Raine’s can still be saved

A public meeting is being held on Mon 11th Nov following the decision by Tower Hamlets Council to issue a statutory notice on the proposal to close Raine’s Foundation School. This means that the proposal to close the school and expand Oaklands to accommodate some displaced pupils, is being progressed to the next stage and will initiate a statutory 4 week consultation period, due to begin on Mon 4 Nov. You are invited to attend this meeting to find out more about the next stage of the process and to feedback your views to senior leaders. The meeting will be held from 5:30 – 7:30pm at the Professional Development Centre, 229 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 6AB. From Monday 4th November more information can be found at: https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/council_and_democracy/consultations/Proposal-to-close-Raines-Foundation-School.aspx

My last post was rather depressed because watching that council meeting really gotten me down. But I met Father Alan from St. John’s on Bethnal Green and speaking to him gave me some new energy.

I have gotten some great ideas for the next stage of the consultation because I still believe that a closure of Raine’s school can be avoided. There is still hope.

Should good air quality trump?

raines school

the brand-new building of Raine’s Foundation school

The current case on the proposed closure of Raine’s Foundation school raises a lot of questions.

Council has admitted that the air quality of the location of Raine’s is healthier than in the rest of the borough but because the academic achievements are lower than the average in Tower Hamlets and the school is the only one with a ‘need of Improvement’ Ofsted rating since a few years and parents do not want to send their kids to the school and admission numbers constantly fall, the school should be closed.

chest-hospital

Raine’s is next to the Chest Hospital, view from Victoria Park, 1 minute away from the school

Yet we constantly see this harrowing pictures of children being unable to breathe on the way to school or have schools in unhealthy air areas. We have a healthy air campaign.

gatehouse schoolAlso in this area is the private Gatehouse School, which is thriving. Gatehouse school is part of the education provision in the area near Victoria Park.

I find it quite amazing that healthy environment cannot be utilised for the benefit of secondary school pupils and education provision cannot be moved to a healthy air area but instead education takes places in a preferred other area that is not so healthy. It doesn’t make much sense to me.

It would make sense if parents sent their kids to the Raine’s Foundation school and then started an action group to pressurise for better educational results, lobbying the governors and so on.

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.

Tradition in Tower Hamlets won an important step

A message from Mickey Ambrose:

“Please find attached the following news article which is online today and will appear in this weeks East London Advertiser – well done to everyone for getting to this stage with Tower Hamlets Council.

Children can join Raine’s in September, say lawyers | Politics | East …

Raines is open for all years come September 2019 and the local authority on the instruction of the High Court have to write to all the year 6’s they turned away initially who were offered a place at Raines for this September and they have write to all the year 9’s they turned away to join other schools. The Sixth Form is Raines Sixth Form and NOT Oaklands Sixth Form.

More details to follow now we have to win the WAR as this is not over yet……..

ALL YEAR GROUPS ARE OPEN FROM SEPTEMBER 2019 – and anyone that has been bullied into leaving can return to Raines this September – please inform your family & friends that the school is open for business.

Thank you.”

Our residents will be relieved to hear it.

Personally I am not particularly religious anymore. I like the school because the teaching standards are high and the Church isn’t too pragmatic and despite forcing pupils to take religion at GCSE, religion itself is more tolerant and open-minded.

We have to see that it is important to have a traditional school in Tower Hamlets, which is suddenly overrun with new Academies and Free schools.

Whilst I support a recent campaign by Humanists to stop forcing relgious assemblies on all schools, I see the importance of making everybody feel important and as part of the community.

Not alienating any religious beliefs is an important corner stone to community cohesion, which thrives by the non-hate campaign.

Whilst the High-Court has forced the Council to write to all parents, that their kids can attend Raine’s C.o.E. school, the High Court also has granted permission to challenge school-worship law.

I support both. I think that the Church of England is modern and open-minded enough to see the importance of secular and unitary education.

Nuns devasted by planned new housing development

The nuns (Benedictine) want peace and quiet and new homes planned in the neighbourhood would disturb it. How crazy is that?

No more concern about the homes families need as long as the nuns can have plenty of secluded space. I thought the church is there to serve the community?

Sign the petition to end compulsory Christian prayer in school assemblies, currently run by the Humanists UK, to make school assemblies an inclusive learning process for all, regardless of religion or belief.

Even if kids can opt out of Christian school assemblies, that non-church schools have to hold, they are just being left to their own devices and not guided in meaningful thought and activity during that time. It is much more progressive and beneficial for us all if all kids can assemble for positive communal purposes during school assemblies.

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.

 

The equality conundrum

The UK reels under strain from an attempt to get everybody equal. That principle suffers in law and it suffers in human terms as well. In law it is impossible to get equality between parties that are of different wealth and in personal terms it is impossible to treat everybody equally on various terms.

With gay marriage now going to be legal in the UK, we hear those more older and/or conservatives amongst us moaning about it. I am especially surprised about the stance of Lord Carey and Reverend Welby, as those are the representatives of the Church of England, the religion as has preached liberalism and did the least to enforce church and religious discipline.

Prior to the gay marriage debate was the gay adoption debate, with the Catholic church shouting the loudest against.

Lets put it into context. If all those heterosexual people who produce the children would do an exemplary good job of looking after their offspring no adoption would be necessary. It is merely that ‘normal’ people produce children, they are either incapable or unwilling to care for.

The church had abandoned their flock generations ago when it became a matter of choice whether to be religious or not.

We have even heard a comment that because Boris Johnson produced a child with an unpaid volunteer whilst working with the Mayor of London, the fitness of the Mayor to do his job would be reflected upon under the circumstances of that extra-marital affair. Yet when gay people have sex during working relationships, they could not possibly produce a child doing so but that does not mean that they are better suited to do the work just because their affairs cannot become so evident as gay couples do not conceive.

As a society we have to look at values and what we want to achieve. At the moment laws are passed all over the ‘civilised’ world, trying to avoid disaster through casual sexual disease by introducing gay marriage. Of course the next worst disaster would be a spread of aids and other diseases because of frequent partner changes.

The statistics make grim reading in  that same sex people feature worst for wear for instance:

  • 60% of all drug abusers, that sought help were elder members of the lesbian, gay and trans-gender scene.
  • 57% 0f all new gonorrhoea cases and  81% of syphilis cases are among gay men.
  • HIV/Aids is prevalent among gay men.

Yet straight people do their utmost to tolerate if not encourage gay relationships. Yet homosexuals are not so happy if somebody wants to turn away from the habit and become straight, ads that direct such people to a charity that wants to help them were banned from TfL buses.  Yet it is possible in every other walk of life to turn a corner and get help doing so but gay people seem to be trapped in that situation.

Even in the USA there is a call to get more women involved into work just as in Japan. Even the UK follows the international trend for female employment.

It’s like this magic formula being used internationally that more homosexuality and more women into work makes less babies.

To bring this back to the equality issue, we have to ask ourselves why people always want to have sex and that it is this addiction that causes problems. We need to ensure people find other values in life rather than skin-contact.

Obviously it is a G8 strategy to promote those lifestyles. The people on top of governments are stupid and we need to stop voting for the same old idiots.

The Catholic church teaches that sexual contact is only used for wanting to reproduce. That is a good rule. Also people must first of all calculate exactly that they are in a position to care for the child(ren) made.

But what is happening is that caring about the results of physical contact has ceased and that either people use their children to make war or don’t care for them at all.

Make love not war is a stupid slogan.

It’s the principle that counts

One country, two religion is the over-simplified formula, the Daily Mail published today. They talked about church attendance for Church of England or Muslim services in local East London Mosques.

For me, there is a simple scientific explanation for varying church attendances. Those churches with the biggest principles, whether right or wrong, attract the most worshippers. Those churches who are very tolerant and understanding just do not attract people to come in.

What is of course missing in the Daily Mail article, is a picture of the Our Lady of  Assumption church on Sunday masses, they fill 3 churches full each weekend. But then again, the Catholic church holds strong beliefs, the Muslims hold strong beliefs but those Liberal churches do not.

I do not just mean strong religious beliefs but strong worldly beliefs that reflect directly from the scripture.

Beliefs are definitely churches’ business or mind your own business, mind your believers.

local reverend criticises the bishop

I haven’t blogged much lately; that is due to the fact that currently I have no less than five voluntary jobs and despite not being employed, I am very, very busy. One way for me to take respite from the strains of life and indeed gather strength to do all the good deeds I do, is the weekly prayer service in church on Sundays.

Our local vicar, the Reverend Alan Green previously worked in Liverpool and spoke about an ongoing discussion between church ministers to correctly practise religion and whilst he talked about democracy and Freedom of Speech, he started to attack Archbishop Sentamu for using the Sun newspaper to widen the gospel preachings he does and therefore endorsing the new Sun on Sunday newspaper. The vicar explained that during his time in Liverpool, it was at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, the Sun wrongly blamed Liverpool fans of anti-social behaviour and causing the disaster. I do not have a transcript of today’s sermon but that is what sticks in my mind about it.

The vicar said that this problem has not been completely resolved and though an apology was made, the Sun still has not proven that they do not want to continue their publicity smears of ordinary people.

Of course I have had a long-standing argument with some mainstream publishers and the methods they use to put forward strategies to influence the thinking of readers. It is of course one thing, is writing in a mainstream newspaper and another is endorsing all political tendencies such a newspaper might bring with it.

Yet in the field of gay marriage Bishop Sentamu is outspoken and against it and papers like the Sun are most likely to give him support, if only indirectly because all papers these days are bound by the strict anti-discrimination laws, set out by Europe.

It is refreshing to see that within a church there can be a difference of opinion and if it is so down to earth and brought by someone who at first hand experienced the wrongful publishing smears of a major paper and what this did to large areas of local people then that opinion is very important indeed.

What this also shows is that there are different sides to every coin, because it is quite impossible to get anyone media these days where one can agree to everything a paper does and that there is always some reason to be disgruntled. But when it comes to plainly lying to maintain a strategy that is quite serious indeed and I can completely understand reservations one will have towards that paper. Just looking at my personal experience with Der Spiegel for example, I can understand very well were the good reverend is coming from.

Yet in my case I forced the big publisher Axel Springer to completely change a whole cover and a whole article from 1975 and I just wonder whether the Sun can be forced to re-write an article as well. But at the same time a High Court judge defended them to the hilt.

Yet the question handled by the Leveson enquiry is where does investigative journalism end and where does sheer malicious lying start and it seems it is a very long-winding enquiry, which keeps us all on full suspense and on the edge of our seats. I have long wondered about the political tint of churching these days and find that the message of the bible is more in support of Christians and active followers of Christ rather than in support of all other religions. How politically correct or even neutral can a church be in a state where religion and state are separate entities compared to some other nations where religious leaders also lead the nation.

The Reverend and Rector Alan Green is a well known figure here in East London and beyond. As I found out from searching the Internet for him, he defends the local Mosque and rights of Muslims and he leads an Interfaith forum. In last week’s scripture readings in our Christian church we read Exodus 20: 1-17. There is says: …for I the LORD your God, am a jealous God…..You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name…..

Later on in the Corinthians 1: 18-25 we hear reference to the Jews and Gentiles as well as the Greeks, denouncing them as secondary believers and telling all that Christ is best. But in those days  there is no reference to the Muslims in the bible and maybe that is the reason why today so many Christian feel attracted to them and feel they cannot denounce modern religions that were founded after the original text of the bible has been written. Islam only started from the 6th Century AD and that makes it clear why it is not mentioned in the bible, but that this does not make it suitable to not treat it the same way as the bible treated the Jews, the Gentiles an the Greeks who were of about the same age or older than Christianity.

I think it is a sheer mockery of God’s word to praise all religions as having he same weight just because they started after today’s text of the bible has been written.

PS: In relation to the Hillsborough disaster it has now been made clear that documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster are getting publicised.  A BBC article is titled

Fans blamed in Hillsborough files

A cry for help from the church?

Do the anti-capitalist campaigners outside of St. Paul’s camp there because they think that the church will support their protest, do they hope that some modern version of Jesus comes down those steps to rescue the campaigners. A big discussion has evolved, including the bit that says that the church is supposed to support the poor and that Jesus once drove the money lenders and traders out of the Jewish temple.

The church is no longer governing our state but traditionally always supported the monarch and rich rulers of the land. The church does do a lot of charity work and outreach activities. There are now more charitable schemes, run from churches. But the church itself is subject to the economic conditions as well. There is no big cheque being handed down from God directly through the clouds, like the tablets with the 10 commandments. The church relies on donations from visitors. If the church does not get that money it will not be able to pay its own costs to maintain the cathedral.

The church was traditionally never there to help all those that grumble against government. Even in the bible we come across various situations where people were left to rot as sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah for example. So what are those protesters? Worthy of Gods protection or wicket and doomed to perishing?

The church always supported those who give it money, worldly money, though anybody can sit through a service without giving. Do these protesters actually just harm the church, that cannot do good if they have all those problems to care about.

Somebody suggested that protesters try to blackmail the church, even though the protest is not religious. Churches do give refuge to those persecuted for their religion but those protesters are not even religious, they are more Communist by the sound of it.  The church is not under any obligation to help those that are not persecuted because of their religion though can choose to help those who suffer genuine poverty which is not their fault. I am sure those protesters could come up with a constructive protest and do some charitable deeds. They now even get free liability insurance from the government via the new Your Square Mile website. The whole protest is nonsense.  They could for example hold a demo and rent out a tent to a homeless person instead of loitering around St. Paul’s. They are not that clever but lazy sods.

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