Corporal punishment in UK schools

Corporal punishment was prohibited in all state-supported education in 1986. The prohibition was extended to cover private schools in England and Wales in 1998, in Scotland in 2000, and in Northern Ireland in 2003. But in 2014 the Government confirmed that legislation does not prohibit corporal punishment in “unregistered independent settings providing part-time education”.

Country Report

Smacking to be banned in Scotland

Smacking children is to be banned in Scotland, the Scottish government has confirmed.

The move would make the country the first part of the UK to outlaw the physical punishment of children.

Ministers had previously said they did not support parents using physical chastisement, but had “no plans” to bring forward legislation of their own.

But the government has now confirmed it will ensure a bill lodged by Green MSP John Finnie will become law.

And it is understood that ministers will work with Mr Finnie to implement the bill in practice.

His proposals, which were out for consultation over the summer, would give children the same legal protection as adults.

At present, parents in Scotland can claim a defence of “justifiable assault” when punishing their child – although the use of an “implement” in any punishment is banned, as is shaking or striking a child on the head.

BBC News

The Guardian

Wycombe Abbey boarding school teacher given lifetime teaching ban for sex with pupil

A drama teacher had sex with a former pupil at a top boarding school after sending her Valentines Day messages.

Matthew McGowan, 38, touched the girl’s bottom, pulled her close to him and stroked the insides of her thighs during rehearsals for a school play.

He also wrote ‘Happy Valentines’ Day from a secret admirer 😉 ‘ in the Year 13 pupil’s diary.

McGowan was a drama teacher at the £12,600 a term all girls boarding school Wycombe Abbey School in High Wycombe, Bucks, when the incidents took place in 2013.

He also gave her his personal email address in October 2014, wrote inappropriate messages on one or more occasions and gave her his private mobile number.

He also engaged in an inappropriate relationship with “Pupil A” after she left the school and engaged in sexual activity with her on school premises on one or more occasions.

McGowan was said to have tried to get the girl to lie to police and give a false account of the nature of their relationship during the police investigation in 2016.

Teacher misconduct panel outcome: Mr Matthew McGowan

Daily Mirror

Daily Mail

Government mulls setting minimum boarding school age as part of reforms

But it is not the UK or devolved governments…

By SIMON NDONGA, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – The Ministry of Education is mulling setting a minimum age at which parents will be allowed to enroll their children in boarding school.

Speaking at the requiem mass for the nine girls killed in a fire at the Moi Girls School, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said they should be competent enough to handle themselves in case of emergency.

At what age do we allow our children to be in boarding schools? This may affect our primary schools because we would want to be sure that when our children are in boarding schools at primary school level, they are of such an age that in case of challenges they  can be able to take care of themselves,” he told mourners.

Kipsang described the tragic loss of life in the Moi Girls fire as heart breaking as it is something that could have been prevented.

Capital News (Kenya)

Former staff questioned over boarding school abuse claims

Five people have been questioned in connection with alleged historical abuse at three boarding schools.

The former teachers and members of staff have been interviewed under caution by Gloucestershire Police.

The men worked at Badgeworth Court and Dowdeswell Court near Cheltenham, and Clouds House near Salisbury.

Five other former school workers, including teachers, have already been arrested and bailed during the inquiry.

The allegations of physical and sexual abuse carried out on boys as young as seven date to the 1960s and 1980s. The schools are now closed.

BBC News

Jewish boarding school in Gateshead branded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors

Pupils at a Jewish boarding school where full background checks were not carried out on staff have been put at risk – inspectors have claimed.

The Yeshiva Lezeirim Preparatory Academy, in Gateshead, offers a year of schooling to Orthodox Jewish boys aged 15-16, aimed at preparing them for further study in aspects of the faith.

But a recent visit by Ofsted found that safeguarding arrangements were not good enough, and pupils weren’t making enough progress in non-religious aspects of the curriculum.

Inspectors examined both the teaching and education at the boarding school, and the quality of social care for the children who stay over in the boarding house, in separate inspections.

It was judged to be inadequate in both reports.

Policies intended to keep pupils safe did not meet national standards, inspectors found. Insufficient checks were made on staff background, meaning “the school may employ people who are not suitable to care for the pupils”.

Chronicle Live

Boarding school teacher facing teaching ban over allegations he had sex with a teenage pupil.

A teacher at one of Britain’s most prestigious public schools had sex with a teenage pupil in his classroom, a misconduct panel heard.

Dr Dean Johnson, 52, a physics master at Charterhouse in Godalming, Surrey, revealed his fantasies in Facebook messages to the girl beforehand.

He also asked what her underwear size was before buying stockings and presenting them to her gift-wrapped.

The astronomy and astrophysics specialist, who joined the £36,000-a-year boarding school in 1997, is facing a teaching ban after the panel found the allegations proven.

It heard he resigned in 2013 when the relationship came to light, after the girl complained to police.

An investigation led to his conviction for possessing extreme pornography, which depicted a woman being hanged, in 2015. He has since taught abroad.

Evening Standard

Daily Mail

UK child abuse inquiry: three Catholic boarding schools ‘should form case study’

Three prominent Benedictine boarding schoolsAmpleforth, Downside and Worthshould be examined as a combined case study for the UK child sex abuse investigation into the Catholic church, a preliminary hearing has been told.

The work of the archdiocese of Birmingham and its schools should also feature as a complementary case study, according to the lawyer in charge of the Catholic church strand of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA).

Setting out her recommendations for hearings planned in November, Riel Karmy-Jones QC proposed that an examination of a fourth school should be delayed because of an imminent criminal trial involving a former teacher.

Inquiries into allegations at Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Scottish Highlands should also be restricted to the movement of English monks transferred to the institution, Karmy-Jones suggested, because a separate Scottish inquiry into child sex abuse would deal with any offences committed there.

The Guardian

Headmaster of Windsor prep school sentenced

A veteran teacher who retired four years ago has escaped prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old pupil at prestigious St George’s School at Windsor Castle two decades ago.

Latin teacher Anthony Brailsford, now 70, was briefly acting headteacher at the boarding prep school in 1993.

He committed the offences in 1997 and 1998.

On 13 Jan, he was given a six months suspended prison sentence by Judge Mr Recorder Christopher Quinlan QC at Reading Crown Court.

Windsor Observer

Daily Mail