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The Inquiry into the St James Independent Schools in London

   
 
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  St James Schools
St Vedast Schools
  The Independent Education Association Ltd (IEA)
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  SES Schools Action (SESSA)
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Who's Who

The SES has many offshoots and is connected to a web or other charities and organisations both in the UK and Internationally. This site page only lists those that are directly relevant to St James Independent Schools in London and / or the Inquiry. Readers wanting information about the wider network of organisations and relationships should go to the links page on this site.

St James Independent Schools, London

The St James Independent Schools were founded in London in January 1975 by members of the School of Economic Science (SES / SoES). Initially there were three classes of children aged 5 to 7 in both the boys and girls school. Nicholas Debenham and Sheila Caldwell were the respective headteachers. There are currently three schools; the Junior Schools (Ersby Street, Olympia), the Senior Girls School (Ersby Street, Olympia), and the Senior Boys School (Twickenham).

The schools were an experiment, ‘spearheading a new movement in spiritual education’. David Boddy, current headteachers of the Senior Boys School says of the current schools (see www.education-renaissance-trust.org.uk)...

“Every lesson begins with a dedication and the teachers naturally and happily illuminate the brilliance in every subject, and how God is behind it all…..they are encouraged to discover the glory, intelligence and lawfulness of the Absolute’s creation. All are encouraged to discover and obey the finer laws, and also to take steps in fulfilling their human responsibility by finding out who they truly are. It works, because the teachers believe in what they are saying, and try to live in harmony with all the children, no matter what their background, or race or religion”.

There is a single Governing Body for all the schools. All but one of the current Governors (January 2006) are members of the SES. The Governors are: Roger Pincham (Chairman), George Cselko, Richard Edmunds, Mary Pickering, Clem Salaman, Jeremy Sinclair, John Story, Richard Watson. The Honorary Governors are: James Armstrong, Sheila Caldwell, Bernard Saunders, and Bernard White.

There are a number of ‘sister’ children’s schools in the UK and around the world. A new primary school opened near Manchester in late 2005 and a new school is planned to open in Durban, South Africa in 2007.

Click here to go to the links page for relevant web links

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St Vedast Independent Schools, London

The St Vedast Boys and Girls Schools opened in September 1975 for older children, initially aged between 9 and 12. Nicholas Debeham and Sheila Caldwell were initially the respective headteachers of St Vedast as well as St James. In 1985 the St Vedast Schools were closed (partly due pupil withdrawals following negative media and newspaper reports) and their pupils transferred to the St James Schools.

Click here to go to the links page for relevant web links

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The Independent Education Association Ltd (IEA)

The IEA are proprietors of the St James (and until their closure St Vedast) Schools. The IEA was registered as a UK charity (number 270156) on 8th December 1975.

Their ‘charitable objects’ are “to promote the advancement of education of children and young persons and in connection therewith to establish and conduct in any part of the world a school or schools to give instruction in all branches of education including the preparation of pupils to sit for public examinations whether academic professional or otherwise”.

The latest accounts filed with the Charity Commission (financial year 2003/4) show a gross income of £5,461,127.

All of the charities trustees are governors of St James. The trustees (listed in 2005) are: Richard Edmunds, Clement Salaman, Jeremy Theodorson Sinclair, Mary Elizabeth Wreford Pickering, Richard Watson, William John Story and Roger Pincham.

Click here to go to the links page for relevant web links

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The Friends of St James

The ‘Friends’ are primarily a support and fundraising group largely of parents of pupils at the schools. They have no formal role in school policy or management.

Click here to go to the links page for relevant web links

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The 7th Form

Is the official St James and St Vedast former pupils association. Its states its primary purpose as helping former pupils keep in contact with one another and to “support the school in whatever way it can from time to time”. The 7th Form is a division of the Independent Education Association Ltd (IEA)

Click here to go to the links page for relevant web links

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The School of Economic Science (SES / SoES)

All teachers in the St James Junior schools, 75% in the Senior schools, all the school management committee, all but one governor and the trustees of the Independent Education Association Ltd (IEA) are members of the SES. The remaining Governor is a former member of the SES

For more information see the SES page on this website and the links page

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The Education Renaissance Trust (ERT)

The Education Renaissance Trust was formed in April 1997 to promote the SES approach to children’s education around the world it seeks to “open the role of philosophy in Education.” The Trust (called the Education Renaissance Fund in the US) raises funds and supports the St James family of schools around the world. It aims to make its “philosophy of education based on spiritual values available more widely, through teacher-training and in-school courses, and by funding teacher secondments and exchanges internationally”. The Trust is a UK registered charity, number 1062479/0.

The Trust has recently received funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Dulverton Trust for activities including in-service teacher training in UK state schools to help teachers explore ways in which they can “nourish the spiritual development of the child”.

The Trustees of the Education Renaissance Trust (as of 2005) are: Nicholas Debenham (Chairman), Richard Barnes, David Boddy, William Fox III, Alan Marshall, William Salisbury and Laura Woodhead. It is understood that all trustees are members of the SES.

Click here to go to the links page for relevant web links

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SES Schools Action (SESSA)

SESSA was set up by former pupils around the time of the announcement of the inquiry into the schools. It appears to have worked largely behind the scenes to influence the terms of the inquiry.

Click here to go to the links page for relevant web links

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The Parents and Pupils Action Group (PPIAG)

Established in December 2005. See 'about us' page

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