A teacher has been found guilty of raping a pupil at the former Bedgebury School

A teacher who raped a pupil at a girls’ boarding school in the late 1970s is facing jail.

John Aldridge, 66, was a maths teacher at Bedgebury School near Cranbrook when he sexually abused the girl during visits to his flat.

A court heard the headteacher became concerned about Aldridge’s behaviour but he claimed he was simply tutoring her.

However, he eventually confessed to having sex with the teenager and was sacked.

It was not until many years later that his victim reported him to police and Aldridge, of King Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, was arrested.

He denied rape but was convicted by a jury today (June 5) at Maidstone Crown Court in Barker Road.

The retired teacher was released on bail but warned by Judge David Griffith-Jones QC he faces prison when he returns to be sentenced on Friday (June 8).

Kent Live

Kent Online

Choir boarding schools at risk, association warns

“Choir Schools’ Association conference hears that independent sector is under political pressure and has ‘few friends at the moment

The risks to choir schools are as great today as they were 100 years ago, the chairman of the Choir Schools’ Association (CSA) has said.

Speaking at the association’s centenary conference, Paul Smith, headmaster of Hereford Cathedral School, highlighted the risks he believed were faced by schools that educate the UK’s cathedral and collegiate choristers.

He used his address at the conference in St Paul’s Cathedral to say: “For those of us in the independent sector, there can be little doubt that we have few friends at the moment.

“Politicians, of all shades, seem hell-bent on issuing ill-informed edicts, based upon lazy stereotypes, which purportedly seek to ensure the independent sector does its bit to justify charitable status.”

Is he really just talking about the boarding sector, riddled with child abuse scandals. Recent, ongoing ones, not even ones from wayback?


Lincoln Cathedral school deputy head jailed for sexual abuse

An ex-Church of England deputy headmaster who sexually abused six young boys has been jailed.

Roy Griffiths, 82, from Sherborne, Dorset, was also a former boarding house master at the now defunct Lincoln Cathedral school in the 1960s.

He admitted the charges, which date between January 1963 and July 1970, at a previous Lincoln Crown Court hearing.

He was given a sentence of six years and seven months, half of which he will serve in prison.

Griffiths will be released on licence for the remainder of his sentence.

In court, one of his victims read out a statement speaking of the “fear” he had of the former deputy head teacher, who was responsible for boys boarding at the school.

BBC News

The sinister clean-eating trend spreading through boarding schools

It’s the food movement that has captured the imagination of a generation of schoolgirls. But does ‘clean eating’ provide a cover for serious eating disorders? And what are England’s top educational establishments doing about it?

There was a simple solution to surviving a fairly revolting lunch at my West Country school: fill your blazer pockets with stacks of white bread from the dining room, return to the kitchen at the house, toast it and slather it in Nutella.This was the same school where a girl broke into the tuck shop with a hockey stick, such was her need for a sugar fix. And so it was in girls’ schools across England in those Edenic pre-Instagram years before anyone had uttered the words ‘clean eating’ or ‘Have you seen my spiraliser?’


Abuse at Sherborne Prep in the 1990s: report reveals full horror

Uncovered: boy’s disturbing complaint of abuser ‘wearing a wig and smelling of cigars’ that prompted failed police probe

A recovered 25-year-old report reveals a sickening list of concerns raised by boarding pupils at a school run by a man later described as a “fixated paedophile”.

A report released from council archives last week documents deeply troubling behaviour by now-disgraced head Robin Lindsay.

It includes accounts of him interfering with male boarding students and how he tried to dismiss a pupil’s allegation of indecent assault as a dream.

Following a Freedom of Information request by this website, Dorset County Council has released the report of an inspection carried out by its social services department in 1993.

But a second report, carried out in 1997, said to be “damning in the extreme”, has been either lost or destroyed, the council said.

The inspection was carried out between February 8, 1993 and March 8 the same year, with the inspectors raising a number of serious concerns.

Somerset Live

Boarding schools send in the drug dogs

Boarding schools are carrying out random tests on hair, urine and saliva and searching pupils’ rooms with dogs amid fears about rising drug use.

One healthcare worker told The Times that some children he treated were buying illegal drugs over the internet and having them delivered. Head teachers say privately that the use, and variety, of recreational drugs among teenagers is increasing.

The Times (subscription)

Janitor jailed for 19 years for ‘terrifying’ abuse of boarding school boys

A former boarding school janitor has been jailed for 19 years for committing ‘heinous’ sexual assaults against schoolboys.

Anthony Bennett, now 65, befriended schoolboys as young as 12 at Shebbear College in rural North Devon during the 1970s and 80s and groomed them and then repeatedly assaulted them in his caravan.

The victims, now all middle aged men, gave moving evidence to the jury about being humiliated and terrified by their ordeal at the private boarding school.

Bennett would share cigarettes, coffee and alcohol with the children and encourage them to watch porn with him before subjecting them to frightening abuse, Exeter Crown Court was told.

His actions had severe psychological impact on his victims and left them wondering about the people they might have grown up to be if it wasn’t for Bennett.

Devon Live

Stonar School: Boarding school music teacher is banned after making inappropriate sexual comments

A music teacher who likened himself to Brad Pitt and boasted about his sex life to pupils has been struck off.

Guy Rogers, 44, told pupils he could “take your mum off your dad” and asked female students if they found him attractive, a panel heard.

The guitar tutor, who taught at private boarding school Stonar School in Melksham, Wiltshire also quizzed pupils about their own love lives.

He denied the allegations but was found to have breached professional standards.

BBC News



Scottish boarding schools struggle with reputational and economic problems

The Times reports that Scottish boarding schools face an uncertain future due to higher net worth individuals moving away from the area.

One school has recently tried a failed publicity offensive against its portrayal in the popular TV series The Crown. Prince Charles is reported to have described Gordonstoun as “Colditz in kilts”.

This and other Scottish boarding schools are under investigation by the Scottish Child Abuse inquiry (see our earlier posts).

Australia child abuse inquiry: Final recommendations released

A five-year inquiry into child sexual abuse in Australia has released its final report, making more than 400 recommendations.

The royal commission uncovered harrowing evidence of sexual abuse within institutions, including churches, boarding schools and sports clubs.

Since 2013, it has referred more than 2,500 allegations to authorities.

The final report, released on Friday, added 189 recommendations to 220 that had already been made public.

Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions. We will never know the true number,” the report said.

“It is not a case of a few ‘rotten apples’. Society’s major institutions have seriously failed.”

Religious ministers and school teachers were the most commonly reported perpetrators, the report said.

[Two inquiries in the UK into sexual abuse of children in boarding schools and other institutions are ongoing…]

BBC News