Tonight’s ITV film: how can we help?

If you have arrived here from watching the ITV documentary, welcome.

We at Boarding Concern offer support to former boarders, their partners and others affected by boarding.

We cover all types of UK boarding schools, including private fee-charging schools, state boarding schools, military boarding schools, local authority schools and schools for those with special needs.

We raise awareness of boarding issues, like you saw this evening.

If the film has left you needing someone to talk to right now, please visit our Contact Us page for services that offer support anytime.

We are not a specialist sexual abuse support service. If you are looking for such a service, please contact either NAPAC or The Survivors Trust for details of your local services.

If you have been the victim of a crime, including sexual abuse while at school, Victim Support can help you decide your next steps. If you would like help with your legal options, ACAL can help.

We hope that you find the information you are looking for on this website, or the others that we have linked you to.

If you choose to write to us, please be aware that we are expecting a powerful response to this film. This means that we might take a day or two to get back to you. However, we do acknowledge all messages sent to us.

Shocking scale of sexual abuse at UK boarding schools revealed by ITV documentary

This article and video contain material you may find distressing

An ITV documentary has revealed the true extent of sexual abuse at the UK’s boarding schools, with hundreds of people accused of carrying out sexual attacks in recent years and dozens of ongoing police investigations.

In the Exposure programme to be broadcast on Monday, journalist and author Alex Renton – who was sexually abused as an eight-year-old by his teacher at one of the country’s top boarding schools – 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 repeatedly – sometimes getting away with it for decades.

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

ITV’s Exposure made a Freedom of Information request to every police force in the UK and 24 responded. The results showed:

  • Since 2012, 425 people have been accused of carrying out sexual attacks at UK boarding schools
  • Not every force could provide further details but at least 160 people have been charged so far.
  • At least 171 of the total number were accused of historical abuse.
  • Since 2012 at least 125 people have been accused by children of recent sex attacks at boarding schools.
  • There are at least 31 ongoing investigations.
  • Just over half of the forces responded, meaning the total figure is likely to be far higher.

Boarding Schools: The Secret Shame – Exposure will be broadcast on Monday 19 February at 10.45pm (22:45) on ITV. 

Read more at ITV

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

Conference 2018: booking now for 21 April in central London

Featured

Please see the attached flyer for details of this year’s Conference in London on Saturday, 21 April 2018.

Nick Duffell is our keynote speaker.

(We have sent our Supporters on our mailing list an email message with direct links to book.)

Click here to book by PayPal

Conference Flyer

Calling all social workers: Boarding School Partnerships Information Service

We are aware that social workers are being put under pressure to place vulnerable children in boardings schools.

Whilst this is being touted as being best for at risk children, it seems that it is just to support boarding schools at risk of closure, due to falling enrolments.

We know that previous programmes such as Boarding School Pathfinder 2006-10 failed and this is merely another attempt to prop up these at risk schools.

We have a wealth of information and resources available to assist you. If you need something that you cannot find on this site, please do let us know.

Season’s Greetings from all of us at Boarding Concern

To all of our supporters and website visitors, we, the Directors of Boarding Concern wish you, of all faiths and of none, a very merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year 2018.

We look forward to seeing some of you at our Conference and other events during the year ahead.

Allison, Crispin, James, Jane, Margaret and Sam

IICSA: The Truth Project

As we wrote in our last newsletter, we are supporting boarding school survivors who are engaging with the Inquiry and its Truth Project.

The Inquiry is currently examining Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, including the boarding schools: Ampleforth College and Downside School. For reports, please see our “Boarding News” section.

Survivors who have taken part in Truth Project hearings tell us that they were well supported by the Inquiry team before, on the day and with follow up contact from their dedicated support worker.

For some, it was that the Inquiry team actually bothered to ask them how we can help end the ongoing abuse of children in boarding schools.

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