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Faith school whistleblower to speak ahead of Dover ‘ACE’ school expansion

Alright people!

I don’t normally plug my talks with separate posts (you can see the ‘speaking dates’ page for the latest), but the next seven days have some good ones lined up:

Tomorrow, Wednesday 20th August 2014I’m appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival performing, for the first time ever, my autobiographical one-man show, My Escape from Fundamentalism.

On Thursday I’m at Merseyside Skeptics.

And then next Tuesday I’ll be speaking in Dover about Dover School for All Nations, which you should know about by now. Much has happened since I last wrote about it. Pieter Van Rooyen has died, which is very sad for his family and friends, but the school he founded continues under new leadership, which is very sad for everyone else.

Here’s the press release ahead of my talk, which will be the first ever Skeptics in the Pub to take place in Dover. I’ve also invited the leadership of Dover School for All Nations to come to the talk and have right of reply. I very much hope they will accept.

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SOUTH EAST SKEPTICS
Date: 12 August 2014


Faith school whistleblower to speak ahead of Dover ‘ACE’ school expansion

A former pupil of the controversial ‘Accelerated Christian Education’ (ACE) curriculum will be giving a public lecture on August 26th, ahead of September’s expansion of the Dover School for All Nations (DSFAN) ACE faith school.

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Ex-con opens new fundamentalist school in Dover

There’s more bad news for ACE in the current issue of Private Eye. On page 36, there’s an article about Pieter Van Rooyen, the convicted slave master who opened an ACE school in Dover in January this year. Disappointingly, the phrase “slave wages” doesn’t appear in this story (as it does in most other coverage about Van Rooyen), but otherwise it’s pretty great. I won’t reproduce it all here for copyright reasons, but here’s a taster:

From Private Eye issue 1369, 27 June - 10 July 2014 -

From Private Eye issue 1369, 27 June – 10 July 2014.

What Private Eye didn’t report—and I can exclusively reveal—is that in addition to being a criminal, Van Rooyen is also a conspiracy nut and a plagiarist.

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New ACE school in Dover has televangelist backing

In 2014, a new ACE school will open in Dover. If they can get planning permission. The school’s first proposal was to put the school on the seafront. This was dropped when locals pointed out the proposed facility had no parking, no play area, no dining facilities, and was on a main road.

Unlike virtually every other ACE school, though, Dover School for All Nations looks like it has some serious investment behind it. The school website says it was established by its “visionary partners“, TBN – the Trinity Broadcasting Network – the world’s foremost broadcaster of the Word of Faith prosperity gospel, founded and run by Paul and Jan Crouch. The school lists Richard Fleming first on its list of directors and trustees (so it’s not clear which he is). Fleming was “director and General Manager of God TV during its inspection” [sic], the other big prosperity gospel broadcaster in the UK and Europe. And if I am reading his biography correctly (it’s not the most clearly-written thing I’ve ever seen), he is landlord to 50 charities in central London. So he isn’t poor.

This makes DSFAN a collision of all the things this blog discusses. According to the school’s PSHE policy, students will be taught “Kingdom Principles” including “sowing & reaping”. This is standard Word of Faith jargon for the prosperity gospel. Kids attending this school, then, will do creationism in the morning and learn about giving their money to televangelists in the afternoon.  Read the rest of this entry