Sidmouth headmaster hopes to exchange ideas with vandalism culprit

St John's School headteacher Mike Burgess with deputy Caroline Ward. Ref shs 7908-49-15SH. Picture:

St John's School headteacher Mike Burgess with deputy Caroline Ward. Ref shs 7908-49-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

The headmaster at St John’s School has expressed his disappointment that the campus has been targeted by vandals.

Graffiti at St John's School

Graffiti at St John's School - Credit: Archant

The provocative message ‘wealth cannot buy knowledge’ was spray-painted onto one of the buildings, but Mike Burgess said it misses the point of what the school offers.

He is willing to meet the perpetrator – and suggested they could repaint the wall together and exchange ideas rather than the school pressing charges.

Mr Burgess said: “Firstly, the school feels disappointed that whoever did this felt that it was an appropriate course of action to take – when they hadn’t previously approached St John’s to express their views or to seek a response from us.

“We are an important part of the local community and a big local employer and are always open and willing to hear what people have to say.


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“Clearly one of the most important points is that the graffiti has been written on our junior school – demonstrating an unfortunate lack of understanding about what we do here at St John’s.

“In contrast to state schools, our pupils study the Primary Years Programme, which actively eschews pushing ‘knowledge’ – rather it helps our pupils to understand how to learn and to acquire knowledge for themselves.”

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He added that the perpetrator had also helped by suggesting a title for the debating club’s next discussion.

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