Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Child Protection Policy - 15

On whistleblowing:
17. Whistleblowing

All staff are required to report to the Designated Teacher, any concern or allegations about school practices or the behaviour of colleagues which are likely to put pupils at risk of abuse or other serious harm. In exceptional cases such reports should be made to Ofsted. There will be no retribution or disciplinary action taken against a member of staff for making such a report provided that it is done in good faith.
This is another paragraph that has a misleading title. Reporting an allegation made against staff to the Designated Teacher is not whistleblowing by any commonly understood meaning of the term. Whistleblowing is where the reporting of abuses within the chain of authority has failed to bring about action and somebody decides to raise the matter in public.

There cannot be any procedure on whistleblowing, as it will only happen when the procedures have broken down. To have a paragraph in the procedures on whistleblowing is meaningless and can only be designed to fool parents into thinking that staff have the freedom to raise issues outside the chain of authority without retribution. If the procedures have in fact broken down, then any such assurances are without any value.

OFSTED in any case is not an appropriate recipient for reports. Reports of adult-on-child abuse should be made to the Local Authority Designated Officer for child protection, part of Social Services, and reports of child-on-child abuse should be made to Children's Services.


  1. Still waiting for the sodomite Pearce to be defrocked.

    Will the ceremony be at Westminster Cathedral, Ealing Abbey or Wandsworth Prison?

    Will there be candles, incense and psalm singing?

    Can we buy tickets?

  2. With this in the policy who would be stupid enough to whistleblow!

    Has anyone met a whistleblower who survived?

    And this policy suggests whistleblowers speak to Ofsted - what a joke! Why Ofsted which has nothing to do with this school? Why to a schools inspector at all in fact?

    And you can only "whistleblow" safely provided that it is done in good faith!

    What does this mean?

    This is a policy at the moronic end of the safeguarding spectrum - not spotted by the ISI yet. They probably mistook the fire drill "everybody out!" for safeguarding when they pronounced their opinion of safeguarding policy in the oafish report of November 09.

  3. 12:17

    I discussed the defrocking of Pearce with the safeguarding officer of another diocese and was told that laicization is a long process. If Pearce chooses to oppose defrocking then it could take a number of years to be rid of him. It is entirely conceivable that he could still be a priest when he leaves prison in 2012.

    As far as the business of ceremonies is concerned, I just don't know. I would imagine that there would be some sort of ritual, I feel sure that it would take place behind closed doors and I very much doubt that Pearce's attendance would be required.


  4. There is no ritual when a priest is dismissed. Either he applies for voluntary laicisation which usually takes a few months or there is a judicial process which can take several more months. It is highly unlikely that he will still be a priest on his release from prison. Contested dismissals used to take years but this is no longer the case.

    Patsy McC

  5. So the police have made two arrests of current or former St Benedict's staff, and there seems to be a third person they wish to arrest.

    Does anyone have any idea of the identity of these people?

  6. Part1.

    • Heads of independent schools and their boards are presented with a conflict of interest when considering reporting allegations of abuse or actual abuse. Do they want to report a potential scandal the LADO, police or social services that will damage the “reputation” of the school and therefore the balance sheet and the waiting list of pupils, when the law says they have no need to report?
    Unfortunately this is how boards think because they are mostly ignorant of paedophilia. In the absence of knowledge they then make the fatal error of applying ‘logic’ to the subject. It is a disaster if an incident of alleged abuse is not reported to the LADO because there is often more than one paedophile operating on a site quite unknown to the school’s board. St Benedict’s is a typical example. Paedophiles operate more effectively and efficiently in a school when there is more than one. When a paedophile sees a concealed departure of a fellow perpetrator who has been caught he knows that should he be caught the same will happen. This prompts him to stay and encourage others who share his interest in children to apply for the vacancy that will be created. You see they now know they are all guaranteed concealed departures should they be caught. This happens either as a result of the precedent that the school has established or ‘blackmail.’ The abuser who remains has huge negotiating power to guarantee his departure on the same or most probably even better terms.

    • There is no statutory obligation to report child abuse to the LADO, police or social services.

    • There is no sanction on any school for failing to report despite the empty threat of the Independent Schools Registration team at the DfE to potentially deregister a school.

    • A Head wanting to report abuse, and a chairman of the board of governors refusing can only be resolved with the Head being “let go” by the board, or the Head becoming complicit in the concealment.

    • Parents can’t get rid of useless Governors – dream on if you think otherwise. It’s a bomb proof cabal as you can read in the ISI follow up report for St Benedict’s.

    • Parents have very few rights as any reading of a school terms and conditions will make clear. Parents who agitate about child protection are often encouraged to ‘find another school’ for their child. It is a subject that terrifies school administrations.

    • School whistleblowers receive no protection of support from the statutory framework.

    • School safeguarding training is provided hundreds of unregulated suppliers.

    • Some training providers design “whole school” training to meet ‘DfE guidance’ just to enable the school to “tick a box” for less than a cost of a Margherita Pizza @ Pizza Express which for those of you who did not pay the bill last time is £6.25 (per delegate).

  7. Part2.

    • The creation of safeguarding policies by schools is an à la carte process from the mix and match ingredients provided by the DfE. It is not possible or practical for Inspectorates to inspect these bespoke and often useless policies, which is why the ISI failed so miserably in November 09 and again in April and May 2010.

    • Safeguarding in schools is not working because the DfE has not got a grip on the subject and has little understanding of independent schools and the lengths to which they will go to conceal abuse. The educational inspectorates arrive and are meant to inspect these safety critical matters but are wholly ill-equipped to do so because they do not have the requisite training and knowledge of social care issues and law. In short they are the right people for education, but absolutely the wrong people for safeguarding and welfare. The DfE is the body that permits this dangerous situation to continue.

    The government is of course making more academies which are not controlled by the LA. Academies are to be independently managed but publically funded. They are independent of external control.

    All maintained schools are now run by their executive team and the appointed governors. They are funded by the LA and are finally controlled by the LA, but LEA’s have been emaciated to a “consultancy” role and one of school banker and absent employer. There is little LA input into how schools are run. The success of a school is down to the management team with Heads often able to earn significant bonuses based on the success of the school. Maintained schools have for the last ten years had the operating template of independent schools.

    Child protection in education is failing.

  8. Well the persistent poster and his alter egos (troll) who questioned nothing and believed everything "St Benedict's" had to say on any subject whilst spewing bile at West, repeatedly claimed an empty pot was being stirred.

    Was it?

    Following the police announcement of last week's arrests and continuing inquiries at St Benedict's school and the Trust of which it is a part, he seems to have finally lost his voice.


  9. On the subject of the laicisation of Pearce, Ealing Abbey claims that the process has begun. The Times reported the following information on April 13, 2010:

    >>Ealing Abbey said it had started moves to have Pearce removed from the priesthood, but the case will not be “fast-tracked” as the priest is in jail so is not currently a risk to the public.<<

    I don't have a Times subscription but access to this online article is free.

  10. It's interesting what the Times article says:

    "Ealing Abbey said it had started moves to have Pearce removed from the priesthood, but the case will not be “fast-tracked” as the priest is in jail so is not currently a risk to the public."

    Let’s assume that Sean O'Neill correctly reported what he was told, he has proven very reliable so far, the very strong suggestion being made by the Abbey’s statement is that the middle management of the Catholic Church is unenthusiastic about ridding itself of convicted paedophiles. This of course follows the lead provided by the Catholic Church’s senior management. It is entirely in keeping – Shipperlee might even get a gold star for 'towing the line.'

    Perhaps, as there is no rush, the Benedictines in W5 hope everyone will have forgotten about Pearce come the time of his release, permitting him to be reintroduced to their closed community. Nothing would surprise me.

  11. The few cases of laicisation I found information about online concerned priests who'd gone against the orders of the Vatican in some way - an example is Father Vlasic of Međugorje [].

    And that's all the Vatican seems to care about; everyone obeying it's orders. Not morality. Not justice. Not caring for the little ones in it's [i]care[/i].

    And as we know, one of it's orders is the now infamous decree published during Vatican II which stated categorically that cases of sexual abuse by priests must be dealt with secretly and privately and that no one - not even the victim - was permitted to speak openly about the abuse, by penalty of excommunication.

    It's clear what matters to the Vatican in all of this. [i]Image is everything, who cares what's really going on.[/i] I doubt even Saachi could restore their image now.

  12. In case anyone isn't aware of the aforementioned Vatican II decree, here is a link to the CBS news story that covered it: