Saving Raines

rainespen

This armband and pen is given to pupils collcting their results.

After their Judgement of Solomon, Tower Hamlets Council made an amazing climb-down and withdrew their application to stop the admissions to zero for the school-year 2019/20, e.g. the year 7 intake. Also year 10s can now continue their education at Raine’s.

Parents were literally sent from pillar to post with letters sent that all pupils with year 7 places in 2019 need to change schools, which promply many did. Now, suddenly the council amended their policy and pupils can now attend year 7 of Raine’s. There are 150 places available, as permitted by the Office of the School Adjudicator.

That should infuriate the many who made plans, changed them, and are asked to change them again. Whilst the Council offered parents who changed schools a grant of £115 for a new school uniform, they should now also offer all parents who already bought uniforms for other schools and now need to switch back to Raine’s uniforms extra money to do so.

The Council pubished yesterday on 15. August 2019 at 10:36 a.m. Report on the outcome of the public consultation on the closure of Raine’s school and the expansion of Oaklands. A decision will be published on 25. September 2019, after which a further consultiation period will be made available till the end of this year.

Interestingly the withdrawal of the council’s application to stop further pupil admissions has not been mentioned in this report.

Parents were effectively scared to leave Raine’s and move pupils to Oaklands by Pupil Services at the Town Hall. This had been done illegally prior to any consultation taking place. This did a considerable amount of damage to Raine’s because year 6 pupils, wanting to transfer to Raine’s were told they could not do so, even when they had places allocated.

Of course it will considerably raise the costs of the school when the school doesn’t know within the normal period of time how many pupils, if any at all, they will have to educate during the following year.

revision-books

A pile of revision books given at the start of the holidays, what holidays?

However from the perspective of a Raine’s parent, the situation with the school looks very good. The Raine’s Foundation School website has had a major overhaul and we are now even able to use an App to keep abreast of developments.

We are adamant that Raine’s is an excellent school with brilliant teachers and provides a great basis for pupils to achieve best results. My daughter is already revising for next year’s GCSE’s.

See what Mickey Ambrose has to say about it.

 

 

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More telling off for Tower Hamlets

Now the Ombudsman has upheld a claim against Tower Hamlets Council for obstructing investigations. See report from ELA here.

What is the point in Tower Hamlets having a Mayor when nothing good comes of it. First there was the scandal around Lutfur Rahman, allegations of election fraud, led to his downfall and then the government sent in observers to shadow the council administration.

But whilst the investigators left satisfied that things are in order the Ombudsman finds otherwise. And of course the legal action against the council in respect of the illegal activities trying to close down schools make me question how effective any Mayor in Tower Hamlets may be.

There are obviously huge muddles going on, which even the Mayor cannot resolve.

I have never negatively spoken about Tower Hamlets and especially not John Biggs, with whom I sat on the Police and Community Safety Board for years until John Biggs decided to close down a 300 year old school, which is attended by my daughter. We love Raine’s Foundation school #300moreyears.

 

 

 

 

Government investigates Tower Hamlets again

Apparently people like Sylvia Pankhurst and Danny Boyle are among a high-profile string of supporters of the Raine’s Foundation Trust and Steering Group and the many grateful parents and pupils who happily attend the school.

This new investigation is mainly concentrating around the illegal attempt by Tower Hamlets council, trying to close Raine’s Foundation, Church of England Secondary school and Sixth Form prior to a consultation.

Tower Hamlets Council made an application to the Government Schools Adjudicators in May for a zero published admission number (PAN), cutting the future pipeline of the school. A final decision on this application was due for February 2020. Yet the council already and illegally informed all new year 7 pupils, who had been given confirmed places for the year 2019/20 at Raine’s, that they had to leave Raine’s and be placed in other schools, mainly Oaklands.

Whilst the council told parents at meetings that there were only 29 viable applications for a year 7 place at Raine’s, for 2019/20, further evidence suggests that there were actually 70 – 100 pupils applying for places.

Incidentally all year 9s were also told by the council they could not progress to year 10 within the Raine’s Foundation school and should continue their education at Oaklands school.

Raines Foundation Interim Executive Board (IEB)

Whilst the previous board of governors were dismissed, acussed of being unable to run the school, an Interim Executive Board was put into place.

The school advertised a position of parent governor but we were told at the last meeting with the borough that no suitable person could be found to fill the post. I had applied for it. As a former LEA school governor, I should be more than qualified. But I suppose they didn’t want anybody on the board who would want to put a spanner in the works of their devious plans.

In the interests of ‘transparency and openness’it might be interesting to see what the Interim Executive Board (IEB) of Raines Foundation secondary school have been getting up to and you can download all ten documents here.

Raine’s Foundation hired Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who went to the High Court and obtained a judgement including directions to Tower Hamlets Council that they have to write to all parents and pupils who were originally told that they cannot continue their education at Raine’s that they now can continue their education there.

Yet, the council, to date, has not followed that order of the judge.

There are now new applications in preparation to again go to the court for further orders by the solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

It seems very strange that the council tries every trick in the book to dismantle the only traditional school with a 300 year history in the borough.

Please also see a good article from  Wapping Mole though I would not want to go so far as to call for a return of Lutfur Rahman.

It is just really sad that our current Labour council under John Biggs, makes such dreadful decisions. John Biggs. It was a seriously political and administrative mistake to illegale incite the closure of a traditional Church of England school in Tower Hamlets. It will cost the Labour Party a lot of votes.

Slash, bang, whallop

Here we have it, Boris Johnson, shows how tough he is on crime and wants to build 10.000 more prison places and increase stop and search.

We are going towards a classical double-sided society. The underlings, living in prison cells and the good people living in houses/flats.

In the old days we could see the two-way society by the way pubs were built with two entrances for the poor and the rich. The public and saloon bars.

Boris Johnson now wants to create a new society whereby everybody just gets locked up, out of the way and that creates the internment society.

Gone has the community cohesion model, the trying to build civil societies who live together in peace and harmony.

I am not against stop and search and I am not against re-introducing the 20.000 police officers that were cut from the budget but recruiting masses of police officers quickly, doesn’t exactly increase the quality control of officer that is coming to our beats.

Yet stop and search done on an aggressively large scale, can seriously push mentally instable people over the edge and we may be walking towards a new age of riots.

Whilst the new government bemoans a break-down in civil society here in Tower Hamlets all Neighbourhood Watch signs were taken down from lamp posts. Those signs were always

  • an expression of anti-crime sentiment,
  • deterrents for criminals and
  • assurance for residents.

Why remove those signs, when they are simply a positive influence on the community? And whilst removing Neighbourhood Watch signs, which always introduced a better feeling of community spirit and increased attempts of community cohesion and simply replace all by a quick lock up and shut up policy?

It seems we are trending towards the Chinese model of building internmnet centres for re-education, and assisted living.

It is totally amazing that the government suddenly can find the funds to build 10.000 new prison places but is unable to build council housing in the same scale.

Keeping the poor in poverty

This government’s employment, education and housing strategy is mainly aimed at keeping the poor in a position of legal servitude. We have entered the age of modern slavery.

“The government had an opportunity to help support the most disadvantaged people in the UK but has instead wasted over half a million pounds,” said Lord Jay, chairman of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee.

The government even refuses to spend £3.5 Million of Eurpoean Union Funding for the alleviation of child poverty and already had to hand back £580.000 of unspent cash, given by the EU as funding to the UK.

So all those Brexit arguments saying we could spend money we give to the EU on ourselves, is simply a lying trick to hype up the Brexit agenda. They have no intention of making things better for our poor families.  See source article. 

shoot yourself in the foot

is an expression that people use to describe if a measure you take, turns out detrimental against yourself.

British establishment and conservationists always want to help promote the establishment, of which the Church of England is an important cornerstone.

stjames

St James the Less church

Church of England schools were long seen as the ultimate part of the pro-English upbringing of those wanting to serve Queen and country.

The church being the glue that holds the social fibre of English society together, educated mind and spirits. Yet an essential part of English society was the emergence of unions, which branched out of working-class environments and became an integral part of life.

Along comes our latest bout of Conservative government seeking to destroy the stronghold unions have on the confidence of the working classes. This of course includes the pocket so Muslim immigrants who follow special social rules culminating in Sharia law.

Easy peasy things thinks the government, we just shake it all up, we get rid of the unions and the radical Islamist scourge at the same time.

There then followed a strong rule change, making working compulsory, forcing people to accept any job on offer and reducing work security through a change in working contracts law.

Also, to throw into the mix came the idea to “increase the quality of schooling” by allowing free schools and by tearing schools away from councils and getting them directly funded by government e.g. through the academy system.

Whilst previously we saw a shortage of school places, we now see an oversaturation of educational provision. Schools open everywhere but people generally have less children because of working law and benefit changes.

All the uprooting of social connections, suitably assisted by changes in housing law and provision thoroughly shook society to the core.

In Tower Hamlets just about the only traditional education available was through Church of England schools. Yet academies and free schools have mushroomed out of nowhere, leaving Muslim children to attend non-church schools with often 85-95% Muslims, whilst the Catholic kids, cram into the few Catholic schools.

The Church of England, through its Liberal approach suffers from a loss of church attendance and general lack of draconian church discipline, is not very attractive to Muslims who experience much more pressure to follow strict religious rules and enjoy the feeling of being forced to adhere to a religious life-style.

That makes Church of England schools less attractive to those who want to experience dogma.

Tower Hamlets has long been the source of constant political controversy and is run by more or less left-wing factions of the Labour Party and similar constellations of political movements like AspireRespect or Tower Hamlets First.

The current Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, who was seen as a moderate leader by many, is however very keen to rid Tower Hamlets of one of the oldest Church of England schools at the earliest opportunity. It is just another weapon to stab local society into the heart of traditional values and help undermine the Monarchy.

Had this Conservative government not sought to change society to the core with a flurry of legal changes, we would not be in this situation that English traditional education is being disbanded in this part of London.

Any benefit that may have shown through ‘better’ academy schools is wiped out by disturbance constant change brings. Children need to feel safe not only physically but also mentally by being able to rely on those services, adults around them, knowing they can grow up into society and contribute to that society at a later stage.

raines school

Raine’s Foundation, C.o.E. Secondary in Bethnal Green

The children of Raine’s Foundation school in Tower Hamlets are being torn apart from their brand-new school, strewn into the wind of education and lost the ability to concentrate on their GCSE and A-levels because their school is threatened by closure.

The last thing, kids want to worry about is finding a school or changing school when they need to concentrate on years of course work to get the best results. The travesty is that the education and teachers at Raine’s are very good and pupils can achieve best results, they do run a Year 11 High Attainment Program in conjunction with Stem. Why do they want to close a school that produces top class achievers, just because it is a Church of England school?

Most parents choose schools wanting peace of mind, being able to leave their children there till 6. Form and then go onto university or into a working life.

Yet the chopping and changing politics by this current government has thrown everything around into a big mixing bowl of social change and nobody is any the wiser of what is happening.

Of course, being able to plan ahead has become a luxury and that is what this government wants, they do not want people to get too comfortable because happy people are dangerous people who can start to demand even better than they have.

So, this Conservative government in fact chips away on conservative values and education by creating a whirlwind social environment that destroys all conservative values and creates anxiety and fear among our young people.

That is one of the reasons why kids now feel they need to demonstrate about the climate emergency instead of going to school, why school kids feel they need knives to protect themselves as they no longer feel safe as nothing can be relied upon any longer. Parents aren’t even at home after school any longer to calm down any fears, parents are forced into working instead of being there to parent.

Everthing is being eroded for working people, starting by housing, to working contracts and schooling. The reduction of policing services has another detrimental impact onto society.

Getting rid of everything known and comforting is perhaps the biggest mistake this government makes.

There are no particular problems at Raine’s Foundation, yet over-crowded popular schools often attract the most problems. But the per-pupil funding will prefer big problem schools before smaller, high quality schools because of the funding formulae.

Just today, the World Economic Forum published figures to show how stress severely affects our University Students, which means the format of education needs to change, to become more user friendly rather than production belt style.

Raine’s provides that friendly but high quality education, that is of excellent quality.  Universities must follow a model that produces happy students.

 

Sexist Tower Hamlets

Please can anybody who has the time to support a protest at the Tower Hamlets Council Town Hall next week on 17. July 2018 from 17:30 onwards. Many parents from the school will be attending an academic reward evening that the brilliant Raine’s Foundation hosts for hard-working pupils at Raine’s Foundation school on that day.  Please read the latest up-date on the protest in an East London Advertiser article.

So far the protests have brought the council to amend the consultation documents on 3. July due to the legal pressure that the Steering Group has brought.

Raines-summer-concert-2019

End of term summer concert, which the new headmaster Patrice Cavanan failed to attend.

Any plans to transfer pupils to Oaklands school are not very popular. Tonight’s school concert was not even attended by Patrice Cavanan, the Oaklands head teacher who is now in charge of Raine’s.

It does’t matter how many rainbow flags and rainbow pedestrian crossings Tower Hamlets has installed, when it comes to education, they give boys’ education preference by using a simple trick.

The agenda of the full council meeting on 17. July 2019 lists 3 petitions:

CCTV, Stepney Green school, Raine’s Foundation school.

By only counting the signatories on petitions for schools from residents actually living in Tower Hamlets, the council ignores almost half the Raine’s school signatories and gives the school less importance than Stepney Green because they received more Tower Hamlets based signatories simply because the parents who want to stay that school boys only reside in Tower Hamlets.

Local parents want to prevent Stepney Green school from becoming a mixed school and want it to stay boys only.

Of course this shows that there are a lot of parents in Tower Hamlets who prefer boys education alone and who do not want girls mixed up. A time-lapse into old-fashioned values perhaps? Malala has been shot for defending girl’s education.

Raine’s Foundation school, is Church of England affiliated and provides an excellent all-round education for children from all genders. The school runs an online petition. To date 2,859 have actually signed the petition but the council counts less than 2,000 signatures because they don’t live in Tower Hamlets.

Yet the catchment area for Raine’s isn’t exclusive to Tower Hamlets, pupils are coming from all the neighbouring boroughs but the council only counts signatories from Tower Hamlets itself.

That is highly discriminating. Hence the parents that want a school to stay a boys school get more time at the council to debate their issue than the parents who want their school for all to stay open.

 

 

Enlightenment

I love a book full of statistics. It saves me compiling them and luckily there are always plenty of published number crunches to relate to.

When I started reading Steven Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now, I started to feel, he was a little too simplistic and tries to make a case that the rich make the live of the poor easier and better.

I do however like the slant on Humanism in the under-title. And whilst I am now on the Environment chapter, I am starting to get interested.

Frightening though the samples Steven Pinker gives by quoting Paul Watson who wants to radically reduce humanity to fewer than one billion.

sand desert blue sky egypt

Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

I think that is a very dangerous approach. I belief that the Egyptian Pharaoh culture simply died because the Egyptians spent too many of their scarce resources  on building the pyramids. With the technology available at the time, most of the human labour available must have gone into shaping those stones and putting them into the triangular shapes that built the Pyramids. People didn’t have enough time to spend on planting, harvest and dealing with environmental emergencies or attacks from other forces. Nor did they have the time to develop better technogies.

If we reduce humanity to the bare existence level, we will suffer similar consequences by not being able to sustain technology, which was only able to develop because we have gotten so much spare resources laying around.

Our lifestyles now are becoming increasingly inflexible. We rely more and more on the same habits to do all things each day. We regulate every spare niche of our lives with increasingly complicated laws. This inflexibility in itself is a major hindrance on making real progress. We cannot possibly maintain all that technology with few people.

person holding save our planet sign

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

We cannot possibly change our world by leaving it the way it is and try to reduce our carbon foot prints alone.

The fact that Amazon rainforest countries demand the right to develop their lands puts a big dampener on our enthusiams, which rely on the existence of the rainforest.

We need to come to an international agreement that we either re-settle all peoples who reside in current rain forest regions and settle them in other nations. Or another possibility is forcing all nations to have a certain amount of forest areas within each country.

The latter option will require a lot of loss of sovereignity of each nation on the planet. Whilst we cannot even cope with Europe at present, how are we going to enter world-wide agreements?

One major source of pollution is travel and air travel causes more air pollution than previously thought.

We need to radically change values and the calculation of wealth from purely being a plus in the bank acount to being a whollistic view on positive contribution to global wealth including the health of the planet.

Humanism is the best way to achieve this because we cannot continually kick each other’s backsides but believing that God loves us all whilst we destroy each other and the planet. For what, a better afterlife? The Egyptians beliefed in a great afterlife.

 

fast movers

red bus on road near big ben in london

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

The urban myth that you need a car in London to get around, is really a myth. Scientific examination of transport has proven the following:

The following numbers came up or moving people around town:

  • 22.000 people using trains
  • 19.000 people walking
  • 14.000 people cycling
  • 9.000 people using buses
  • 2.000 people using private cares.

Read about all the details on New Scientist from where I gotten those numbers.

I had a dad who worked just down the road and needed to take his car to drive there. So that car dependence is just a little bit of an addiction.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan will let us have a car-free day on 22. September 2019. I love the idea, better than the whinging Boris Johnson always did talk about needing large family saloons all the time.

Apparently Talk London is consulting on having car-free days once a month. Bring it on.

London Transport is amazing, with Central Line trains running every minute.

 

 

Health first

action activity adult athletes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The best part about being a human is being as healthy as possible. At least that is what we are striving for.

Here in Tower Hamlets, school children are thought to have 10% less lung capacity, compared to children in rural areas.

Tower Hamlets schools are normally encoached in busy traffic areas, with roads, right, left and centre.

For example Bishop Challoner School is unfortunately a good example of a school being in a totally traffic polluted area. The school is judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted because of exam results only. The school is siutated in Commercial Road.

For Ofsted good results are everything, they do not consider other health considerations when they judge a school, which I think is very sad indeed.

On the other hand, Raine’s Foundation school, is a secondary school situated near Victoria Park, an area classified as almost suburban, with leafy streets, access to Victoria Park for PE and much less traffic, as roads around the building are one lane only.

Raine’s Foundation school is classified as ‘in need of improvement’ by Ofsted and because of this, parents won’t apply to send their kids there.

Parents as well as Ofsted only care about exam results.

Tower Hamlets Council  now wants to close Raine’s Foundation school because of the poor exam results, poor in comparison to national results.

Why does nobody care about the children’s health? Isn’t it better to run a school in a healthy area because the kids will be better off throughout their life, if their lungs breathe healthy air?

I personally want to fight to keep the school open just to give children the chance to attend a healthy school. Because sacrificing health in exchange for good exam results will have long-lasting effects on the children’s health.

Access to green spaces, a nice playground, a nearby park will have a great effect not only on children’s mental health but also the physical health.

I want everybody to write to their MP to ask for support to change the classification criteria for schools in respect of a healthy environment.

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