St James & the SES – Media coverage

The first critical newspaper article on the SES appeared in the UK in the Daily Mail in 1968, focusing on secrecy and a cult of obedience.

Since then there has been critical media coverage of the SES, its childrens schools, and its sister schools in a number of countries where the SES operates, principly the UK, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Malta.

In 1983 the London Evening Standard ran a special investigation into the SES and it’s St James and St Vedast childrens schools, publishing a number of articles throughout that and the following year.

In 1985 a book, Secret Cult, by the Standard’s investigative reporters was published.

A number of newspapers and Channel 4 television News covered the publication of the Townend report following the 2006 St James Inquiry.


Media coverage

The secrets of the secretive sect (PDF file download 925k)

London Evening Standard – 8 June 1983

“A harsh and highly secretive religious cult with extraordinary influence over it’s members has been uncovered by a Standard investigation”


Cult schools: parents seek a bigger say (PDF file download 530k)

London Evening Standard – 9 June 1983

“Parents at three London independent schools which the standard has revealed are run by a secretive religious cult last night had an opportunity to hear teaching staff answer criticism.”

[article outlining SES response to parents complaints, and revealing the involvement of David Boddy (current St James boys head) in meetings with parents in his capacity as SES media spokesman. Boddy later stated on channel 4 news following the 2006 Inquiry “this is the first time that the Governors had really heard of all of this.”]  see Channel 4 news special report


Why I left the humbug cult (PDF file download 365k)

London Evening Standard – 13 June 1983

[Letter from a former SES member] “There must be many people who have left the School of Economic Science (SES) organisation who are grateful to see that someone has had the courage to take the lid off it.”


Letter from Peter Green, SES Principle (PDF file download 475k)

London Evening Standard – 20 June 1983

“The school of Economic Science is not a cult or religious sect.”


The SES and its strange schools (PDF file download 250k)

London Evening Standard – 9 September 1983

“Four independent schools in London are indoctrinating boys and girls aged from four to eighteen with the philosophies of the secretive School of Economic Science.”


The cult that can crush a woman (PDF file download 570k)

London Evening Standard – 18 February 1985

Frith Oliver is 32, a secretary, divorced and the mother of two children. She would consider herself blessed now because she is happily “ordinary”. At 16 however, as a tutor in the bland sounding School of Economic Science, she was considered close to God, the Absolute.”


Teachers hit and kicked pupils (no download available)

London Evening Standard – 20 January 2006

“Pupils were systematically beaten by teachers at a group of “cult” independent schools, an inquiry has revealed. Children at one of the St James Independent Schools, then in Kensington, were targeted between 1975 and 1985 by teachers “unable to control tempers”. A barrister has found boys were punched, kicked and “thrown around”. Police say no investigation would be launched without individuals coming forward.” [Page 10]


Inquiry into pupil claims (PDF file download 225k)

Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette – 20 January 2006

“Internet chatroom led to probe into events in 1970s and 1980s. An inquiry called by a private school into alleged past mistreatment of pupils has found that some had been subjected to unreasonable punishments.”


School admits past abuse (PDF file download 250k)

Teddington & Hampton times – 20 January 2006

The governors of St James’ Independent Schools have apologised unreservedly after a report stated some pupils had been assaulted by teachers in its early years.”


Assaults on pupils were harsh and criminal (scan PDF file download 250k)

Richmond & Twickenham Times – 20 January 2006

The governors of St James’ Independent Schools have apologised unreservedly after a report stated some pupils had been assaulted by teachers in its early years.


10 Years of abuse (PDF file download 250k)

Kensington & Chelsea News – 19 January 2006

“Inquiry finds pupils at independent school were assaulted. An inquiry has found that pupils at an independent school suffered 10 years of criminal assault at the hands of teachers.”


Inquiry reveals culture of violence (PDF file download 250k)

Times Education Supplement – 20 January 2006

“Police launch investigation into independent school following accusations of assault on former pupils. One of the last private schools in the UK to ban the cane has been criticised after an independent inquiry found evidence of repeated “criminal” assaults on pupils.


For 2006 Channel 4 News television report

Click here


For press coverage of the Dutch SES Plato school Police investigations

click here (LINK TO BE ADDED)


For Media coverage of St James head Nicholas Debenham and corporal punishment

Click here

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please do something, im still at st james and it is a joke .

I note that the criticisms are all at least 25 years old

…and yet still nothing has been done to remedy the suffering that was caused, which continues.

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