St James – Leaked critical Governors report

The full extent of management failure and SES control of St James Schools revealed in a confidential internal report.


The 1996 St James Report

A confidential internal report on St James was leaked and published in 2006, five months after the Townend Inquiry exposed how pupils had been mistreated and “criminally assaulted” in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The 1996 St James Report  details how teachers were also exploited, and reveals a catalogue of irregular practices, and attempts to recruit pupils into the SES. The author, himself a school Governor and senior SES member at the time, describes St James as “an SES controlled special school” and “closer to a sect than to the open and fully independent school that its name and prospectus imply’.

The report reveals:

‘Secret manipulation’ of the schools’ management and governors by the SES
Teachers appointed directly by the SES over the heads of governors – who acknowledged the process of appointing the current girl’s school Head teacher Laura Hyde was ‘improper’
Teachers who should have been sacked remained in post  ‘solely because of extraneous SES considerations’
Pupils were pressured to take part in an SES initiation ‘ceremony’, children who refused were “considered as lesser people”
Parents’ fears that children would be “taken away” by the SES
SES involvement in disciplining pupils – the report described one incident as “Utterly unprofessional. Potentially explosive publicity.”
‘Exploitation’ of teachers leading to severe stress and the [mental] ‘breakdown’ of at least two teachers


The report supports the Townend inquiry’s finding that the schools’ management and governors were failing to the extent that they “were not in any real sense in charge of the Schools”.

The author was commissioned directly by Donald Lambie, SES head, to compile a report on St James prior to its move to new premises in Twickenham. Neither the School’s governing body nor senior management formally responded to the highly critical report, and the author subsequently resigned as a School Governor.


Download the 1996 St James Report

Author’s introduction 2006 (download PDF file 40kb)

Authors letter to the Townend Inquiry 2006 (download PDF file 65kb)

Full text of The St James Report 1996 (download PDF file 400kb)


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Pupils were pressured to take part in an SES initiation ‘ceremony’, children who refused were “considered as lesser people


Thanks for your comment John, I would find it genuinely concerning if they are still trying to pressure pupils at school into joining the SES – which is something they of course completely deny.

If you were able to post a little about your experience on the forum (you can be anonymous) – I think quite a few readers would find it really useful.

Adults were “conned” into the initiation ceremony too. I was one of them. I am sorry to tell you but St. James and the SES are one and the same.
Many parents were SES and sent their children to St. James/Vedast.Clara told you this.

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