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

Catholic Church paid A$276m to abuse victims in Australia

The Australian Catholic Church has paid A$276m (£171m; $213m) to victims of sexual abuse since 1980, an inquiry has heard.

The money was divided between thousands of victims, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was told.

The data, released on Thursday, showed the average payment was A$91,000.

The landmark royal commission was set up in 2013 and is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations.

The Catholic Church made the payments in response to 3,066 of 4,445 child sexual abuse claims between 1980 and 2015, the inquiry heard. More than 40% of claims were received by a handful of male orders.

They included compensation, treatment, legal and other costs, said Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission in Sydney.

BBC News

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

How I came to terms with the horrors of my boarding school abuse

Mark Stibbe, a former vicar who lives in North Yorkshire, is among those to claim to have been abused by youth worker John Smyth, who ran Christian holiday camps. As other victims waive their right to anonymity, here he tells his story in full.

iNews

Former Dumbarton boarding school probed in historic child abuse inquiry

A former Dumbarton boarding school is being probed by investigators from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Judge Lady Smith revealed that the inquiry is investigating whether historical abuse took place at fee-paying Keil School in Kirktonhill.

The boarding school – which closed 17 years ago – will be looked at along with 60 residential care centres as part of the inquiry into widespread abuse in Scotland.

Lady Smith – speaking at a preliminary hearing of the inquiry at the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week – also said that more than 100 locations where abuse is said to have taken place have been identified.

In a statement, she urged anyone with information about abuse to come forward.

Daily Record

USA: Former students sue over alleged abuse at boarding school

A lawsuit against a Harrison County (WV) boarding school, forced to close about three years ago, alleges a “culture of silence and secrecy” at the school led to widespread abuse.

Two former students of the Miracle Meadows School in Salem filed the lawsuit late last month in Kanawha County Circuit Court. The former students, who are identified only by their initials, L.B. and T.B., claim they still suffer because of the alleged abuse — and always will.

Miracle Meadows had its state-recognized education status revoked in August 2014, and the Department of Health and Human Resources removed the school’s 19 students.

The former students claim they were subjected to neglect and extreme physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Between 2009 and 2014, the school was named in more than a dozen complaints involving abuse and mistreatment of students, the Associated Press previously reported.

West Virginia Gazette-Mail

USA: the dangers of boarding at a “progressive” school

Report: Officials hid decades of sex abuse at boarding school

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A grand jury report issued Wednesday found that teachers at a Bucks County boarding school sexually preyed on children for half a century while administrators turned a blind eye.

No charges were expected, mostly because the crimes alleged at the culturally progressive Solebury School in New Hope occurred too long ago.

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub compared preying on children at the $55,000-a-year school to “fishing in a barrel” under previous leaders and said they were willfully blind to the situation. One complaint still could be prosecuted before the legal deadline, but the 27-year-old accuser does not want to press charges, Weintraub said.

The report describes nine teachers or officials who engaged in sexual relationships with students at the school from the 1950s through 2005. School leaders repeatedly failed to report the alleged sexual abuse to police or child welfare officials, the report said.

They also failed to discipline the abusers or enforce boundaries at the 90-acre campus, which was described as having a relaxed environment in which students and teachers called each other by their first names, socialized together and sometimes formed close friendships. Some of the perpetrators are dead, and the statute of limitations has run on the other alleged incidents, but Weintraub hopes the report will “expose how these crimes were allowed to occur and how they were concealed for so long.”

“This was child predation under the guise of progressive education. It’s unconscionable,” the prosecutor said.

Fox29

NBC10

Philly.com

Famous Scottish boarding schools named in child abuse inquiry

More coverage of the Scottish boarding schools sex abuse investigations:

Some of Scotland’s most prestigious private schools, including the alma maters of the Prince of Wales and Tony Blair, are to be investigated as part of a national child abuse inquiry.

Gordonstoun near Elgin, attended by Prince Charles, and Fettes College in Edinburgh, where Mr Blair was a pupil, are among 100 locations where historical abuse is alleged to have taken place.

The Telegraph

Two top public schools attended by Prince Charles and Tony Blair are being investigated by a major national inquiry into child abuse.

Gordonstoun, the alma mater of the heir to the throne, and Fettes College – where the former Labour Prime Minister was a pupil – both feature in the statutory probe.

Other private schools under investigation include Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, Loretto School in Musselburgh and Morrison’s Academy in Crieff.

The boarding schools are being probed as part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into more than 60 residential care establishments which have been identified as sites of alleged child abuse or neglect.

Daily Mail

Scottish child abuse inquiry investigates top boarding schools

More than 60 institutions, including several top boarding schools, are being investigated by the Scottish child abuse inquiry, it has been confirmed.

The new chairwoman of the inquiry, Lady Smith, said they were among 100 locations where abuse is alleged to have taken place.

She said several boarding schools, including Fettes College and Gordonstoun, were being investigated.

The inquiry will look in detail at historical abuse of children in care.

Lady Smith replaces the original chairwoman who resigned in July 2016. Susan O’Brien stood down complaining of government interference.

Speaking at the start of the inquiry at the Court of Session building in Edinburgh, Lady Smith insisted the investigation would be fully independent.

She confirmed that several boarding schools were being investigated by inquiry staff.

Other institutions being investigated include those run by faith-based organisations and major care providers like Quarriers and Barnardo’s.

Institutions under investigation
Boarding schools

  • Fettes College
  • Gordonstoun
  • The former Keil School
  • Loretto School
  • Merchiston Castle School
  • Morrison’s Academy (when it was a boarding school)

BBC News

The Scotsman

The Guardian

Australia: Abuse commission has received allegations linked to 4,000 boarding schools

A Catholic boarding college in Bathurst is preparing to apologise to past students who were sexually abused.

Dozens of children were abused at St Stanislaus’ College, a New South Wales school that is this year marking its 150th year, making it one of Australia’s oldest boarding schools.

The school, run by the Catholic Vincentian Fathers, wants its public outreach to be in the “spirit of a reconciliatory gesture”, according to its headmaster, Anne Wenham.

“Our hope and intention is that it may offer one step in the healing process for all victims,” Wenham said. “We will endeavour to ensure that they and their families, as well as current and former members of this college community and the public, feel welcome to join us for this.”

A retired journalist and former St Stanislaus student, Terry Jones, said the apology had only come after media attention and his contact with the school.

The Guardian