Compensation for school abuse
Ampleforth College, an independent day and boarding school run by Benedictine monks is in the news following allegations of sex abuse.
This is not the first time Ampleforth College has received negative attention from the press as there have previously been allegations of historic sexual abuse at the school.
Recent media reports highlight another situation where it has been discovered that a teacher at the school had been accused of sexually abusing pupils. Rather than reporting the matter to the Police (as would have been appropriate) the reputation of the school appears to have been uppermost in the mind of the headmaster then in charge of the school. The teacher in question was simply sent on his way in 1989 without the police being involved. Not only that, but astonishingly he was released with glowing references from the head which enabled him to find further work with children.
Apparently this isn’t an isolated case. The former headmaster in question is alleged to have received complaints regarding the inappropriate sexual conduct of another member of staff towards pupils but again he did not report the matter to the Police. The member of staff was merely moved on to pastures new.
It is clear to us from our experience in assisting survivors of sexual abuse that it is important for justice to be seen to be done, with the perpetrators who breached their victim’s trust in the very worst way being brought to account. So reports of ‘mismanaged’ cases will only undermine the public’s faith in our criminal justice system and may even deter others from coming forward.