Boswell speaks out on behalf of Croydon’s “heroic” teachers

Canon Colin Boswell used Croydon’s annual civic service yesterday to call on the people of the borough ”to encourage heroic teachers”.

Croydon Minster: civic service with strong message

Croydon Minster: civic service with strong message

The Vicar of Croydon’s remarks came in a sermon to the congregation in Croydon Minster and to the many civic dignitaries in attendance.

Earlier in the week, Ofsted inspectors had carried out a further “raid” on the Parish Church junior school, where the vicar is the chair of the governing body.

The very early return of Ofsted to inspect the Church of England school, just a month after the publication of critical findings about the school’s performance, is judged by local Labour politicians as being part of the Michael Gove-instigated national campaign by the government department to use inspections to force as many schools as possible to become privatised academies.

Oval Primary, Roke School and Archbishop Lanfranc are among the local schools to have undergone forcible academisation in recent years, often against the wishes of the staff and parents. The handover at these schools has often been rushed and badly managed.

“To inspect within just a few weeks of the publication of the critical report has given insufficient time for the school’s new senior management to make an impact on performance,” said a Town Hall source attending yesterday’s service. “It is clearly calculated. It is a shame to see Ofsted debased for party political purposes.”

Inside Croydon has been informed that Department of Education officials are expected  in Croydon this week to push the Diocese of Southwark to agree to turn the school into an academy, something which the prelates have resisted so far.

Canon Colin Boswell: Vicar of Croydon defends "heroic" teachers

Canon Colin Boswell: Vicar of Croydon defends “heroic” teachers

This attempt to push academisation under a private sector provider comes only two weeks after the Church of England was seen to criticise the way the school, and its staff, had been handled by the Department for Education.

The civic service had been, until 2012, an annual event to celebrate life in the borough, but that year, “NightMayor” Eddy Arram caused its cancellation because he claimed to be too busy. The service resumed last year and this year was properly attended by Mayor Manju Shahul-Hameed, who gave a reading from the New Testament.

Other notable local dignitaries at the service included Stuart Collins (the deputy leader of the council), Tim Pollard (leader of the opposition) and the council’s deputy chief executive Hannah Miller. Tony Newman, the council leader, was not present.

The sole representative from Parliament was Lord Bowness, the long-serving former Conservative leader of the council.

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This entry was posted in Archbishop Lanfranc, Canon Colin Boswell, Church and religions, Croydon Minster, Education, Manju Shahul Hameed, Parish Church schools, Roke Primary, Schools, Stuart Collins and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Boswell speaks out on behalf of Croydon’s “heroic” teachers

  1. davidcallam says:

    We establish an inspection organisation to cut through the politically correct nonsense that surrounds state education and tell us how well or badly individual schools are doing.

    When the organisation delivers an unfavourable report it is immediately attacked by a combination of teachers, who certainly have a vested interest, and parents.

    Now you are suggesting that Ofsted has become a tool of government and as such is no longer trustworthy. In that case, surely, the Church of England and Croydon Council should be jointly calling for a root and branch reorganisation?

  2. We invited OFSTED in.
    We have built an urban environment with very few spaces for safe, unsupervised play for children under 10 years of age. So how can the children develop properly, so that teachers can teach effectively?
    We have no whole Croydon vision for education for the Borough. We have various competing factions and isolated pockets. We have one of the highest levels of spending on private education for any London Borough, yet we are relatively poor. We have one of the richest educational charities in the UK, with fabulous resources for a few. If we do not know where we are going, we are not going to get there.
    We have cut funding to various critical projects that have a huge impact on children and their development including: music in schools; minority language tuition; domestic violence refuges.

    Every time we make a decision we ought to be asking how is this going to impact on the development of children in our Borough?

    “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
    Nelson Mandela

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