Former boarder sues boarding school following sex probe

PHILADELPHIA — An alumna sued a Pennsylvania boarding school Friday, weeks after a grand jury report detailed a half-century of sexual abuse there, accusing the school of ignoring warnings the athletic director was sexually involved with her.

The “Jane Doe” accuser said Solebury School’s permissive atmosphere enabled staff to prey on vulnerable teens. The woman, now 29, said that athletic director Lyle Hazel started grooming her in 10th grade and started a sexual relationship in 12th grade that continued for years and left her unable to finish college.

Indiana Gazette

Denial won’t save Irish boarding school from closure.

Boarding schools are not “families” or “communities”. They are institutions. And now the school blaming starts. The closure communications (as reported) were crystal clear…

“Parents opposed to the closure of Cistercian College in Roscrea will meet to explore avenues which could be taken to keep the famous boarding school open.

“Heartbreak” was the reaction, said the parents’ association, when the news broke on Friday that the Cistercian order had decided to close the school because of falling student numbers. There are currently 167 pupils according to the school, which is located at Mount St Joseph Abbey in Co Offaly.

Association chairperson Sinead Lawlor said relations and communications between the Cistercians, including Abbot of Mount St Joseph Richard Purcell, have always been good.

But she said that in this instance, there has been “an unfortunate gap in that communication“.

Many parents didn’t find out about the decision until they went to collect their boys on Friday, she said.

“CCR is another family for them (the pupils). The teachers and support staff are all family to them and treated them as their own kids. The boys are like brothers to each other. It’s very, very understandable that this comes as a massive shock,” she said.”

Irish Independent

Irish boarding school to close due to fall in numbers

One of Ireland’s best known boarding schools, Cistercian College Roscrea, is set to close after 112 years due to a significant fall off in student numbers.

The Co Offaly boys’ boarding school, located at Mount St Joseph Abbey, said there had been “a general decline in demand for boarding facilities”.

The school said there had been a 45 per cent drop in enrolment in the past decade with just nine first-year students enrolled for September of this year.

“Clearly this is unsustainable and the school is simply no longer financially viable. We were sadly left with no option but to conduct what we anticipate will be a phased closure of the school over the next 16 months,” said Abbot of Mount St Joseph Abbey Richard Purcell.

The Irish Times

It can last a lifetime. The toll of being sent to boarding school at 7…

One painful moment from my childhood remains so sharply defined in my memory that it has the power to make me cry — even now.

I am a boy, aged just eight, sitting at a window in my boarding school, scanning the drive, waiting for my father to turn up and take me on an afternoon outing.

Minutes tick by. The arranged time for our meeting passes. I wait, still hopeful, expectant, excited.

Daily Mail

Sixth man charged with assaults at former boys boarding school in Cumbria

A sixth man has been charged with assaults at a former boarding school for boys.

The alleged historical offences are said to have taken place at Underley Hall School in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria.

Derrick William Cooper, 76, of Hillberry Green, Isle of Man, has been charged with six offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two offences of child cruelty, a Cumbria Police spokesman said.

The force said the charges were part of its Operation Tweed investigation – launched in July 2014 – into reports of non-recent abuse in residential schools in the south of the county.

ITV News

BBC News

Another pointless tickbox “outstanding” boarding inspection

What is the point of these Ofsted inspections that are mere tickbox exercises for boarding? Where are the social workers assessing why each boarder has been placed in care, away from their families?

The UK is a small country and we no longer have an Empire. There is no longer any need for children to be sent away to loveless institutions (regardless of how comfortable they are).

If a teenager chooses to board at 16+ and it is exclusively their decision, then we at Boarding Concern will support their decision (subject to proper safeguards). But there is absolutely no need in 21st Century Britain to send children and young teenagers away from home, given the disastrous history of British boarding.

Everything else is just pointless PR puff.

“Delight as Wymondham College earns ‘outstanding’ inspection grade”

Eastern Daily Press

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson: a life of privilege, parties and paparazzi

She was born into great privilege, was a close family friend of Prince Charles and for a while lived a wild party lifestyle fuelled by drug abuse – not characteristics guaranteed to earn the admiration of the British public.

But Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, who has died at the age of 45, was also blessed with an intelligent, self-deprecating wit and a lively sense of fun, qualities that made her, for a time, one of the most popular minor celebrities of the late 1990s and 2000s – even if no one could quite remember what she was famous for.

In recent years, having kicked a reported £400-a-day cocaine habit after several bouts in therapy, Palmer-Tomkinson had largely sought to retreat from the public eye, vowing that she had left the party lifestyle behind for good. “I’m not the person I was,” she said last year. “I’ve gone completely the other way. I’m a very quiet person now, and I like being that person.”

After the publication of photographs of her looking frail, attracting insinuations that she had relapsed, the socialite revealed late last year that she had been suffering from a non-malignant brain tumour. Contrary to most people’s assumptions, she insisted, she had not taken drugs for a decade. But despite declaring herself more content, she had never quite found peace, she said, and continued to struggle with anxiety and self doubt.

The Guardian

Former early boarder and ‘It girl’ Tara Palmer-Tomkinson found dead

Socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has been found dead aged 45.

The star, who rose to fame in the 1990s as a hard-partying “It girl”, received treatment in 2016 for a non-malignant brain tumour.

The Met Police confirmed a woman in her 40s was found dead at Palmer-Tomkinson’s flat in Bramham Gardens, South Kensington, at 13:40 GMT.

Prince Charles, a close friend of the star’s family, led tributes and said he was “deeply saddened” by her death.

BBC News (includes Woman’s Hour clip where she discusses her early boarding school experience…)

The Guardian

The Telegraph

Daily Mail