NSS: ‘This new school would put kids at risk’

NSS: ‘This new school would put kids at risk’

The Department for Education has confirmed that a church linked to abusive, witch-hunting Nigerian pastor David Oyedepo has applied to open a UK school this September.

A Guardian report yestersay said that the school – which would accept children from the age of four – is linked to Winners’ Chapel International, headed by the multi-millionaire pastor Oyedepo.

Campaigners have warned that the organisation links poor discipline to witchcraft and have condemned the actions of the charlatan Oyedepo, who in 2011 was captured on video slapping a young girl at one of his “deliverance” circuses in Nigeria.

In the video he accuses a teenage girl, who is on her knees in front of him, of being a witch. The girl can be heard saying she is a “witch for Jesus”, at which point Oyedepo slaps her around the face and denounces her as evil.

The website of the proposed new fee-paying independent school – The Kingdom Heritage Model School in Dartford – states that the school will be opening in September. The Winners’ Chapel would not comment further.

The website states that the school strives:

To nurture and develop self-esteem of pupils through well-rounded, creative curriculum and varied enrichment activities embedded on Christian teachings.

It adds:

We approach discipline very firmly while celebrating every achievement in our students. Discipline is the security of any future prosperity. It has a positive correlation with excellent performance Prov 22:6 ‘Train up a child in the way he should go – and when he is old he will not depart from it.

To Train up a Child, incidentally, is the title of a book written by a pair of American evangelical fanatics, Michael and Debi Pearl (below) and has been linked to the death of at least two children in the US.


The National Secular Society has written a letter to the Department for Education to express concern about the proposed opening of the school, which as an independent fee-paying institution would have to be registered with the DfE to operate legally.

Stephen Evans, NSS campaigns manager, said the department had a responsibility to safeguard all children, whether in state or independent schools.

Given this Church’s record, we have considerable doubt as to their suitability to run educational establishments and call on the DfE to robustly examine their ability to do so, In twenty first century Britain ideas linking poor discipline to witchcraft – ideas which this Church and its leader espouse – pose a significant, potentially deadly, risk to children’s health and wellbeing.

The Kingdom Heritage Model School has been established by Living Faith Church Worldwide (LFCWW), also known as Winners’ Chapel International (WCI).

A statement on the David Oyedepo Ministries International website links “disobedience” with “witchcraft”, stating:

As far as God is concerned, disobedience is as terrible as witchcraft. 1 Samuel 15:23a says: For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. May God not catch you as a witch. His Word also says, “Do not suffer a witch to live” (Exodus 22:18) …

In the job advert for the position of headteacher at The Kingdom Heritage Model School, responsibilities include:

Ensuring there is an atmosphere that encourages respect for authority, strong character, obedience and a Christ-like spirit and upholding high standards of discipline and ensuring that behavior management is seen as a learning opportunity.

Oyedepo founded Winners’ Chapel in 1981 after claiming to have had an 18-hour vision from God. The church has gone on to become a global network of churches with congregations in 34 countries. Oyepedo has a large personal fortune, which Forbes estimates to be worth $150m.

A spokesperson for the DfE said:

We have received an application from the Kingdom Heritage Model School in Dartford to open and we are aware that concerns have been raised. All independent schools must meet stringent standards before they are registered. These include tough rules on welfare and safeguarding.

Police intelligence and criminal record checks are also carried out on the proprietor of the school, and any links to organisations which suggest the school might not meet the standards are investigated. We are considering the case and it would be wrong to comment further.

16 responses to “NSS: ‘This new school would put kids at risk’”

  1. Brian Jordan says:

    I see they will strive for a “creative curriculum”. It might be as well for someone to check whether that’s a typo for a “creationist curriculum”.

  2. barriejohn says:

    Brian Jordan: They need to be fucking creative if they’re going to fit their beliefs to reality!

    During tonight’s BBC News report on the Ebola epidemic they briefly showed several church notices in West Africa which claimed to offer protection from the virus. One stated in large letters: EBOLA IS NOT MY PORTION, whatever that means (typical nonsensical evangelical-speak). I couldn’t find them anywhere on the net, but I did come across this:

  3. L.Long says:

    “As far as God is concerned, disobedience is as terrible as witchcraft.”
    Witchcraft is a magical system that does not exist.
    So as far as gawd is concerned disobedience does not exist.
    So with out disobedience Adam/eve did not sin….
    see says so right in the buyBull!!!!!

  4. A Confused Atheist says:

    I fear for the poor souls who are going to be lead like lambs to the slaughter to this proposed institution, should the request be accepted. These prospective children stand the chance of either having their “asses” “coveted”, or being open to indoctrination by these preachers of horrid things.

    When such atrocities are undertaken in the name of a meaningless so-called ‘God’, one can only despair.

    I sense that there will be news articles on this preacher in future.

  5. Jeeza Swept says:

    The head of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the highest court of the land, is a lay pasta in Winners’ Chapel. He believes the god wants him to be the court’s chief justice; that simply calling someone gay amounts to defamation; that the law – ‘starting with the constitution’ – should be even more ‘infused’ with religion and religious ‘values’; that rape committed by someone known to the victim is less serious than rape committed by a stranger… In 2007 he reduced the sentence of a thug who had raped a child because the rapist had been ‘careful … not to injure her private parts, except accidentally, when he penetrated her’. The list goes on. His Wikkidpedia entry sums things up:

    Infuse your collective offsprings with this shit and David Cameron and Boris Johnson will begin to look respectable. A friendly warning from the south.

  6. 1859 says:

    If disobedience is because of witchcraft, then clearly those disruptive pupils will have to be dragged out into the playground, tied to a post, have faggots piled at their feet and burnt alive at the stake. Any other kids after seeing this will definitely think twice before giving the teacher any cheek – or coming to school without their homework. Therefore, I think it’s a brilliant idea and as from Monday I’m going to implement in my school. Maybe I can knock them about a bit first before I burn them, give vent to my repressed sadist tendencies?

    Seriously, sometimes I can’t really believe what I’m reading – that after all the tragic, meaningless and bovine hatred which religion has stirred up in the UK in the past, that they are now in 2014, still allowing the establishment of new ‘faith’ schools! It’s like having your common sense kicked in the face. Isn’t there something in their holy book about ‘sowing the seeds and reaping the whirlwind.’?

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    Pastor Oyedepo is a moderate. He only slaps witches instead of killing them as his God commands him to do.

    Until modern times a witch was like a troll or ogre or pixie – not human, just shaped sort of like a human. The idea of witch as a believer in witchcraft is modern.

  8. Robster says:

    If I were Santa or the Tooth Fairy, I’d be feeling a bit discriminated against here. This twit’s proposing a school to teach the finer points of the sky fairy, baby jesus and witchcraft but no Santa or Tooth fairy. The curriculum will never pass.

  9. Paul Cook says:

    Don’t worry/ or should we worry?

    Will the school have pupils/teachers like this one from the US – arrested for writing a story where he killed his neighbour’s dinosaur?

  10. barriejohn says:

    Paul Cook: I’m beginning to see why home schooling might appeal to me were I a parent in the USA, even though I don’t really favour the practice!

  11. barriejohn says:

    Trevor Blake: That isn’t what is meant by “witchcraft” in the Bible, which is really a mediaeval misunderstanding of what is referred to by the (infallible and inspired) KJV. “Divination” would be a better translation. This is very good:

    I knew Christians who constantly (mis)quoted I Sam.15:23 when reprimanding their children (“Disobedience is as witchcraft”), and swallowed all Doreen Irvine’s fictitious nonsense, but as they would never have countenanced exorcisms or any other activities associated with “evil spirits” I have no idea how they really viewed the matter. I just assumed that. like a lot of other primitive ideas, they saw it as something which only applied in Old Testament times. Strange.

  12. Matt Westwood says:

    That story about killing the dinosaur is outrageous.

    But the real WTF in this whole story is that he’s 16 and his class is being given the sort of assignment that you would consider infantile if given to a bunch of 12 year olds. At the same age, a student in the UK would be taking up A-levels, and the first thing we did on the first day in school in A-level classes was a) to learn and apply the basic rules of calculus, b) to be introduced to the three-force problem, and c) to get some serious practice in factorising difficult polynomials.

    Presumably the A-level English class at that time would have been equally deep (the students would already have learned to read Chaucer, analysed Romeo and Juliet in depth, and considered carefully the motivations and personalities of the characters in Brighton Rock) but I wouldn’t offer the assignment described above to 16-year-olds even if it were a class in Russian or Greek.

  13. Paul Cook says:


    Many years ago I flat-shared with a UK teacher who had done a teacher exchange with a US teacher.
    He told me that the US children he taught (A level students/ages) had no idea how to write, lacked critical reasoning and merely rote learned for multiple choice exams. He said they seemed to rely very heavily on using enthusiasm for almost everything they did, thinking that would get them through life.

    whilst i appreciative the value of enthusiasm or positive thinking (not a belief in fairy stories etc) I did find it somewhat alarming that the most powerful nation on this planet was basically teaching their new generation – nothing. I do wonder if much of this is due to the religious aspect.
    I wonder if the US regulars here can comment?

  14. Brian Jordan says:

    Some UK readers may not appreciate the seriousness of the Dinosaur Boy incident. If not stopped, he might have picked up a real gun from the corner shop, gone to Kentucky and killed one of Ken Ham’s real dinosaurs.

  15. Matt Westwood says:

    One of my schoolfriends (who had been struggling to keep up while he’d been in the UK, he was less academically inclined than his peers) took a year in the US where his father had decamped temporarily. He wrote to us about the standards of education, and claimed that at the age of 14 or 15 (I misremember exactly) he would have been able to graduate from American high school (18-year-old level) with his current level of achievement that he had reached in the UK.

    He was back the following year (same old guy) having home-schooled himself by dint of having his studies mailed over to him from the UK, and I think he ended up studying music and emigrating to Japan.