Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Respice Finem

Nick Clegg contested the last General Election on a manifesto commitment to abolish the religious character of state schools in admissions, and in staff appointments other than RE.

Yet he now he sends one son, and doubtless two more in due season, to the London Oratory. Funny how no one is calling him out on that.

The products of the London Oratory, lovely though they are, are quite possibly the poshest people whom I have ever met, and far more so than their commercially London day schooled contemporaries, or even than my Old Etonian erstwhile housemate.

I have known people teach there and actually believe that it was a private school, presumably until the pay cheque arrived. I am told that that misperception is also widely held among those living in the London Oratory's vicinity.

But we have been here before. Last time, it was about the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School. The spoilt whingeing of the metropolitan haute bourgeoisie.

Meanwhile, not that the “national” media have noticed (despite the efforts to alert them on some of our parts), Durham County Council has cut all subsidised transport to “faith” schools, effectively killing them off.

County Durham contains four Catholic state secondary schools, and there are several more that I expect serve parts of the county of which they were historically, and in at least one case quite recently, part.

The North being the North, there is no other type of faith school in the state secondary sector, although there are a very few Anglican fee-charging ones, mostly in Durham itself.

So this decision constitutes a direct attack on the Catholic Church. The County Council expects this to save one million pounds by 2015.

One million pounds is roughly one third of the staff salary budget for one of those schools. The London Oratory could probably raise that in a week, and certainly in a month.

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