• May 5, 2015


The Kernow Branch of the Celtic League has prepared a fifteen page report concerning an alleged incident of institutional discrimination against members of the Cornish National Minority who were incorporated into the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCPNM).

The report arises from the refusal of Bishop Bronescombe Church of England School in St. Austell, Cornwall to allow some pupils to have a day off school at the request of their parents in order to attend the centuries old Cornish Spring festival ‘Obby ‘Oss Day’ in nearby Padstow.

The matter hit the headlines in Cornwall after a parent, Anna James, who is a native of Padstow, informed the press and further reiterated that if the school refused, she would defy the ruling and take her youngsters in any case.

The Kernow Branch was contacted by other concerned parents and immediately wrote to the school in question informing of the relevant articles of the FCPNM which now applied to Cornish people as well as the fact that Head Teachers were permitted to grant ten days leave in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

A reply from the school indicated that the ancient festival attended annually by thousands of Cornish people was not considered an ‘exceptional circumstance’ although oddly listed the attendance at sporting events as a competitor as being exceptional.

Using social media to inform thousands of followers of this apparent institutional discrimination, the Kernow Branch encouraged record numbers of letters written by parents to be sent to the local newspapers although over 30 emails were received by the Kernow Branch itself. Mostly all were in favour of the actions of the errant mother and so the report was compiled and includes the responses from the public.

Whilst recognising that the denial of the school was caused by inflexible top down Anglo centric legislation which is entirely unsuited to the needs of the Cornish and indeed other National Minorities and ethnic groups, the report is highly critical of the Westminster Government.

As one correspondent who wrote both to the Branch and the newspaper, Nic Johns, pointed out, ‘…my son’s school is closed for polling day and a community inclusion day for Royal Cornwall [Show} in Wadebridge….we are in St. Austell! It’s crazy. Take him [one of the denied children]. It’s OUR heritage more than ‘Royal’ Cornwall is!’

A further correspondent, Linda Trevarthen noted, ‘….it’s our Cornish heritage. It’s very important to the Cornish people. Let’s keep our age old traditions going’ whilst another, Richard Hammond said, ‘Probably just busy bodies from up country. [They] need to keep their noses out of Cornish traditions.’

The report by the Branch has been forwarded to the Diocese of Truro, the Secretaries of State for both Communities & Local Government as well as for Education, the Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED), Cornwall Council, the Council of Europe and to the United Nations as well as being copied to the school at the centre of the dispute.

Newspaper report.

Previous CL News item.

(Prepared for CL News by Mike Chappell – Kernow branch)

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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