Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Carlile Report delayed as predicted

As I predicted last month, publication of the Carlile report is being delayed. And the reason I stated is the one which has in fact been given.

The school has put a notice up on its website. The reason given for the delay is the need to avoid disrupting the forthcoming trial of Father David Pearce and John Maestri, on three charges each of indecent assault against a boy.

Let's get some dates sorted here. The trial of Pearce and Maestri is scheduled to start on 4th July and last for 4 days. If a conviction is obtained, there will almost certainly be an adjournment for sentencing, that is normally about 6 weeks. So sentencing would be sometime in mid-August.

But Pearce and Maestri aren't the only former priests and teachers against whom prosecutions might occur. Abbot Lawrence Soper was required to return to the UK and answer police questions.

And in the ISI Supplementary report on St. Benedict's, there is the the following item
(i) Legal action has been initiated in connection with a previous member of the religious community
I still don't yet know who that is. It isn't Pearce, Hobbs, Chillman or Soper, it is somebody else. And I don't know where the legal action has got to, but if it is or becomes a criminal prosecution, that's another trial that may occur.

So there are potentially a number of overlapping prosecutions that may yet happen. If a pending prosecution is a justification for delaying the report, it may be delayed for a lot longer than is currently anticipated.

But even with a publication date during the summer holidays, there is zero chance of any of Lord Carlile's recommendations being implemented before the end of this academic year. So for instance we are likely to have the current travesty of a child protection policy remaining in force for some time yet.

Remember, at the Safeguarding meeting held last September, Cleugh and Shipperlee seemed to try to express two mutually contradictory positions. First they claimed that all the abuse was "historical" and that there was no risk to current pupils. And at the same time they were claiming that the matter was so serious that it required that they get a Lord and a QC to come and make an inquiry about it.

And since then there has been a deafening silence on what improvements they consider might be needed in terms of their safeguarding policies and procedures. And now the Carlile report is delayed pending the Pearce and Maestri trial. There is nothing in the headmasters' letter which suggests any kind of interim publication which would enable the school to get on with taking measures to improve things.

There just doesn't seem to be any great urgency to do anything.

So if you are wondering whether to keep your child there next year (or even to start sending your child there in September), you can't count on any improvements having been made by the time the autumn term starts. You will be sending your children to a school where where there is a history of child abuse and where the current child protection policy is inadequate.

Parents, are you satisfied with this state of affairs? If you aren't, you need to get together and start deciding to do something about it. The school isn't going to help you. The ISI feels it has done its job in issuing the report and it thinks it is the DfE's job to insist on remedial action. And the DfE appears to be intensively engaged in looking the other way as hard as it can. You're on your own.


  1. It is clear to the casual observer that this institution is not going to make the vital improvements required without being 'encouraged.'

    No improvements still to the currently useless child protection policy that fails to adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ealing Safeguarding Children's Board at Clause 15.2.1 have been made. It would take five minutes, but nothing and as a result your children are at risk.

    Here is the very point that most parents don't know.

    Although the school ignores clause 15.2.1. of the Ealing SCB guidelines there is no one, DfE, ISI, Local Authority, ISA that can or will do a damn thing about it.


    Because the liberal leaning civil servants who "control" safeguarding in England (Laming was a liberal leaning former teacher - as his recommendations demonstrate) have ensured that nothing is compulsory by creating sham "legislation" that is only "statutory guidance." At the core of child protection in education in England there is only a “professional expectation" that teachers will report child abuse. Nothing more – and if a teacher fails to report there could be a sanction, but this is for the GTC to decide and it is in the process of closure by the Coalition.

    Unless there is clear written undertaking to report all incidents of abuse to the LADO (15.2.1.) contained in the Safeguarding policy - you've got nothing.

    But then parents sit back and say - "well it will never happen to mine."

    You are right - that is until the phone rings and you suddenly discover it does. It is only then you will find out how little protection your child has at the school to which you pay such high fees. You will then understand how foolish you have been.

  2. 08:33, indeed, but the ones for whom "...the phone rings and ... suddenly discover..." are, actually less unlucky than others. They get the chance to help and treat the damage.

    Pity those who never know, who never get a "phone call", but just watch in uncomprehending dismay as their child grows into an increasingly fucked up young adult, then disappears completely into a dysfunctional adulthood, always wondering why little Johnny was so much more "difficult" than other people....

  3. I could not agree more 10.23 - I was one of the latter.

  4. When will parents wake-up? Their children are at risk and yet they feel the warmth of the Abbey will shield them from any wrongs.
    Most of the paedophiles at St Benedicts have been priests, but they are not alone. With a paedophile ring going back 60 years at the school, do not kid yourself into thinking that there is no possibility teachers are also involved. It is distinctly possible.

  5. Ah - now you are exposing an important an unseen truth to child abuse.


    Have parents carefully read the current child protection policy?

    It is doubtful that many have, else they would not be silent on this appalling document or would they? Is there a fear among parents of daring to raise this sensitive subject with the school's administration and if so why?