The letter is a round robin, no attempt has been made to answer my specific points. It is the sort of letter you might receive if you complained to a biscuit manufacturer about a packet of biscuits that was mouldy. It is full of bland generalisations and sweeping statements: "The governing body of Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is fully committed to the flourishing of the school. This includes maintaining its fine traditions of academic rigour and musical excellence. The work and achievements of the school are expressions of Catholic faith and part of the life and mission of the Church in Westminster."
Fine, but there is nothing about admissions policy there and this is the key to the dispute. The Bishop also enclosed a paper based on a talk given by Bishop Alan Hopes in April 2009 and a couple of sheets of "Frequently asked questions"
If I was Head of Customer Services of Westminster RC Church Ltd., I would wish to speak to Bishop Stack about his paper based approach to answering consumer complaints. Bishop Hopes paper was aimed, primarily at the teaching staff of the school but there is one word missing from all but one of its 13 pages. The word? "Parent". Perhaps that is an indicator of where things have gone awry. No organisation can fail to ignore its main customer. Teachers are, of course, vital, but there is also a crying need for parental inter-action.
Managing a major school today is a very different proposition from that of 30 years ago. It requires a very wide range of both soft and hard skills and above all else, it requires a holistic approach involving parents, governors, teachers, Church and, especially, pupils.
I did not get the impression that Bishop Stack would comprehend this sort of approach to education, even his signature was rubber stamped.