background. The BHA Chief Exec would be amused to hear that he has any control over RISC. He hasn't. But we're really pleased that the BHA has become involved because of the national angle. That both enabled the legal case and has ensured our struggles here have received wider publicity. Having said that, the wording in the post that will be most offensive to many people is "your" (as in "your underperforming academies"), with the implicit contrast with "our" brilliant schools (which we won't let "you" into). The evidence for the claimed superiority of faith schools is questionable once social selection is taken into account (the data show that Richmond Catholic primaries are particularly bad on social selection). And we are all taxpayers, so Catholics contribute to the "underperforming academies" (which are fast improving) and non-Catholics contribute to exclusive state-funded Catholic schools. In fact non-Catholics (over 90% of the UK population) pay almost all the costs of state-funded Catholic schools. It's not "yours" (non-Catholics) and "ours" (Catholics), it's all "ours" (Catholics and non-Catholics together). JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Not sure that a person who advocates the inclusion of all children regardless of religion is a 'secularist'? 'Inclusionist' is a more accurate term since the group consists of people of all religions including Catholicism, and also those with no religion.
Not sure that a person who advocates the inclusion of all children regardless of religion is a 'secularist'? 'Inclusionist' is a more accurate term since the group consists of people of all religions including Catholicism, and also those with no religion. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

As for absurd parodies, Knellerman.....
As for absurd parodies, Knellerman..... Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Thu 22 Nov 12

alex twickenham says...

Unless someone else beats me to it, this will be my first, last and the 211'th post on this subject. I'm not sure whether that's an achievement - time will tell. I haven't counted but I doubt whether there are more than 30 correspondents, the majority of whom are opposed to the proposed Catholic school in Clifden Road. This debate has gone on for months and has dominated the letter pages of this paper to the point of utter tedium, which is why I have barged in. How many times can you restate the same points before your audience tires under the relentless onslaught? I am not a person of faith and had elected to have a humanist funeral when my time comes, however Mr Rodell's somewhat strident posts have made me rethink that decision.
We chose to educate our two children privately, both at local private day schools - not because we could afford it but because the state provision was so inadequate and we chose to put their needs ahead of ours. No villa in Portugal or a state of the art granite topped kitchen for us, just MFI and a much longer mortgage than I would have liked - it was worth it and I wonder whether some of the highly eloquent contributors to this subject might take the same approach to their childrens future rather than continuing this endless and pointless debate about a judgement that has been made?
Alex
PS: Lest anyone thinks I don't know what I'm talking about - I am a volunteer for Young Enterprise, all but one of the schools I help at are Comprehensives. A few are excellent where aspirational kids are encouraged to flourish, others are not since they are governed by the quality of the teachers and parental involvement, which, in most cases is woefully lacking.
Unless someone else beats me to it, this will be my first, last and the 211'th post on this subject. I'm not sure whether that's an achievement - time will tell. I haven't counted but I doubt whether there are more than 30 correspondents, the majority of whom are opposed to the proposed Catholic school in Clifden Road. This debate has gone on for months and has dominated the letter pages of this paper to the point of utter tedium, which is why I have barged in. How many times can you restate the same points before your audience tires under the relentless onslaught? I am not a person of faith and had elected to have a humanist funeral when my time comes, however Mr Rodell's somewhat strident posts have made me rethink that decision. We chose to educate our two children privately, both at local private day schools - not because we could afford it but because the state provision was so inadequate and we chose to put their needs ahead of ours. No villa in Portugal or a state of the art granite topped kitchen for us, just MFI and a much longer mortgage than I would have liked - it was worth it and I wonder whether some of the highly eloquent contributors to this subject might take the same approach to their childrens future rather than continuing this endless and pointless debate about a judgement that has been made? Alex PS: Lest anyone thinks I don't know what I'm talking about - I am a volunteer for Young Enterprise, all but one of the schools I help at are Comprehensives. A few are excellent where aspirational kids are encouraged to flourish, others are not since they are governed by the quality of the teachers and parental involvement, which, in most cases is woefully lacking. alex twickenham
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

You have changed your funeral arrangements because you didn't like the tone of an RTT reader comment, Alex?
You have changed your funeral arrangements because you didn't like the tone of an RTT reader comment, Alex? Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Thu 22 Nov 12

alex twickenham says...

Not yet, but thank you for your interest Mr Connor - just rethinking, as I said.
Alex
PS: My 2nd post, I reserve the right to respond if appropriate.
Not yet, but thank you for your interest Mr Connor - just rethinking, as I said. Alex PS: My 2nd post, I reserve the right to respond if appropriate. alex twickenham
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Thanks for the link to mumsnet, Heliview

Just in case people didn't get it, here it is again.

(http://www.mumsnet.
c
om/Talk/local_richmo

nd_upon_thames/a1608

426-New-Secondary-Sc

hools-for-Richmond-4
)

Certainly shows that there are a large number of people who are very concerned about this issue.
Thanks for the link to mumsnet, Heliview Just in case people didn't get it, here it is again. (http://www.mumsnet. c om/Talk/local_richmo nd_upon_thames/a1608 426-New-Secondary-Sc hools-for-Richmond-4 ) Certainly shows that there are a large number of people who are very concerned about this issue. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Thu 22 Nov 12

alex twickenham says...

Mr Connor's somewhat belligerent tone bothers me. Perhaps he could confirm whether he is or is not a Humanist or has another agenda - If he is a Humanist, I'm disappointed, since I attended three funerals this year, all of which were conducted most movingly by a Humanist celebrant - hence my choice.
I see that, within minutes of casually swatting me down, Mr Connor moved on to reprise a mumsnet link. Odd that - isn't it?
Perhaps these people have another side - in which case I'm extremely disappointed.
Alex
Mr Connor's somewhat belligerent tone bothers me. Perhaps he could confirm whether he is or is not a Humanist or has another agenda - If he is a Humanist, I'm disappointed, since I attended three funerals this year, all of which were conducted most movingly by a Humanist celebrant - hence my choice. I see that, within minutes of casually swatting me down, Mr Connor moved on to reprise a mumsnet link. Odd that - isn't it? Perhaps these people have another side - in which case I'm extremely disappointed. Alex alex twickenham
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Frank Connor says...

Forgive me if you find my tone belligerent, Alex. However there are no 'these' people. Nothing sinister at all. Just a bunch of people with different backgrounds etc who find themselves in agreement about a particular issue.

The issue of inclusion and exclusion within the context of education has galvanised people. Rather than hope the discussion goes away I for one would prefer it to continue indefinitely, and also hope it leads to action, change and perhaps even resolution.

As for my beliefs, Alex. I am not in the habit of discussing them with strangers. However I am not a Humanist and nor am I a Catholic, and I haven't given much thought to my funeral arrangements yet.
Forgive me if you find my tone belligerent, Alex. However there are no 'these' people. Nothing sinister at all. Just a bunch of people with different backgrounds etc who find themselves in agreement about a particular issue. The issue of inclusion and exclusion within the context of education has galvanised people. Rather than hope the discussion goes away I for one would prefer it to continue indefinitely, and also hope it leads to action, change and perhaps even resolution. As for my beliefs, Alex. I am not in the habit of discussing them with strangers. However I am not a Humanist and nor am I a Catholic, and I haven't given much thought to my funeral arrangements yet. Frank Connor
  • Score: 0

5:51pm Thu 22 Nov 12

alex twickenham says...

Thank you Mr Connor,
I think we are in broad agreement.
As to funerals - who knows? Isn't it better to relieve your children or spouse of the worry - just like making a will?
Thank you Mr Connor, I think we are in broad agreement. As to funerals - who knows? Isn't it better to relieve your children or spouse of the worry - just like making a will? alex twickenham
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Thu 22 Nov 12

John Dowdle says...

I think there are a couple of points that have not been addressed by any of the above commentators. I am an ignostic humanist and I object to religious schools promoting their ideologies in the same way I would object to political parties being allowed to set up their own schools. I dare say you will find a small minority who would welcome the setting up of Conservative, Labour, Liberal-Democrat. Green, maybe even UKIP and - at a stretch - BNP and EDL schools. However, like other humanists, I would argue that children are entitled to enter an ideology-free zone when it comes to their education. Of course, it is part of an education to have knowledge and understanding of the various forms of ideology - political, religious, economic, etc. - which influence people and societies but no one ideology or sect within an ideology should be allowed monopoly supplier status.
I have seen a number of references to a Turing House project. I do not know the details of this project but I am guessing that the name of the project is drawn from the name of Alan Turing? His work at Bletchley Park in cracking the Nazi High Command Enigma codes almost certainly helped Britain to avoid defeat in the early years of the Second World War and it has been suggested that the work of Turing and his team of code breakers probably shortened the war in Europe by at least two years.
It is educative to consider what happened to Turing after the war. He continued working on the development of digital computers (he was, arguably, the world's first modern computer builder and programmer).
However, in his private life he experienced considerable difficulties because he was a homosexual. He was reported to the authorities who then insisted that he undertake a legally proscribed programme of chemical castration to conform with the law (which, at the time, made homosexuality a crime). Eventually, he committed suicide by eating a poisoned apple and Britain and the world lost a highly talented individual.
Then - and, no doubt now - there are probably plenty of religiously motivated individuals who think it was right that he should have been subjected to legally ordered chemical castration; they might even think he should have subjected to complete physical castration, for all I know. They would probably disapprove of him committing suicide, not because it represented a massive waste of human potential that the world could ill afford to lose but because they regard suicide as a "mortal" sin. Such tender mercies are to be allowed to determine the educational policies in schools in your area. You have my full sympathy.
I think there are a couple of points that have not been addressed by any of the above commentators. I am an ignostic humanist and I object to religious schools promoting their ideologies in the same way I would object to political parties being allowed to set up their own schools. I dare say you will find a small minority who would welcome the setting up of Conservative, Labour, Liberal-Democrat. Green, maybe even UKIP and - at a stretch - BNP and EDL schools. However, like other humanists, I would argue that children are entitled to enter an ideology-free zone when it comes to their education. Of course, it is part of an education to have knowledge and understanding of the various forms of ideology - political, religious, economic, etc. - which influence people and societies but no one ideology or sect within an ideology should be allowed monopoly supplier status. I have seen a number of references to a Turing House project. I do not know the details of this project but I am guessing that the name of the project is drawn from the name of Alan Turing? His work at Bletchley Park in cracking the Nazi High Command Enigma codes almost certainly helped Britain to avoid defeat in the early years of the Second World War and it has been suggested that the work of Turing and his team of code breakers probably shortened the war in Europe by at least two years. It is educative to consider what happened to Turing after the war. He continued working on the development of digital computers (he was, arguably, the world's first modern computer builder and programmer). However, in his private life he experienced considerable difficulties because he was a homosexual. He was reported to the authorities who then insisted that he undertake a legally proscribed programme of chemical castration to conform with the law (which, at the time, made homosexuality a crime). Eventually, he committed suicide by eating a poisoned apple and Britain and the world lost a highly talented individual. Then - and, no doubt now - there are probably plenty of religiously motivated individuals who think it was right that he should have been subjected to legally ordered chemical castration; they might even think he should have subjected to complete physical castration, for all I know. They would probably disapprove of him committing suicide, not because it represented a massive waste of human potential that the world could ill afford to lose but because they regard suicide as a "mortal" sin. Such tender mercies are to be allowed to determine the educational policies in schools in your area. You have my full sympathy. John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Heliview says...

With respect John Dowdle, your interjections aren't helping the debate. This local campaign has never been about the wider issue of faith schools, but only about admissions.

I think most people following this comment thread are getting bored of where its going now, so let's just all agree to disagree and go back to our families.

See you all back here in a week or so when the full judgement is delivered and there's something new to say.
With respect John Dowdle, your interjections aren't helping the debate. This local campaign has never been about the wider issue of faith schools, but only about admissions. I think most people following this comment thread are getting bored of where its going now, so let's just all agree to disagree and go back to our families. See you all back here in a week or so when the full judgement is delivered and there's something new to say. Heliview
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

John Dowdle,

In regard to your reference to Alan Turing, you need correcting.

He was not reported to the authorities, he reported himself to the authorities after being burgled by his boyfriend.

He did not appear to have any insight into the danger he was putting himself in by de-facto admitting his own homosexuality.

It is now generally accepted that he had Asperger's syndrome, which often combines savant-like gifts with absolute social naivety.

Children with Asperger's today continue to be misunderstood and persecuted within the educational system,, because of their seemingly eccentric behaviour.

Life has in many ways become worse for children with Asperger's because of the drive in the state, secular system to make everyone the same.

Eccentricity in children is now often seen as a problem needing medical intervention, because the child does not fit the mould that the equality-seeking state and secular education system determines to be the norm.

Another reason why we need faith schools and any other type of school that creates a diversity of provision and understanding, to mitigate against the dead hand of the state.
John Dowdle, In regard to your reference to Alan Turing, you need correcting. He was not reported to the authorities, he reported himself to the authorities after being burgled by his boyfriend. He did not appear to have any insight into the danger he was putting himself in by de-facto admitting his own homosexuality. It is now generally accepted that he had Asperger's syndrome, which often combines savant-like gifts with absolute social naivety. Children with Asperger's today continue to be misunderstood and persecuted within the educational system,, because of their seemingly eccentric behaviour. Life has in many ways become worse for children with Asperger's because of the drive in the state, secular system to make everyone the same. Eccentricity in children is now often seen as a problem needing medical intervention, because the child does not fit the mould that the equality-seeking state and secular education system determines to be the norm. Another reason why we need faith schools and any other type of school that creates a diversity of provision and understanding, to mitigate against the dead hand of the state. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Thu 22 Nov 12

richste says...

Alex - Its great you were able to make the choice for private education, but for a lot of people in our community that is a bridge too far. Not everyone is in a privileged position to choose between a Villa in Portugal or private school fee.
I applaud the work your are doing in our Community schools and you are well aware that a number of children are from disadvantaged backgrounds in both our community primary and secondary schools.
Jeremy - thanks for your resilence and attempts to continue a healthy debate despite the many personal hostile and unfair attacks made by you by Lord True and some people on this thread. I am sure RISC will carry on.
I agree with Heliview that this debate is turning pathetic and would request John and Knellerman to take their discussions outside this forum.
I hope the issue with inclusivity in faith schools, school places, sites and education standards in Richmond will continue to be debated by everyone in our community in a healthy and constructive manner in appropriate forums. For now I am out of this page!
Alex - Its great you were able to make the choice for private education, but for a lot of people in our community that is a bridge too far. Not everyone is in a privileged position to choose between a Villa in Portugal or private school fee. I applaud the work your are doing in our Community schools and you are well aware that a number of children are from disadvantaged backgrounds in both our community primary and secondary schools. Jeremy - thanks for your resilence and attempts to continue a healthy debate despite the many personal hostile and unfair attacks made by you by Lord True and some people on this thread. I am sure RISC will carry on. I agree with Heliview that this debate is turning pathetic and would request John and Knellerman to take their discussions outside this forum. I hope the issue with inclusivity in faith schools, school places, sites and education standards in Richmond will continue to be debated by everyone in our community in a healthy and constructive manner in appropriate forums. For now I am out of this page! richste
  • Score: 0

10:47pm Thu 22 Nov 12

JeremyRodell says...

Agree with richste. Maybe, with this number of posts, we've at least increased the value of the RTT's web advertising space!

But the thread has veered off the road. I'm out.
Agree with richste. Maybe, with this number of posts, we've at least increased the value of the RTT's web advertising space! But the thread has veered off the road. I'm out. JeremyRodell
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Fri 23 Nov 12

alex twickenham says...

Phew!
That's alright then, "JR" and "richte" have both opted out of what has become a "pathetic" debate since my late intervention on this thread, so best I join them.

Despite the fact that we are now off page, here are a few thoughts for you.

As a personal observation. I have re-read every post and cannot find a trace of humour. Whilst this is a serious subject, you have to attract non-aligned readers to your cause rather than repelling them with a relentless tirade, over and over again, as RISC seem to have done - otherwise whats the point? All you are you doing is violently agreeing with each other and squabbling with the 2 or 3 brave or dotty souls who have dared to challenge you. These 222 posts are a classic example of how not to conduct one facet of a PR campaign. Sorry Copthall Resident, this is obviously very close to your heart and family but sometimes it helps to lighten up a bit - doesn't it? Why has no-one thought to give the R&TT a mugshot of JR smiling or at least looking cheerful? The habitual glower is quite off-putting.

You might be surprised to know that I still support your cause despite your best efforts to elbow me aside - I can hack it!
Alex

PS: Interesting to note that no-one has posted since JR withdrew from the fray - could he have whipped his team in?
Phew! That's alright then, "JR" and "richte" have both opted out of what has become a "pathetic" debate since my late intervention on this thread, so best I join them. Despite the fact that we are now off page, here are a few thoughts for you. As a personal observation. I have re-read every post and cannot find a trace of humour. Whilst this is a serious subject, you have to attract non-aligned readers to your cause rather than repelling them with a relentless tirade, over and over again, as RISC seem to have done - otherwise whats the point? All you are you doing is violently agreeing with each other and squabbling with the 2 or 3 brave or dotty souls who have dared to challenge you. These 222 posts are a classic example of how not to conduct one facet of a PR campaign. Sorry Copthall Resident, this is obviously very close to your heart and family but sometimes it helps to lighten up a bit - doesn't it? Why has no-one thought to give the R&TT a mugshot of JR smiling or at least looking cheerful? The habitual glower is quite off-putting. You might be surprised to know that I still support your cause despite your best efforts to elbow me aside - I can hack it! Alex PS: Interesting to note that no-one has posted since JR withdrew from the fray - could he have whipped his team in? alex twickenham
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Fri 23 Nov 12

twickerati says...

Just wanted to be part of what could be a record breaking number of comments on the R&TT. Great stuff all, keep it up!
Just wanted to be part of what could be a record breaking number of comments on the R&TT. Great stuff all, keep it up! twickerati
  • Score: 0

7:47pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

Have just read the Richmond and Twickenham Times, where the give more detail about the arguments over the judicial review, details of which have not been reported by Risc, which is a bit disappointing because I would have thought that Risc, in their golden quest, would be interested in publishing "inclusive" information to inform the debate.

But it seems not.

In the absence of Jeremy Rodell giving his considered view about the ruling, before he went missing, it would appear that Justice Sales completely accepted the argument of the council AND the secretary of State.

The ruling clearly establishes that the creation of a catholic school does not disadvantage any other children in the borough because there are enough places for other children.

It was also made very clear in this LAWFUL ruling that the establishment of faith schools is legitimate.

Call me an old fogy, but I think that 2,000 years of tradition would appear to have more traction than Jeremy Rodell's attempt to create the world, according to him.
Have just read the Richmond and Twickenham Times, where the give more detail about the arguments over the judicial review, details of which have not been reported by Risc, which is a bit disappointing because I would have thought that Risc, in their golden quest, would be interested in publishing "inclusive" information to inform the debate. But it seems not. In the absence of Jeremy Rodell giving his considered view about the ruling, before he went missing, it would appear that Justice Sales completely accepted the argument of the council AND the secretary of State. The ruling clearly establishes that the creation of a catholic school does not disadvantage any other children in the borough because there are enough places for other children. It was also made very clear in this LAWFUL ruling that the establishment of faith schools is legitimate. Call me an old fogy, but I think that 2,000 years of tradition would appear to have more traction than Jeremy Rodell's attempt to create the world, according to him. Knellerman
  • Score: 0

8:49pm Fri 23 Nov 12

milessm says...

Alex you are wrong if you remove the duplicate and rubbish posts from the non believers, the minority catholic supporters have again won this debate, like all previous debates.
But you are right their campaign lacked the organisation and underestimated the catholic support.
The conservatives always backed the winner and have shown leadership in tough times. The silence from Mr Rodel and his acolyte is welcome
The silence have Mr rodel and his acolhave fina
Alex you are wrong if you remove the duplicate and rubbish posts from the non believers, the minority catholic supporters have again won this debate, like all previous debates. But you are right their campaign lacked the organisation and underestimated the catholic support. The conservatives always backed the winner and have shown leadership in tough times. The silence from Mr Rodel and his acolyte is welcome The silence have Mr rodel and his acolhave fina milessm
  • Score: 0

9:10pm Fri 23 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

Knellerman - suggest you join many other hundreds of local people in signing up to RISC's newsletter or Facebook page if you want to hear Mr Rodell's full account of the JR. You might think this thread is the only conversation in town, but you're out of the loop, and are making a fool of yourself.

This RTT site has run quite a few stories on the Clifden issue over recent months, and most comment threads have been much shorter. This one only became lengthy because people were responding to you, and one or two other nutters.
Knellerman - suggest you join many other hundreds of local people in signing up to RISC's newsletter or Facebook page if you want to hear Mr Rodell's full account of the JR. You might think this thread is the only conversation in town, but you're out of the loop, and are making a fool of yourself. This RTT site has run quite a few stories on the Clifden issue over recent months, and most comment threads have been much shorter. This one only became lengthy because people were responding to you, and one or two other nutters. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Riverman says...

so now for TRAG I suppose and once again silence from the silent majority. As a matter of interest , does anyone know how many people turned up for their meeting on tuesday? There was nothing about it in the R&T.
so now for TRAG I suppose and once again silence from the silent majority. As a matter of interest , does anyone know how many people turned up for their meeting on tuesday? There was nothing about it in the R&T. Riverman
  • Score: 0

8:51am Sat 24 Nov 12

milessm says...

TRAG should learn from RISCs defeat and stop getting innocent people to pay for their JR. Its time they sent their lawyers home.
TRAG should learn from RISCs defeat and stop getting innocent people to pay for their JR. Its time they sent their lawyers home. milessm
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

LizzyJ at 9.10 Friday.

At last, now the court has ruled against you, the gloves are off.

I wonder if the previously carefully crafted tactic of putting your case in seemingly reasonable language, was simply a device to mask the underlying prejudice against the establishment of a faith school.

Your comment is very revealing.

Because in your own words, people like me who see no problem with the establishment of a faith school is "a nutter".

So anyone who disagrees with you is a nutter?

I would much rather be a "nutter" than the apparent fascist that you are.

As a fully paid up nutter, I am grateful that we have a judicial system that protects us nutters from the totalitarian stance you appear to take to those who simply disagree with you.
LizzyJ at 9.10 Friday. At last, now the court has ruled against you, the gloves are off. I wonder if the previously carefully crafted tactic of putting your case in seemingly reasonable language, was simply a device to mask the underlying prejudice against the establishment of a faith school. Your comment is very revealing. Because in your own words, people like me who see no problem with the establishment of a faith school is "a nutter". So anyone who disagrees with you is a nutter? I would much rather be a "nutter" than the apparent fascist that you are. As a fully paid up nutter, I am grateful that we have a judicial system that protects us nutters from the totalitarian stance you appear to take to those who simply disagree with you. Knellerman
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1:08pm Sat 24 Nov 12

LizzyJ says...

For the record, I'd describe people using extreme language on both sides of the argument as 'nutters'.
For the record, I'd describe people using extreme language on both sides of the argument as 'nutters'. LizzyJ
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Sat 24 Nov 12

metis says...

'Nutters' should be a protected minority species under a UN convention - since they add to the diversity of the world and are severely under threat from high-minded collectivists.
Save the 'Nutter' campaign begins here.
'Nutters' should be a protected minority species under a UN convention - since they add to the diversity of the world and are severely under threat from high-minded collectivists. Save the 'Nutter' campaign begins here. metis
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3:29pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Knellerman says...

Response to Lizzy J at 1.08pm.

Your comment that you would see people who use extreme language in the from either side is truly baffling.

It was you who introduced the extreme language by describing people who do not agree with you as "nutters".

So by your own logic, and through your own definition, you must therefore designate yourself as a "nutter".
Response to Lizzy J at 1.08pm. Your comment that you would see people who use extreme language in the from either side is truly baffling. It was you who introduced the extreme language by describing people who do not agree with you as "nutters". So by your own logic, and through your own definition, you must therefore designate yourself as a "nutter". Knellerman
  • Score: 0

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