To ask how this can be anything other than racism?

(75 Posts)
SuedeEffectPochette Fri 26-Apr-13 13:16:35

local opposition to proposed new secondary state boarding school. Here

I listened to some woman on the radio saying she was concerned for the children being part of this "experiment". Really? It is surely NIMBYism to oppose this isn't it? Lucky children who live in Lambeth I say, and I hope it means that you all get a better education.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Fri 26-Apr-13 13:22:41

I quite like the idea, I think it will give the kids some breathing space away from inner city problems. However, if I was a resident of the village I would have concerns too. Nothing to do with the colour/race of the kids but more about what they may be getting up to if let loose in the town etc. I'm sure they won't always have a guardian with them.

But, at the end of the day, they should be tackling the problems the kids face rather than just moving the kids away from it. The problems aren't going to go away on their own.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 13:25:09

clicky link What an ARSE! He should resign or be sacked the wanker.

It sounds like an amazing's going to be amazing for the kids to board and amazing for the local community to have a chance to host kids from a variety of cultures.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 13:26:24

HoHOHO would you be concerned if Eton moved their children to a site near you? Or would you assume they'd be well behaved? Why shouldn't these kids have a chance to live rurally?

SuedeEffectPochette Fri 26-Apr-13 13:26:39

But the kids are not going to be let loose are they? The site that they are proposing to use used to be a school, and they didn't have problems then.......

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 13:30:08

Suede some people have the idea that non white kids are feral and will escape.

Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 13:31:05

I think the site used to be a much much smaller school and the land is used by local dog walkers etc but I am sure that can be compensated for.

I think it will be first 100% free state boarding. The others you pay the boarding fees for but not tuition. So I suppose if the people who beat you up are at your school what this achieves is to lock you up with your bullies Monday to Friday with no escape. If those who beat you up are off site then it gives you a release from that in the week.

The teachers will need to work boarding school teacher hours.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Fri 26-Apr-13 13:32:35

Yes Neo, ANY school regardless of the background of the students. It has nothing at all to do with that.

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 13:32:55

It is classic NImbyism tinged with racism. I am sure if Eton opened a new school there the residents would be delighted.

5Foot5 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:35:30

I read about this in The Time and thought it sounded a great idea.

The school will be a weekly boarding school and it sounded like the children will be on the premises pretty much all the time they are there so unlikely to be "let loose" in the near by town.

I think the outspoken councillor has since resigned.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 26-Apr-13 13:40:32


But that's true of all boarding schools,or are you meaning to imply its more likely at a state one.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 13:40:37

It's racist to open a school with the intention that 97% of the students will exclude one race.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't get it.

Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 13:46:28

Sock, yes that's true. It's one of the reasons why when I could easily afford boarding schools for my children I would not send them.

Fargo86 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:47:25

I wouldn't like it to happen in my town.

sherbetpips Fri 26-Apr-13 13:49:29

I went to school in the US and we had a METCO programme that allowed the gifted students from the inner city areas to come to our suburbian school. they hated it, most of the students just acted out and didnt perform academically as they would have done if someone hadn't taken them out of there local environment and forced them to go somewhere 'nice'. Sounded a good idea and they at least graduated but it felt very racist and was very unintegrated.

DionFortune Fri 26-Apr-13 13:51:35

"Ninety-seven per cent of pupils will be black or Asian," he said. "It depends what type of Asian. If they're Chinese, they'll rise to the top. If they're Indian they'll rise to the top. If they're Pakistani they won't."

He said while there were certain nationalities who valued hard work, there were also "certain nationalities where they are uncertain what this hard work is all about".

OMFG! shock

lljkk Fri 26-Apr-13 13:52:27

The Tory councillor (Cherry) is saying racist things.

I suspect that most the village oppose the school out of sheer xenophobia/NIMBYism. Not racism, strictly speaking.

I hooted at the comment about dangers of children outside their "natural" surroundings. You know, like the children of landed gentry are "naturally" better suited to boarding school or summat, must be to do with their patrician heritage I guess.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 13:54:01

Suede - while he is obviously racist, a lot of the local objection is the scale of the school - the one that was previously on the site was for only 100 pupils, it will now be 600 or more. The new school will need to build several buildings to accomodate the much larger numbers.

Szeli Fri 26-Apr-13 13:56:29

He resigned last week.

His comments were racist and ridiculous x

Pigsmummy Fri 26-Apr-13 13:56:54

This was in the news on Monday, the man retracted his comments and resigned. Yes it was outrageous racism to say what he said so yanbu

PatPig Fri 26-Apr-13 13:58:46

I guess if I lived in a quiet village in Sussex, I wouldn't be particularly pleased with this. Brixton is effectively a different country from Stedham.

Cllr. Cherry is old and stuck in his ways, and he is now being investigated by the thought police as a result:

It's not however clear why the new school should take 97% black pupils. That's not the demographic of London, Sussex, or even Brixton.

PatPig Fri 26-Apr-13 14:03:23

Basically what has happened is

1. Old stuck-in-his-ways Tory makes stuck-in-the-past racist generalisations

2. Big drama is made about some old bloke in Sussex having outdated opinions. National news.

3. Meanwhile anyone else who is opposed to this school being built in sleepy Sussex is smeared by association as probably racist too, by metropolitan London dwellers - 'Hahaha look at these silly provincial types, don't they know this is progress, sneer sneer, sneer'.

It's a very effective technique for closing down debate.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 14:05:35

Can I point out as well, if you lived in a rural area, and found a new school was being built on your doorstep, that would require a lot of distruption and extra strain on local services, but that no local children would be able to apply for the school in their village, but have to travel to the next school, how happy would you be with that? You would have the downsides of having a very large secondary school built in a village, but local families won't benefit from it.

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:12:07

"Ninety-seven per cent of pupils will be black or Asian," he said. "It depends what type of Asian. If they're Chinese, they'll rise to the top. If they're Indian they'll rise to the top. If they're Pakistani they won't."

Bloody hell. angry

SuedeEffectPochette Fri 26-Apr-13 14:12:24

Any child in the school's Lambeth catchment can apply but that has a 97% black and ethnic minority rate so therefore school would be 97% black and minority, yes. I would be pissed off if I lived there and my kids couldn't get in, in truth, yes. However, it doesn't work to set it up as taking the local kids does it? They don't need to board for a start.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:13:46

I think that might be close to the demographic of Durand.

And it isn't aimed deliberately at a certain percentage of black children, (for heaven's sake) it is the secondary provision of a s london school, and will represent whoever is at the school.

The idea behind the school is that children, who typically do very welll and achieve top results in Durand (as in many Lambeth schools), are not then disadvantaged by a negative local or family environment as they progress thorugh secondary. These are not chidren being removed because they themselves need 'dealing with', they are normal children.

Brixton may well have many differences from Sussex, but I fail to see why children from Chelsea or westminster can be shipped out to boarding schools in the country but inner city s london kids must remain ghetto-ised where they are.

The whole reaction stinks to high heaven. The DM reported on the residents meeting that raised the belief that these children would need to be 'searched daily for weapons'.

The vast majority of young people in Brixton and Stockwell are well behaved children wanting to do well - just like anywhere else. Unfortunately, due to years of complex pressures and circumstances boys who have the potential to do well sometimes become involved in gang activity as the only way they see to stay safe. It is this cycle the Head of the school is trying to avoid, I think.

In breaking cycles of underachivement THE WHOLE COUNTRY will benefit.

PatPig Fri 26-Apr-13 14:14:05

The school is 97% ethnic minority, but I'm sure Lambeth as a whole is not.

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:15:37

The school is already there. It's only 600 pupils.

PatPig Fri 26-Apr-13 14:16:54

I checked, Lambeth is around 86% ethnic minority.


Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:19:22

PatPig - no, local residents have been equally vocal, and amongst the traffic worries, many comments have been pretty obnoxious.

Don'tMindIfIDo: It has already been used as a boarding school - and it isn't a 'very large secondary' - it's 600 kids, living ON SITE for the weekdays only, and travelling back to London for the w/e. And most boardng schools don't cater for the local village, do they?

This school might, however, offer considerable local employment, from teaching staff to maintenance and admin and catering, and supplies of food and other goods and services. Could be a major boost to the local economy.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:19:41

I'm pretty certain that Lambeth does not have 97% BME mix. I presume it's being paid for by this school, and not Sussex, so bar the use of the land (which presumably has been purchased far and square) it seems fair for Lambeth pupils to use it.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:20:32

My child is an ethnic minority child in Lambeth.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:24:47

Pat pig - that's weird, I googled v quickly and got v different stats to hat - about 37% BME from previous PCT website. Not the mos thorough of searches though, I'll admit smile

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:25:01

Why on earth does Lambeth's ethnic mix matter? Why does the ethnic origin if the children matter?

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:26:02

Oh and I agree with Blu!

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 14:26:49

I can understand why the local resident are pissed off. I would be too.

I really don't understand why one inner city area deserves to have a boarding school built for it miles away. Surely it would be better to deal with problems where they are actually occurring rather than shifting half of it elsewhere.

And if the school used to provide for children with SN, then it's facilities would probably be better used by children who have SN it's not like we are overflowing with good schools that cater for children with SN, so maybe they should focus on using the school as it was intended.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:27:49

Sorry, just to be clear, I don't think the ethnic origin of the pupils matters. I was just being a pedant and picking up n the point earlier on that someone made about Lambeth's ethnic mix.

Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 14:28:45

The sensible local objector I heard on the radio says none of their objections are about those issues. They simply think the site which is much much smaller than any boarding school ever has is not suitable as I am sure most people living near by just about anywhere would argue.

It sounds like an interesting experiment to me and worth a go. The junior school is apparently quite good and yet the children it churns out who are doing so well then go on to secondaries and apparently often fail. They instead want the children from 4 - 18. There might be some merit though in having 50% of children at it from the local area so it's 50/50 white and black and the Lambeth children have lessons with local posher state school local children as well.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:30:13

Do we know that h SN school is being shut down because of this new school, or the new school is being opened and that the site happens to be free?

Pendeen Fri 26-Apr-13 14:30:41

Who is paying for this experiment?

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:31:21

CloudsAndTrees - this enterprising Academy school has raised the money itself to buy this site. They run a sports centre etc the profits of which go back into the school.

The local people already had a school there. Why does any comunity 'deserve' to have a baording school built for it - why can;t children form wealthy families be educated oin theier doorsteps? They WON'T be 'shifting the problem' to Sussex - the children who will be studying in the school are not the problem!

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:32:57

"There might be some merit though in having 50% of children at it from the local area so it's 50/50 white and black and the Lambeth children have lessons with local posher state school local children as well." I agree, actually, Xenia - and think that the benefit of that would be 100% mutual.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:33:49

I believe the school also does swimming lessons at normal price to help cross subsidise lessons for children from poorer backgrounds.

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:44

This isn't a new thing. We had state boarding at my comprehensive school in the 80's and some pupils were there so that they were away from the pressures of home, and were made to go to school. Other children had parents in the forces.

It certainly wasn't a magic wand, I do recall some pupils running away, struggling with being away from family.

It was shut down in the '90's.

complexnumber Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:56

Have there been any reactions from local residents?

I hope their concerns, if any, will be listened to without the outraged cries of racism from uninvolved parties.

If they are ignored, then yet another breeding ground for the promotion of parties such as UKIP will be born.

I wonder how many of us would truly welcome such a proposal into our own communities without a certain degree of concern.

Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:13

Yes, the local residents like most of us do not suddenly want 600 more people next to their village and what is an empty building with lots of grounds where they walk dogs changed. It is not surprising but I expect they will get used to it.

The residents case is about land use and suitability of the site. They have been quite careful not to object to the school or the idea behind it for obvious reasons.

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:20

I don't know complex number. I live near several hostels, and walk past the queue for methadone in the mornings. I live in a lovely part of a city and these things go on without affecting my life in the slightest.

KitchenandJumble Fri 26-Apr-13 14:47:17

The statements made by the district councillor are unquestionably racist. Horrible little man.

The school sounds as though it could be excellent. I'm not a fan of boarding schools in general, but clearly many parents favour this option. More power to them.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:48:50

of course residents can and should voice legitimate concerns. Unfortunately the 'outraged cries of racism' have been in response to some of the comments which residents have made (if the DM is to be believed - but the Independent reported on a residents mtg, too), and on the comments of thier elected representative.

Actually I work with children from the Brixton / Stockwell area, and it is quite damaging for them to see themselves described as if they were a separate sub-civillised species. I have a BAMER child and live in Lambeth.

Free speech and genuine consultation is of course crucial, but it is equally important to advocate for children described in grossly prejudical terms.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:54:15

I agree that legitimate concerns should be listened to, without people automatically being branded a racist, but I think that it would be hard to argue that the councillor in question did not fall into this category.

I'm interested to know why posters such as clouds have said automatically that they would be pissed off, without knowing the circs for this community (unless you do indeed live there). Not being snarky. Genuine question.

DreamingofSummer Fri 26-Apr-13 15:02:10

The councillor has already resigned. The tories have distanced themselves from his remarks

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 15:05:34

He's resigned from the Tory Party - has he resigned as a Cllr?
Have the local residents distanced themselves from his remarks?

PatPig Fri 26-Apr-13 15:09:26

Why should the local residents distance themselves from his remarks. He made them, they didn't.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 16:30:19

Because its something that has the potential to negatively affect the local community while at the same time having no benefit to the local community.

There may be the benefit of a few jobs, but tbh, that wouldn't make a lot of difference to me if it were to happen in the area I live in because I don't live in an area with low employment.

I don't know what the employment figure are for the area that is going to be affected by this, so that may or may not be relevant.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 16:35:49


If I was a local residents group voicing non-racist concerns about any form of local development i would emphatically distance myself from comments like that if made by my local elected representative - unless of couse, I agreed with them!

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 16:51:04

What sort of negative consequences are you thinking of?

The ones I can think of are things like traffic, possibly more use of local services eg GP possibly putting them under strain, maybe exta buildings affecting views, but not more than a new housing estate (which may or may not bother you).

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 16:59:29

And it's in big grounds set away from the village. The pupils will be there 4 nights a week.

RicStar Fri 26-Apr-13 17:05:36

Yes councillors comments totally wrong. But is there demand for this school from lambeth parents/kids? I live in lambeth + wouldnt want dd to go to boarding school (even mid week only). I guess those proposing school know re demand but i would think it would need a wider catchment than one school in lambeth. I think good schools where people live better for kids + community than shipping kids out. Dh went to state school that had boarders many of whom were military kids + so not from one geographical area. Just feels like a weird idea to me - for the kids/families not the villagers etc.

cuillereasoupe Fri 26-Apr-13 17:17:08

Funnily enough the same thing happened 110 years ago when this school for underprivileged London kids moved to Sussex:

It'll be interesting to see how this new experiment pans out.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 17:25:35

Depending how things pan out with the bump, I cold be tempted by mid-week boarding. Never say never! No idea re demand though.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 17:27:04

But the point remains, the school that was already there (that had to close down previously, so no, they haven't shut a blind school for this - although it does seem to be a bit of a nationwide thing at the moment, the school for blind children near us has also closed and is now up for sale) was only set up for a maximum 100 pupils, this new school will be at least 600, so they need to do extensive building work - a lot of the woods etc will be cleared to make space, the old listed building the school is currently housed in will have modern extensions that they are saying will double it's size. While the main school house is there, they are effectively building a new school, due to the numbers they are going to ship out weekly to this school.

600 extra teenagers in a village will have an impact on local services, from medical services, roads, suddenly having those numbers going into the village etc.

It's not just racist villagers not wanting 'others' in their village, you'd get local objection to a school being built in a small village location (and the scale of the changes does look like they will be effectively building a new school) even if local children got to go to it. Take away any local benefit (of increaased school places for local families) then it's hardly surprising it's meeting a lot of objections.

quesadilla Fri 26-Apr-13 18:32:05

I can imagine contexts where his concern would be understandable but his comments as quoted there are blatantly racist.

Bridgetbidet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:37:49

Wouldn't it be better to improve the schools in Lambeth and the area as a whole rather than transplanting an elite few and leaving the rest to rot?

This seems to be a tacit way of saying 'Yes, the area's shit, the schools are rubbish, and you have no chance unless you leave'.

float62 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:38:50

I listened to the Radio 4 interview with Anne Reynolds the Chairman of the local Parish Council and felt her views to be established NIMBY and felt curious enough to look into the proposal via the Parish Council website and found there amongst others a link to the Daily Telegraph online article on the School. Well, the majority of the comments were just horrible and made me ashamed to have been a one time rural resident. But then I remembered that the West Sussex countryside is now mostly populated by well-to-do downsizers/downpricers/quality of lifers from London who have priced out the original residents who had a far greater heart than this nimbyist lot.

AmberLeaf Fri 26-Apr-13 19:50:16

Bridget, it isn't about schools being shit though.

I can see why residents might have some concerns, but I think 95% of the reasons behind their objections are because it will be lots of black male teenagers and many many people who live in places like are at best limited in their experience of black people and at worst openly racist.

AmberLeaf Fri 26-Apr-13 19:52:37

They will miss the point that this is about putting well behaved, well achieving children in an environment away from negative/gang influences.

The locals seem to think its about moving gang members down to the country to wreak havoc and rape their daughters in the woods.

imour Fri 26-Apr-13 19:54:33

97% are going to be black or asian so what is the other 3% made up of ?

AmberLeaf Fri 26-Apr-13 19:55:53

Im gonna take a guess and say white

Unfortunately, with the ballot papers already printed, the Tories cannot completely distance themselves from him. Will be interesting to see if he still gets back in on May 2nd.

WellJustCallHimDave Fri 26-Apr-13 20:04:04

My god, carnage in the making.

"Wouldn't it be better to improve the schools in Lambeth and the area as a whole rather than transplanting an elite few and leaving the rest to rot?"

That depends whether or not you believe in miracles.

This seems to be a tacit way of saying 'Yes, the area's shit, the schools are rubbish, and you have no chance unless you leave'.

If it is, they'd be right.

TheRealFellatio Fri 26-Apr-13 20:18:25

I'm confused as the why they are opening the school and what their target pupil is. Why the need to leave their own area and board? If it's plucking potentially high achievers from disadvantaged backgrounds or sink estate schools and giving them a chance to succeed away from any negative peer pressure then I suppose it's no different to grammar school, or a bursary/scholarship at a private school, but if its aim is to take challenging, badly behaved pupils out of the mainstream and put them in a more controlled environment akin to a reform school/bootcamp then I can understand the fear and trepidation of the local community about the effects this might have on them.

Although that man needs to have a serious word with himself about how clumsily and offensively he is expressing things. shock

Anyway, this is already happening to one degree or another in most state boarding schools, where the fees are paid by social services for 'looked after' young people, as an alternative to fostering.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 20:48:40

Why shouldn't we try to I prove schools and try options like this to help some children at the same time? They're not mutually exclusive.

Also, not all of Lambeth is shit by any means!

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 20:49:03


Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 21:13:22

They will take bog standard primary pupils in their primary school I think who tend to do quite well as it is a good school and then waste all that earyl promise at local secondaries.

I am sure there will kbe tons of parents keen on it - many of the original countries where the children come from in Africa, Caribbean etc have a long tradition that the best richest children go to boarding schools. I was in Lagos for work about a year ago and a few people there were sending chidlren over here for boarding. I think they probably have a much better parent body in terms of acceptance of the benefits of boarding than most all white working class English secondary schools where there is no tradition of thinking a disciplined boarding school is a jolly good thing.

I laughed at the Christs HS comparison - very apt, very true.

West Sussex if that is where it is is particularly twee. I was at the most wonderful country house there last year. The grounds and drives were like something out of a film.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 23:22:11

It will indeed be a normal, varied intake from a school that is doing well by it's pupils by many accounts.

In fact the majority of secondary schools in Lambeth are good or very good schools. It is the social environment many children find themselves in which can create educational disadvantage. Still the vast majority f young people are looking to do their best. Some families may choose this option for schooling to increase the chances of that. No one will be sent against their will.

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