STRONG PROTESTS have been made against a decision to amalgamate St Thomas More School, Cadogan Street, Chelsea with St Edmunds School, Hammersmith by parents, staff and governors of St Thomas More.
One of the governors, Fr Patrick Ryall OSM, told the Catholic Herald that he considered the planned amalgamation bad, particularly in its discrimination against girls.
"It is educationally short sighted", he said, "and the questions it raises have not been answered satisfactorily either by the archdiocese or by the ILEA".
Fr Ryall hoped that any action to implement the decision will be held up until further discussions have been held. He considered that there had been precipitate action based on misunderstandings.
A meeting of the St Thomas More governors voted to engage in a partnership with St Edmund's and with St Joseph's and St Mary's, Cadogan Street. The stress was laid on partnership as opposed to amalgamation.
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St Thomas More then released a statement to ILEA which was an inaccurate report of the governors' decision.
"I am particularly concerned that the decision to amalgamate should have been based upon an inaccurate report to the ILEA. I am certainly most sympathetic towards the staff and parents. Through a legal technicality they appear to have been denied a voice when this decision was made".
In a letter to the chairman of the governors, Fr Michael Richards, of the Staff Association, said that the Association "feel it is sad that over the past few weeks when crucial decisions have been taken by the governors concerning the future of the school, there has been a lack of direct communication between yourselves and us".
The staff and the headmaster agree that the statement to the ILEA was based on inaccuracy.
The staff Association has written to the authorities concerned demanding that the decision to amalgamate the schools should be held up pending an enquiry into all the facts.