Monthly Archives: September 2012
Skeptics in the Pub… TONIGHT!
Apologies for the short notice: I am giving a talk to Bath Skeptics in the Pub this very evening (Tuesday 11th of September), called “Inside Britain’s Creationist Schools.” It will be highly excellent. It’s at 7:30 in the Westgate pub (formerly the Rat and Parrot), on Westgate Street.
Former ACE employee turns whistleblower
For a few months now I have been in contact with a former employee of Christian Education Europe, the UK arm of Accelerated Christian Education. Christine Gregg was fired from CEE following a long period of being thoroughly taken advantage of. She is now keen to expose the inner workings of the company, in particular its abuse of staff, in-fighting, and breach of employment law. Bring it on.
Christine has finally published a detailed expose of Christian Education Europe, and it’s not pretty. The author has been in correspondence with me for a while. She has written to me that, although she knows many damning things about CEE, she was determined only to include things she could prove in this article. I’m confident this information is legit. You should go and read the whole thing. I’ve noticed, though, that statistically, my readers don’t click on links in anything like the volumes you read my posts (why is that?), so here are the highlights:
CEE broke the law to employ and sack staff
She claims that staff who cross Arthur Roderick have been fired, and this has been made to look like a resignation.
Turnover of staff is extremely high at the company. Mr Roderick doesn’t like anyone with a different opinion to him and if you don’t comply you will be sacked. This sacking may be disguised as resignation in some form or other. In my case I received a letter thanking me for a fictitious resignation during a nervous breakdown and marriage crisis. In the past I have seen people head hunted from all over the UK and indeed the world. They moved to Swindon with their family and then get promptly dropped at the will of Arthur Roderick. He fills his board room with people who will agree with him and if they don’t they get pushed.
Whilst I was there, one person was sacked for a supposedly gay relationship, another we were told wanted to go back to school, which was a total fabrication, another general manager was told his position was redundant and then another person was employed, a young boy pushed for getting together with a non-Christian whom he later married, the list is endless. Probably one of the worse cases was that of Alastair Kirk whom Arthur groomed and mentored to take the CEO position. He was given the job as well as Home-school Manager at a very young age without training or experience. This of course was never going to work and he and his long serving, loyal mother were both pushed out. No one speaks about what happened to them. They are afraid of being kicked out of the local Christian community as I have been. They are also told it is ungodly and not Christian like to criticise.
Meanwhile, in appointing a new CEO, they ignored employment law:
I absolutely pray that the Border Agency will investigate overseas appointees to CEE. Their current CEO was allowed immigration to work and live in the UK. The agency was told the position was advertised in the UK and no one qualified in this specialist area could be found. This is not true. There were many suitable applicants but the directors did not even read the CVS they submitted. This was because Arthur Roderick had wanted this particular person. The position was indeed advertised, but the company had no intention of employing any such applicant. Their employment of overseas students for no salary was stopped and a couple of them deported.
Teaching Right-Wing Propaganda (Part 2)
Some time ago, I began explaining how ACE promotes right-wing propaganda in its politics syllabus. Now, I think, would be a good time to give some concrete examples.
In ACE, students learn “to see the world from God’s point of view.” And it turns out that God’s economic policies are somewhere to the right of Milton Friedman.
All healthcare is against God’s will
Even though Jesus told us to take care of the sick, ACE is adamant that it is absolutely not God’s will for government to have any part in this. Franklin D. Roosevelt, for example, is viewed as one of the most evil presidents America has ever had (unlike, say, George W. Bush, who’s an all-round good egg):
“The year 1933 was a dark one in American history. In that year, President Roosevelt began introducing socialistic programs which now play such an important role in American politics, economics, religion, and education. In 1933, America began shifting from a nation whose philosophy was a conservative, God-fearing one to a nation whose philosophy was a liberal and socialistic one.”
The Best Email Ever (Another ACE Survivor Story)
Since I started this blog, I’ve been hoping that the parents of an ACE homeschooler would contact me to share their views. Recently, I’ve gained quite probably the best correspondent I could possibly hope for on this blog. She wishes to remain anonymous, with good reason, so I will simply refer to her as Ms. Awesome.
Ms. Awesome’s epic rants about ACE and Christian Education Europe have graced my inbox on three occasions so far, and each time they’ve been absolute gold. Frankly, she should have her own blog. So I hereby present, with her blessing, the edited highlights of her demolition of ACE. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Dawkins on Accelerated Christian Education (again) and Ofsted Reports
In his diary for the New Statesman in 2006, Richard Dawkins shared this on Accelerated Christian Education:
“One of my TV locations was a London school that follows the (American) Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) syllabus. The day after watching my show, three colleagues told me they had interviewed, for a place at university, a young woman who had been taught (not at the same school) using ACE. She turned out to be the worst candidate they had ever encountered. She had no idea that thinking was even an option: her job was either to know or guess the “right” answer. Worse, she had no clue how bad she was, having always scored at least 95 per cent in exams – the National Christian Schools Certificate (NCSC). Should my colleagues write to Ofsted about ACE and NCSC? Unfortunately, Ofsted is the organisation that gave a rave review to Tony Blair’s pet city academy in Gateshead: a Christian school whose head of science thinks the entire universe began after the domestication of the dog.”
I realise I am perhaps guilty of confirmation bias here, but that’s exactly what I’d expect to happen to most former ACE students in an Oxbridge interview. The important part is this: She had no idea that thinking was even an option. That’s exactly how ACE teaches. If you come out of an ACE school showing some independent thinking ability, the curriculum cannot be given the credit. Either you’re extraordinarily independent-minded, or you’ve been lucky enough to learn it from somewhere else.
But Dawkins raises an important point: What the hell is Ofsted doing when it gives approving reports to ACE schools?