Monday, July 02, 2007

"Gifted young TV star forced to quit top school to join mum and lesbian lover on Greek island"

Not exactly the most snappy of titles, but it is a headline in the Daily Mail. And no I don't buy the rag, I skim most papers on the Internet and sometimes have a look at The Mail in that way 'disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' watches Channel 4.

So whats it all about then ?

Apparently :

Last summer, eight-year-old Alex Stockley's future couldn't have seemed brighter.

The talented son of a barmaid and a farmhand had won a £5,000-a-year scholarship to one of England's finest prep schools.

And, in an extraordinary show of generosity, members of the public who saw Alex in a TV documentary raised the other £30,000 needed to pay the remainder of the fees for the boy with a genius-level IQ.

This week, however, it emerged that the fairy-tale ending to the story of the child given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is lying in tatters.

And then the outrage really begins , as this woman is a very very bad mother...she is a lesbian !

The article goes on (bold added by SB) :

After just two terms at Glebe House in Hunstanton, Norfolk, his 32-year-old mother, Eileen Stockley, has removed him and taken him to the other end of Europe, far away from the school which she begged to educate her son, away from his father, Ian Pearce, and away from everything he knows.

Caught between his estranged, squabbling parents, suddenly it seems that Alex's needs are no longer a priority. He is being taught at a Forces school in Cyprus. Why? Because his mother was determined to set up home there with her 23-year-old lesbian lover, an RAF communications specialist.

On the website Friends Reunited, Eileen claims that last week she underwent a civil partnership ceremony with her lover, Amy Wormesley - and can barely contain her happiness at her new life. "Living in Cyprus with my beautiful wife Amy!" she gushes. "She's my world and I'm hers."

No mention, of course, of Alex's world. Or the possibly disastrous effect her behaviour will have on him and his education.

Instead, after briefly mentioning she has two children, Eileen gushes that there is 'another on the way', before blatantly contradicting herself by adding: "Hopefully will have another by next year, we trying (sic) at the mo."

Who knows by what method this couple are trying to add to their brood, and what her other two children would be expected to make of a half-sibling with two mummies.

Meanwhile, at his home in Norfolk, a bereft Ian Pearce now has no idea when he will see his son again.

"Alex was doing so well at Glebe House. It was everything he could have hoped for. He was happy and he'd settled in and he was getting glowing reports.

He's such a bright boy and he was in the best possible hands. Now he's off into the unknown and who knows how long for?"

The seeds of this unhappy development were sown when Eileen Stockley met her current lover. She is thought to have encountered her while she was working behind the bar at RAF Marham, while Amy was stationed there.

Mr Pearce had no inkling that his former partner had any lesbian tendencies before he heard about Amy: "She'd always been interested only in men, as far as I knew," he said.

"Eileen has betrayed Alex and betrayed all those who donated money for his education. I can't believe she's done it."

Certainly, viewers of last year's documentary, Admission: Impossible, who donated tens of thousands towards Alex's education at Glebe House would be forgiven for feeling they wasted their time and money.

Admission Impossible followed the stories of six families from across the UK as they navigated their way through the complex schools admissions system, trying to secure the perfect place for their child.

Millions of views tuned in, with hundreds offering to donate money.

At least the £30,000 raised after the programme is held in a trust fund, whose trustees are the governors of Glebe House School. Neither Eileen nor Ian have control over it.

Donors may feel cheated when they learn Eileen herself seems very different to the down-at-heel single mother portrayed in last August's documentary, whose only concern was to do the best for her son.

According to Mr Pearce, the truth about this dysfunctional family is far less heartwarming than viewers were led to believe.

The 37-year-old farm worker, who lives in Weasenham, near Swaffham, Norfolk, with his partner Tracey and their nine-month-old son, Rhys, says that Eileen lied during the making of the two-part documentary.

The premise of the programme was that Alex, clearly an exceptionally able child, had no choice but to remain in the mediocrity of the state sector, because the Government made no provision for gifted children.

Alex's IQ was measured at 148, and he sailed through Glebe House's entrance exam in record time, taking just 15 minutes to complete a test which took other children 40 minutes, and scoring more than 90 per cent.

The TV crew carted his mother down to London, where she petitioned the PM in Downing Street to no avail and then arranged a meeting with a financial adviser, whose role in the drama was clearly to prove that Eileen had no chance whatsoever of paying for a private education on her meagre income.

During the course of that interview, Eileen was asked if she was divorced, to which she replied 'yes' twice, even though she has never been married.

She was asked if there were any grandparents who might be able to offer some kind of financial assistance towards Alex's education.

Her reply was simply: "Both my parents are dead." In fact, her mother, Pat is still alive, though her relationship with Eileen has apparently endured a mutual silence for more than a decade.

Speaking from Cyprus this week, she tried to explain why she had denied the existence of her own mother on the programme and failed to mention Alex's two paternal grandparents.

"I have had no contact with my mother for 12 years, and as far as I was concerned, she's dead.

"If Alex's other grandparents were upset by the programme, then perhaps they would like to contribute towards his education."

She added that she lied by saying she was 'divorced', because the programme makers told her to. True? Or another convenient falsehood?


Whether this disruption to his precious education has any lasting impact remains to be seen.

Those that saw Alex on television and witnessed this affable, trusting and astonishingly clever little boy can only hope that having already overcome so much, somehow his remarkable spirit will sustain him.

Seems the Daily Mail has made up its mind as to who the baddie is in all of this, though life is rarely that simple.There are also real issues about whether the state system provides for very bright children, the role of reality television and how parents ensure they both continue to work together in the best interests of their child when they split up.It doesn't ask what happens to other bright kids who don't get on TV and tug at the heartstrings . That might involve the Daily Mail questioning the education system . The Daily Mail does not really trouble itself with the complexities too much, the real issues for them being the fact she was a lying single parent who ran off with another woman and horror of horrors is now planning a child with the new partner. It is not even that consistent, criticising the mother for lying to get money for a private school and then complaining that the child was no longer going to the school (paid for by money gained according to them dishonesty).It also implied that there may have been state provision but then ignores that in the rant against the mother .

Pic of Eileen Stockley and son Alex. Funny, she doesn't look like a lesbian , I mean where are the dungarees, why is she wearing make up. That must confuse the Daily Mail readers ...

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