by Peter Stanford THE Director of Westminster Diocesan Education Service, Kathleen O'Gorman, has rejected as "entirely false" the suggestion by the headmaster of the London Oratory that his school's refusal to take part in a reorganisation has now been accepted by the diocese.
"The proposal which was sent to the Inner London Education Authority on October 1 remained as it was worded in the consultation document, namely: 'that the eight secondary schools now serving this area of the dioceses should be replaced by six 11-16 schools and a sixth form college'. No change has occurred in this and our expectation is that the Oratory will be part of the overall plan", Mrs O'Gorman said in a letter to all primary and secondary heads in the central pastoral area of the diocese.
Her remarks followed a letter to the same heads by John McIntosh, head of the Oratory, in which he reiterated his school's determination to say out of the diocesan reorganisation of secondary. schools in Central London, and claimed that WDES had acknowledged this (Catholic Herald, December 12).
The Oratory is under the trusteeship of the Oratory Fathers and not the diocese as is the case with other schools involved in the plan, and it therefore enjoys greater independence.
Mrs O'Gorman's letter of December 10 was at once answered by Mr McIntosh who stood by everything he had said in his earlier letter. He challenged Mrs O'Gorman "publicly and without prevarication" to detail "exactly how the London Oratory School could be included in your 'overall plan'."
Applications to the Oratory, usually well in excess of places available, are said to be running at record levels this year, and further doubts have been cast on the diocese's scheme by the suggestion that one of the government's City Technological Colleges may be set up in Notting Hill as an 11-18 school, and therefore in direct competition with any Catholic Sixth Form College in North Kensington as envisaged by the plan.