Lutheran tactics

xr-closedforgood

Picture taken from Extinction Rebellion Facebook page. This publication does not mean that I support this activity.

When Martin Luther nailed his thesis’ on the door of the Gutenberg Church in 1517, it meant a revolution was about to start in the church. The posters reading ‘Closed for Good’ plastered by Extinction Rebellion on businesses doors are not so different. This relationship in methods is probably one reason to the fact that our local Church of England Pastor strongly supports Extinction Rebellion and makes his church available to them for meetings and helps to disrupt local traffic at the nearby junction.

One of the XR hashtags also is very similar that John McDonnell wrote Another World is possible, a Manifesto for the 21st. Century.

No wonder the Labour Party has made a pact with Extinction Rebellion to turn over the power politically.

I am wondering whether this is approriate to associate Climate change with political direction.

Climate Change action is used as political pressure point.

Obviously the current Lockdown measures have significantly reduced carbon emissions around the world and especially in London, so how appropriate is that activity.

Considering that production methods are a matter of scientific research, and results of implementation, it seems trivial to hang a protest movement on this.

The negativity of Extinction Rebellion is outweighing all the positive impacts they could have. Show me how much leeway there is being made to implement new production methods, heating methods to change our central heating systems from using gas to different sources of heat, would be much more beneficial to us.

I could not see Labour opposing classic producton methods for the sake of the environment in the past. In Fact Labour always supported everything as long as jobs were saved.

 

turning up noses at poor white children

I have to put the distinction of colour into this post as traditionally Christian children were white and that explains the term of working class and under-achieving white boys.

Perhaps the latest round of austerity helped to increase that problem with under-funding of schools and policies that drive poor people out of cities; that led to an emptying of working class families from Tower Hamlets.

Whilst at the same time there is an influx of immigrants from coloured back-grounds, which are mainly of the Muslim religion, the problems encountered through that, make a Church of England Secondary school in Tower Hamlets the victim of council cuts in education provision.

Whilst Raine’s accepts pupils from all backgrounds, religions and creeds, many pull up their nose on the C.o.E. school and prefer to achieve in the newer, less historic schools of the borough.

If we add into that equation, the deep hate against the monarchy, a weak Church of England school seems the perfect victim to cull that extra bit of establishment in the borough.

Fair enough, you don’t like the monarchy, but why let it out on vulnerable children?

Whilst councillors vehemently deny this and sway popular argument against the school, the governor minutes from Raine’s Foundation school show clearly that at one point, they had almost the whole swathe of pupils under child protection in the school.

Repeatedly the councillors try to deny that the proportion of pupils on child protection could not have been as high as stated, yet the minutes of the governors board dated 21. September 2017 clearly states that the cases of children with short-term child protection issues had gone up to 32% and that 210 children had CP issues. A fact firmly denied by Councillor Hassell.

Tower Hamlets council says the achievements of the school are not high enough, yet the school followed the legacy of their founder, Henry Raine’s, to educate the poor of the borough. Whilst a lot of schools just expel and put out of the way into special provision and often into the hands of criminal gangs, Raine’s actually educated those kids.

What Tower Hamlets wants to see is excellence in education – that is a good aim – and get rid of those nasty pockets of under-achievement. Moving families out of the borough is one way of achieving this; yet it is just a momentary whitewash.

But Christine McInnes’ attempt to appear to have ulturistic concerns for education in the borough is politically tainted.

It would be cheaper in monetary terms, for tax payers, to save the school. Already £17 Million have been poured into the new and refurbished buildings and it would be more than feasable to reduce the intake of other schools and channel pupils to Raine’s rather than close Raine’s and throw the pupils and staff into the wind.

Raine’s Sixth form is superior compared to Oaklands, yet Tower Hamlets sent Raine’s Sixth formers into Oaklands, who cannot continue their chosen curriculum. It is clearly discriminating what is happening here.

Clearly the school has educated many children well enough to send them to university. Yet councillors simply never mentioned the positive achievements of the school.

It appears they hate the monarchy so much that they want to show-case a Church of England school as sheer failure to have a good reason to dimish the hated part of the monarchy, that comes in the shape of the Church of England and victimise a school full of followers.

You may believe in God or not, you may like the monarchy or not, but why let it out on a bunch of children. The school has provided an immeasurable amount of support to the poor of the borough and prevented a lot of kids falling into the wrong hands and did a lot of good.

It would have been fair if Christine McInnes and Councillor Hassell at least would have found the charity to mention the many kids who went onto A-levels and university but they could not bring themselves to do so. Shame on them.

Obviously the school had building work going on for about two years. An extra building was added whilst the old part was re-furbished. In that time, the intake had to be reduced. Yet the council takes this intake reduction as a reason to declare that the school is no longer popular and parents do not want the school.

TH-school-map-criteria

Raine’s school is located at the most northern part you can see on this map. Away from the underground network, in a green and leafy area near Victoria Park

The north of the borough is a bit of waste-land with little service provision. Our local schools are just about the only services available here. The area is near Victoria Park.

The council now has increased admissions for Oaklands on 26. Feb 2020, the only other near school, by 60, before even the last appeal procedure against the closure of Raine’s has completed, deadline was 28. Feb 2020.

They just added one word proposed closure, whilst the closure process was started 2 years agao already. The council wants to force the poor white children out of their comfort zone and force them to mix with the newer immigrants in the setting they prefer rather than the other way around.

You can see the new borders of admission preference areas this council has created to parcel local pupils and bunch them into certain schools into areas, that have been drawn up for reasons unknown. Look at the area borders and you wonder what’s wrong with this council.

As you can see from the map, north-east is nothing but park, the area borders onto Hackney and Tower Hamlets council expects local Hackney schools to accept some over-spill from the closure of Raine’s because it can’t afford to keep the school open. Yet the council is well able to keep on running the annual fireworks display, free of charge, in Victoria Park, which is mainly visited by Hackney residents, usually a total of 75.000 spectators. Not even the Mayor of London puts on free fireworks on New Year’s eve any longer, they charge for those now, and ticket the event. Yet the Mayor of Tower Hamlets feels fit to put on free fireworks displays but shuts down schools to save money.

Council gifts Church of England £18 Million

raines school

the brand-new building of Raine’s Foundation school

As the Raine’s Foundation saga now nears it’s bitter-sweet end, it emerged last night that in fact the winner is the Church of England and one of it’s charities, the Raine’s Foundation Trust.

Apparently Tower Hamlets Council has invested £17 Million Pounds into the new building in Approach Road and into the Lower Building in Old Bethnal Green Road.

I gotten this information solely from watching last night’s call-in meeting, screened via a life-stream from the Tower Hamlets Council chamber. As a Steering Group Committee member I am on a confidentiality clause and I am not allowed to discuss what is said in Steering Group meetings.

Yet yesterday’s council meeting, mentioned in my previous post, says everything we need to know. Not only invested the council £17 Million into buildings, owned by the Church of England, they also put up £1Million to fund the education of pupils in an under-used school, which is to close.

Fancy that the school needs to close because they have no money to repay the funds lost through the failure of raising an incomee from the government because of the low pupil numbers.

Apparently the council was unable to strike a contract to say that they have a claim on the estate. No, it’s a gift to the Raine’s Foundation mainly, who can take the building and walk away with it.

So whose losing out? Perhaps the local parents and pupils who love their local school and who have been thrown out of it by the use of clever arguments, saying, the performance isn’t good enough, the pupil numbers aren’t high enough but the buildings stand and are ready to use.

That’s very clever of those who made a packet out of this one. Apparently school’s finance is not closely monitored in line with regulation each year.

Needless to say the Council meeting last night refused to allow the call-in and so the Mayor of Tower Hamlets won’t be looking at the closure order again.

Interestingly one of Christine McInness’s favourite arguments all along is that pupils usually do one grade better if they do something else. So, if you go to Raine’s you get one grade lower, if you get a job you get one grade lower too. She says all the teachers at Raine’s are not doing well and that meeting last night, totally trashed the governors of the school as incompetent.

But who is really incompetent here?

She also said that 95% of pupils in Tower Hamlets go to Excellent or above average schools. The government statistics show that in Tower Hamlets the truth is very different.

Out of 19 Secondary schools 11 – 16 years provision there are

  • well above average 4 schools
  • above average 5 schools
  • average 4 schools
  • below average 4 schools
  • worst and not improving 1 schools
  • well below average 1 school

Raine’s is on position 17 in this list. The number 17 however, seems the lucky number as the council invested £17 Million into the buildings of the school with nothing to show for it.

But whilst the new government now refuses entry visas to low-skilled workers, whose going to educate those who will be doing the fruit picking and toilet cleaning in future? Those will hardly be entering the UK in the back of lorries. If we are to supply labour ourselves, do they really need the highest grades in all schools for all pupils anyway? Has Britain entered a downward spiral?

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.

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