20 private schools face ruinous child sex abuse claims

According to a report in the Sunday Times, more than 20 schools face crippling compensation claims from dozens of child sex abuse victims who have come forward in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal…

They include some of the country’s most expensive fee-paying schools and institutions attended by Nick Clegg, Boris Johnson and Tony Blair.

The allegations range from rape to fondling, and date from the 1950s to the 1990s…

Jessica Standley, of Slater & Gordon, said that following Savile there had been “an increase in victims reporting abuse suffered at a variety of institutions, including fee-paying schools”.

She added: “Sadly, in many of these cases those in positions of authority knew of the abuse and failed to take adequate steps to protect these innocent children.”

Tony Little, the head master of Eton, warned that some prep schools could close because of the claims, which, in the worst cases, could be as much as £400,000.

“There could be financial difficulties. It could be very difficult. It is possible [some will have to close] but it is absolutely right this problem is exposed. Part of me is heartened that it is coming out and I suspect there is more to come out. I cannot think of anything worse than vulnerable young people being abused in the ways we have heard.”

…Many of those pursuing legal claims simply want to see justice after years of staying silent or not being believed. Compensation awards are about £50,000, though they can reach £450,000 if claimants can prove lifelong loss of earnings as a result of the trauma caused.

One lawyer said the new cases were “drawn from the upper echelons of society”, which was unusual in child sex abuse claims…

School leaders insisted last week that the failures stemmed from the fact that private schools were unregulated. They say such abuse could not happen nowadays because the schools are subject to regular inspection visits and work closely with social services and the police…

More at: 20 private schools face ruinous child sex abuse claims (subscription required)

The line “Sadly, in many of these cases those in positions of authority knew of the abuse and failed to take adequate steps to protect these innocent children.” is absolutely chilling. Is it fair to assume this kind of alleged systematic abuse at schools – especially private prep schools – would not be covered up now (even if many other types of abuse are sadly all too common)? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Private Schools and Safeguarding.

Comments

  1. rrunsworth

    SchoolsImprove Perpetrators & those who knew, but failed to act should be brought to justice. All adults have duty of care

  2. Meraud_Hand

    SchoolsImprove KevinBrennanMP Article says abuse happened bc of lack of scrutiny. Yet Gove’s reducing scrutiny via acads/FS policy.

  3. DawnConnor

    SchoolsImprove Strange to say ‘surprised to find child sex abuse claims from high echelons of society’. Paedophiles go where children are.

  4. Kathfanderson

    SchoolsImprove Children far from home struggling to “fit in” & entirely in the hands of powerful adults; abuse will always occur.

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