Monday, 4 April 2011

Whatever did happen to 31 Holland Park Gardens?

                             WATCH AND PRAY OR JUST PRAY!

There will be another candlelit vigil outside the Vaughan School at 89 Addison Road, London W14 8BZ on 6th April at 6.15pm. Please support in person if you are able or support with prayers if not.

Bishop Stack sent me another lengthy letter last week (again signed by technology rather than his Lordship). It contained all the normal generalisations regarding Catholic education (normally churned out by the CES). The last paragraph ended with "I hope you will be able to support the Diocese in protecting the Catholic character of all our schools"

"Sorry my Lord? are you telling me that Catholic schools have a good Catholic character? You need to go to Specsavers"

Many Catholic schools in England and Wales do not have what I would describe as a 'Catholic character'. They are full of politically correct teachers who are much in the mould of the 'Weaving the Web' type of religious teaching.
The standards of religious knowledge shown by pupils is abysmal. Ask an eleven year old to list the Sacraments or to define grace.

I am well aware that there are many good Catholic teachers (and bloggers) but we are in the realm of generalisation here and the bad outweighs the good as far as I am concerned. For the Bishop to infer otherwise shows what strange standards Eccleston Square must abide by.

The Cardinal Vaughan Parents would also like us to question the Board of Governors...formulate your own questions or forward the questions below to the Clerk of the Governors at but before Wednesday please!

Here they are:-

1 Paragraph 48 of the adjudicator’s report reports that the diocese objected to the 10% selection of musically gifted boys on the basis that this would be detrimental to other schools .  It is alarming that the diocese should prioritise the needs of a school before the needs of  pupils.
“The objection to partial selection by way of aptitude in music was grounded in the diocesan view of its impact on other schools”
The bishop has said they remain committed to musical excellence at the Vaughan. Can the governing body  explain how this can be in the light of the statement above by the Diocese?
 2  The last RE inspection report by the diocese (2006) available on the Diocese’s own website includes the following summary of the school:
“Description of School
The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is situated in West Kensington in West London. The school is characterised by a strong Catholic ethos which stresses firm discipline and hard work .Pupils are drawn from 72 parishes in the Archdioceses of Westminster and Southwark. There are 66 teaching staff of whom 38 (57.5%) are Catholic. Of the 903 pupils on roll, 8 are not Catholic. There are 302 pupils in the Sixth Form including 122 girls. English is an additional language for 163 pupils. The number of pupils entitled to free school meals is 95 (13.7%) which is above the national average. The percentage of pupils identified as having special educational needs including statements is 11.4% (103 pupils) which is above the national average.”
 Since the imposition of Diocesan approved criteria the percentage eligible for Free school meals has reduced  to less than 10%– can the diocese explain this?
 3  The new Chairman of governors at the Vaughan has promised greater transparency. Why has he refused to meet with parents when requested by the VPAG ? Why are the  minutes of the last governors’ meeting not yet available?
 4 We understand that a school property was sold in the 1980’s and that there are questions relating to what happened to the proceeds from this property. What action is being taken to answer the questions relating to 31 Holland Park Gardens?

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