Bad Mouthing Catholic Schools on the Internet

Blogged by James Preece on 8th March 2013

Remember the good old days? When bad mouthing folk on the internet was something only nasty bloggers were allowed to do?

I used to get lectured about how one should never say anything negative about anybody ever even if it's true because people 'have the right to a good name' (do they? even if they are serial liars?) and so on.

These days Catholic bloggers don't need to go around heaping scorn on Catholic schools publicly on the internet. The Diocese is doing it for us...

Inspectors undertaking this inspection in accordance with the Bishop of Middlesbrough Diocese are of the opinion that St Vincent’s school is currently failing in its provision for Catholic education.

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Leadership and management are inadequate
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The head teacher does not give sufficient leadership or direction to the school’s Catholic life.

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Governors have too little impact on the direction and work of the school because they are poorly informed. Governors do not take account of the views of parents, pupils and staff because these views are not sought by the head teacher and senior leadership team.

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The head teacher has recently, and belatedly, joined the Hull Family of Catholic schools.

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RE is not part of the School Development Plan. The head teacher and Governors fail to work co-operatively in sharing key information for school improvement.

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Currently, the school’s capacity for sustained improvement is inadequate.

[PDF link]

I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you! How can any Catholic speak about another Catholic in this way? It's nasty! It's undignified! It's uncharitable! The fiends! It's blogs, er I mean Twitter, er I mean reports... that's what does it. Reports have a way of making turn people nasty. Better to only say nice things.

Honestly, if I had written all that on my blog I would have got an angry letter from Dr Jim Whiston by now. If you are wondering who he is - he's the guy the Bishop of Middlesbrough has to ask for permission before he is allowed to blow his nose. Then they say we have no lay involvement...

Still, I'm glad to see that somebody somewhere is finally acknowledging a bit of reality. Unfortunately a part of their solution is to "Enable staff to increase their subject knowledge by attending Diocesan courses". Would those the same Diocesan courses I'm banned from because *gasp* I might call them 'inadequate' on the internet?

Here's an idea. Perhaps we could acknowledge that negative criticism can actually be useful. Pretending everything is okay when it isn't - not so good. It might even be a good thing to have Catholics out there who care enough about improving things to write about it? Even when it loses them friends..

No? Oh I suppose not. Far better to pretend. La la la. I can't hear you. You only wrote that nasty report because you hate everybody.