Rich families use ‘privilege to opt out’ of child services

Rich families are using “privilege” to disrupt or avoid child abuse investigations, a report has found.

Goldsmith’s University found wealthy households were effectively “opting out” of the child protection system.

Social workers had uncovered cases of sexual exploitation and emotional abuse, but found children’s services were biased towards poorer families.

Professor Claudia Bernard, who led the study, said neglect cases in affluent areas often went “under the radar“.

Prof Bernard told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “People have these deep-set beliefs that this is happening in poor, dysfunctional families.”

In one case parents of a young girl disclosing sexual abuse complained to the council about the investigation.

Social workers were then rebuffed by school nurses who said there was no way the child’s “great mum” would ignore such abuse.

Teenagers in private fee-paying and boarding schools, often isolated from their parents, had complex safeguarding needs, the report found.

Often the issues only came to authorities’ attention when parents were dealing with an acrimonious separation and needed a child welfare report, the study said.

The study called for social workers to be trained to deal with affluent families.

BBC News

Too little, too late: ‘We are deeply sorry’ – boarding schools apologise for child abuse

If the UK boarding school industry was really serious about apologising for child abuse, they would end boarding for the under 16s.

They are still too busy sweeping current sex abuse scandals under the carpet and have yet to address Boarding School Syndrome, etc.

It is not just about sexual abuse and it never has been. Apology not accepted. We want to see an end to boarding under 16. And from 16 where the potential boarder makes a fully informed decision to board.

Boarding schools must correct “the wrongs of the past” and create “obstructive obstacles” to deter potential abusers, headteachers will be told today.

Martin Reader, the chair of the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA), is today set to apologise for the abuse suffered by former pupils, on behalf of his organisation’s members.

Addressing the BSA’s annual conference in Brighton today, he will say: “It is to our great shame that there have been those adults at our schools who have used their positions of power to abuse those they were supposed to be looking after, or have failed to use their positions of power to stand up against those abusers, putting school reputations before children.

We are deeply sorry to the victims and survivors of the abuse that happened in our schools and are thoroughly committed to making our schools as safe as possible.”

His comments follow recent media reports about the scale of abuse at UK boarding schools, including in recent years.

Ampleforth College, in North Yorkshire, is currently subject to three ongoing police investigations into historic allegations of sexual offences.”

TES

Stars shun boarding for young children

The ancient practice of sending seven-year-olds to live away from home is dying out, and not only because of the high fees

Children under 16 should not be sent to boarding school, according to the broadcaster and historian Bettany Hughes, whose own daughters are being educated at a day school.

She said that her husband, Adrian Evans, and his brothers had boarded from the age of seven, which she described as “too young”. Her husband had enjoyed it but his brothers had not.

Emphasising that she was speaking in a personal capacity Hughes, 50, a mother of two, said: “I would not do it. I did not go through that system. We have not sent our own children to boarding school.”

The Sunday Times (subscription)

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?’

Tatler

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

Mum Divides Opinion As She Slams Parents Who Send Kids To Boarding School

Boarding schools have always been a contentious issue, now one mother has reignited the debate after slating parents who choose full-time boarding.

Some of the world’s brightest minds have attended boarding schools, from Prime Ministers to members of the royal family and even actors such as Eddie Redmayne.

However, the idea of sending your kids off to live at a school miles from home has always been a point of contention.

Now one Mumsnet user has reignited the long-running debate after asking parents to explain their decision to “send them away” to be raised by other adults.

The post read: “I’m going to get flamed probably by the people who send their child to boarding school full time.

But how could you?

Read more and vote at Heart.

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

Downside and Ampleforth: IICSA hearings underway

End secrecy of confessionals ‘to protect Catholic children’

Child sexual abuse inquiry is told that not reporting suspected incidents should be a crime

Mandatory reporting of sexual misconduct and abolishing the secrecy of the priest’s confessional box are needed to protect children at Catholic schools, the national inquiry into child sexual abuse has been told.

At the opening of a three-week hearing into Benedictine schools, lawyers representing scores of victims have called for fundamental changes to the way the church handles complaints and deals with suspected offenders.

Richard Scorer, of the law firm Slater and Gordon, who represents 27 core participants at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), said the failure to make reporting suspected abuse a crime had allowed clerics to evade responsibility.

“A mandatory reporting law would have changed their behaviour,” Scorer told the hearing. “At Downside Abbey, abuse was discovered but not reported and abusers were left to free to abuse again and great harm was done to victims.

The Guardian

First state-funded primary boarding school in the east of England

Sad news, that with all the evidence of harm from early boarding, the Sapientia Education Trust (SET) (of which Wymondham College is the founding school) has decided to open an early state boarding facility.

In April this year, SET was granted permission (by the Department for Education) to open the Sapientia Primary Prep School as part of a wave of 111 free schools around the country.

The school, for five to 11-year-olds, will create 450 places, 30 of which will be boarding, making it the first state-funded primary boarding school in the east of England.

Eastern Daily Press