Admiral steps down as private schools leader

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Naval_Gazer, Jun 12, 2008.

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  1. Recently retired Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE (impressive RN biog here) has resigned after his straight-talking style proved too unpalatable for members of his organisation (BBC link). Well-known for taking no prisoners where political correctness is concerned, Admiral Parry attracted too much flak, especially with his military metaphors - a bit like me, really.

    [sarcasm mode on] Fancy criticising standards in state schools when we know they have reached perfection after all that government investment. And as for speaking up for those benighted people who make sacrifices to pay school fees on top of their taxes so as to give their children a better education, that's downright elitism, that is (i.e. v. bad). What's wrong with a "bog-standard comprehensive" education? [sarcasm mode off]

    P.S. I went to state schools, as did my children, but I'm grown-up enough not to harbour any envy or petty jealousies towards public schools or their attendees. Why should people who already contribute their taxes towards the state school system like everyone else be villified for spending their disposable income on private sector education?
  2. Straight talking upsets people because all in all have become a nation who go out of our way not to upset others and pander to the whims of so many who don't really deserve it. Thats one of the reasons why few take us seriously anymore and why so many take the pi$$ out of our social welfare system.

    I am a huge fan of the direct approach as it saves time and allows me to tell someone they are "shite" instead of saying they "need further development" but I am not allowed to use my straight talking skills in the world we live in. Whatever happened to say what you mean and mean what you say? We're in danger of losing our backbone as well as our dignity.

  3. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Nothing wrong with straight talking.

    But Parry has always been up himself and I laughed out loud at this.

    Drop a teeny depth charge on a surfaced s/m and you think you are God's gift......
  4. Another saucer of milk for SF, please. :angel11:

    (Perhaps we should also clarify that this was an Argentinean submarine, not one of ours. At least it was prevented from submerging again.)
  5. Rather than his being un-PC, it looks from the BBC report as though he just took too much of the senior RN officer with him and used it to bash the independent school workforce.

    Jobs for the old boys are all very well, but when you leave, take the good practices you have learned with you, but move on. I can imagine that a warry presentation to schoolmasters would go down like the proverbial bag of bowlocks and it certainly wouldn't help to call people who have risen to the position of headmaster and the like subordinates. Welcome to civvy street admiral!
  6. A very reasonable point my friend. I try to leave as much of the uniform behind as I possibly can every time I take it off. Probably from fear of becoming institutionalised in my dotage.

  7. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    As the ex- head of the Development and Doctrine Centre he should have known all about versatility and flexibility in approach....

    shame he couldn't practise what he preached.....
  8. His lack of diplomacy when dealing with Parliament probably hastened his demise. The Independent Schools sector is trying to work with government in getting its views across. Antagonizing Ministers is likely to have the opposite effect.
  9. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    News update:

    Portsmouth head says 'good riddance' to ex-navy chief

    Portsmouth's head of education has said good riddance to a former rear admiral after he criticised city schools.

    Chris Parry resigned as the leading voice of independent schools after just two months after saying he found the poor quality of maintained schools near his city home 'offensive'.

    The former Portsmouth Grammar School pupil also sparked outrage when he told the Commons' schools select committee that the education world was beset by 'cold war' thinking that had split private and state sectors into a 'sectarian divide'.

    Mr Parry stepped down as chief executive of the Independent Schools Council after independent heads across the country said he had 'crossed the line'.

    GCSE results in the city show only two of Portsmouth's 10 secondary schools did better than the national average last year.

    Councillor Eleanor Scott, who is in charge of education in Portsmouth, said Mr Parry's comments were wrong and he had to go.

    She said: 'I think it's the right decision. He was becoming divisive and he upset people both in the private and state schools sector. I think his comments were wrong, frankly. He didn't know what he was talking about. He should have taken a look at some Ofsted reports.

    'Pupils in Portsmouth schools are getting fed up of getting kicked in the teeth when there's been huge improvements.

    'I'm very happy with the leadership of our schools which are unrecognisable from where they were 10 years ago.'

    Cllr Scott said Portsmouth's plan to improve education was also recently praised by government as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme – a multi-million pound project that will rebuild secondary schools in the city.

    Mr Parry was unavailable for comment and hasn't spoken publicly since he stepped down last week.

    The Oxford graduate joined the navy as a seaman officer and became a helicopter pilot operating all over the world. In 2004 he was appointed CBE and a year later promoted to Rear Admiral.

    He is married with two children and lives in Portsmouth.

    What he said:

    What Chris Parry actually said about Portsmouth state schools in his address to the Commons' schools select committee:

    'I find it very offensive that I can't find provision in the maintained sector for my child.

    'Where I come from the maintained sector is very poor and my wife and I have made sacrifices to send both our children to the independent sector.

    'There are hundreds and thousands of families like mine who have chosen to make that commitment, both to their child's future and to the future of this country – and at significant expense.'

  10. Did he, as seems to be usual in these situations stand down with a fat pay off?
  11. I am new to this game and this is the first post sequence that I have participated in.

    Let's give the guy a break and don't believe everything that you read in the papers. The way I read it is that he resigned and, knowing him as I do, it would have been for entirely selfless reasons. Anyone who has served with him will know that he has stuck his neck out on numerous occasions for the good of the Service and for his men and women - often to the detriment of his career. I also suspect that he knew what he was doing - this government only responds to people who cause them to fear them. He would have been getting their attention before dealing with them on their own terms. Once again, he would have put the cause before himself.

    As to the rather unfair 'one depth charge and he thinks he is God's gift' that's a cheap shot! It was 2 depth charges and he was the one who found the submarine in the first place. And let's not forget that along with Ian Stanley he rescued 16 or so SAS men off a glacier in a hurricane a few days before. And finally he has never used the system to get on - just sheer hard work and saying the right thing rather than the smart thing.

    If this makes me sound like a fan, I am. If you have worked with him, you would know that he is the one Admiral we have got that you would want to go to war with.

    Worth bearing in mind that the Admiral has kept his own counsel on this - must be a reason and it wont be a pay-off. Perhaps he is a member and we will hear ....
  12. Perhaps indeed, and in all honesty that would be a useful contribution.

    However, I'm unconvinced by his methods when he wa sin the chair. The public school system is vulnerable, and p!ssing off the opposition isn't always the smartest move.

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