THE STRUGGLE to prevent two London Catholic schools amalgamating has led to the sending of children home early, the sacking of a school governor and demands for an apology.
At a heated meeting between teachers and governors of St Thomas More school, Chelsea and Inner London Education Authority representatives last week, the chairman of governors resigned. The next day a governor. Mr Anthony Bartlett. was dismissed by the diocesan schools committee secretary. Mr Anthony Meehan.
Meanwhile, staff at St Thomas Mores have refused to continue voluntary overseeing school dinners, with the result that children have been sent home at 1.35 p.m.
Last Friday. the headmaster of St Thomas's wrote to Mr. Meehan asking him "formally to apologise for making allegations" of rudeness at the meeting on Mr Bartlett's part.
The chairman of governors who resigned. Fr Robert Gates, declined to comment this week. It is understood he resigned in protest at the rudeness to the ILEA officials shown by some staff and governors.
The head of St Thomas's. Mr Gerard Austen, claims the approval of his entire staff for his protest against Mr Bartiett's dismissal. Mr Austen and a strong group of staff are resisting diocesan plans to amalgamate St Thomas's with St Edmund's school.
This week more fireworks were expected at a meeting of parents and teachers at Chelsea old town hall on Tuesday.