Saturday, 17 April 2010

A correction

A friend of Pearce's last victim at the Abbey has contacted me, and has passed on the following:
Pearce's last victim confided in the Child protection officer of the School, and did not go to the police, it was then from this meeting, that the Abbot and necessary child protection officers where then contacted. So when you say that the school's procedures contributed nothing, this is false, also the abuse did not happen in the school.
I'm grateful to him for passing on this detail. I was previously genuinely under the impression that a complaint had been made directly by the victim to the police.

The friend went on to say that the latest publicity in the Times and elsewhere has caused the victim some distress. I would like to say that I intend no distress towards him and genuinely wish him well. I have not provided any details about him in the blog beyond that which is already in the public domain, and have no intention of changing that. There are two reasons for that.

First, at Pearce's sentencing hearing, I was advised by the police that reporting restrictions have been imposed by the court protecting the anonymity of victims. I have every intention of abiding by that.

Second, I apply the same principle to all the victims at St Benedict's School, of abuse by Pearce or anybody else. They deserve their privacy as far as it can possibly be maintained. For instance, there are some incidents I know of which I will not describe here, because even to describe them including no names would enable anybody with even a passing familiarity with the school to identify the victims.

Some publicity is going to be necessary if sufficient pressure is ever going to be applied to get the school to properly improve its child protection procedures to the point there the chance is minimised of there being future victim. If it was going to be achieved without pressure, the Abbot would have done it by now.

Through the victim's friend I have invited the victim to contact me confidentially to see how this can be done while minimising any distress he suffers.


  1. "Some publicity is going to be necessary if sufficient pressure is ever going to be applied to get the school to properly improve its child protection procedures"
    Perhaps you should be writing to the school inspectors, I see that this school has just had a full inspection, or are you saying that the inspection team would not have looked at the child protection procedures? After all it was a full inspection.

  2. The highly questionable effectiveness of Ofsted's inspection and reporting of safeguarding in schools is likely to come into public focus quite soon. What one needs to understand is that the ISI is responsible for inspecting safeguarding in independent day schools which are members of the ISC. Their inspection is not independent in any meaningful sense because of its structure. An ISI inspection in reality is peer review of standards and whilst expert in education, one has to question the reliance one can place on their safeguarding inspection and reports especially in light of the most recent glowing report for St Benedict's.