Ofsted inspectors found a boarding school had failed over a serious child protection allegation.
Darul Uloom London, off Perry Street in Chilslehurst, was first visited by inspectors in May 2017 and slammed as “inadequate”.
The all-boys Islamic school opened in 1992 and received ‘good’ for its first inspection in 2008.
But standards appear to have slipped, as subsequent Ofsted reports rated the school satisfactory in 2011, requires improvement in 2014 and the lowest rating of inadequate in 2018.
The first inadequate report found school leaders did not follow their own safeguarding policy after receiving an allegation of a serous child protection issue.
The first report stated: “They did not inform the local authority designated officer (LADO) or the Disclosure and Barring Service.
“This demonstrates a lack of understanding of senior staff in key safeguarding positions in the school and boarding provision.”
Trustees were also aware of the serious child protection allegation but no one took action in response to the concerns.
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)
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…]
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.
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”.
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.
The New York Times investigates the USA investigations into boarding school sexual abuse by staff. Who really benefits from these investigations, when a statute of limitations means prosecutions are time-barred?
New York Times
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
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)
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.