ITV to screen boarding school abuse documentary

Boarding Schools: The Secret Shame – Exposure

Monday, 19 February 2018: 10:45pm (22:45 hours) ITV


An estimated one million people in Britain today went to boarding school. But increasingly the true extent of sexual abuse in these elite institutions is coming to light.

ITV’s Exposure investigates the private schools that appeared willing to disregard children’s safety, with some failing to take action against predatory paedophiles, who groomed and assaulted young boarders over and over again, sometimes getting away with it for decades. Did protecting a school’s reputation mean their pupils were put at risk?

This documentary follows Alex Renton, a journalist who himself was sexually abused as an eight year old by his teacher at one of the country’s top boarding schools.

Alex is sharing with Exposure a unique database, created from the huge personal correspondence he has received from victims of abuse since he began writing about his own experience of it.

Alex speaks with abuse survivors to expose the systematic failures that allowed paedophiles to go unpunished, and how in some cases this permitted them to continue teaching elsewhere in the private and the state sector, preying on more children. He also meets ‘James’, a former boarding school teacher and convicted paedophile, to ask the questions he couldn’t ask of his own, now dead, abuser.

Despite the decades that have passed since Alex’s time at school, the reporting of abuse allegations is still not legally mandatory at schools in the UK.

Exposure examines the current safeguarding procedures in place at boarding schools and asks whether these go far enough to protect children in the system today.

Alex Renton also has an article in this Sunday Times (18 Feb) about the documentary.

Monday, 19 February 2018: 10:45pm (22:45 hours) ITV