Friday, 24 June 2011

Recommendation 8

This is the last of the recommendations I made to Lord Carlile. It concerns the governance of the Trust running the monastery, parish and Abbey.
The constitution of the Trust running the Abbey, monastery and parish shall also be changed, so that the trustees are not exclusively drawn from one class of beneficiaries of the Trust (i.e. the monks). A place on the Board of Trustees shall be reserved for the Archbishop of Westminster or his nominee, with specific responsibility for overseeing the pastoral and parish duties of the priests. The nominee shall not be one of the monks.
It is bad practice in charitable governance for the trustees of a charity to be drawn exclusively from a single class of beneficiary of the charity. But that is the situation we have here, the monks are all beneficiaries of the Trust, and they are the only group from which trustees are drawn.

The danger is obvious. Without any conscious intention, still less any evil motivation, if the trustees are all from one category of beneficiary, then there will be a tendency to regard the interests of that category of beneficiary (and therefore of the Trustees themselves) as paramount in the decisions concerning the trust's governance.

An example is the use of charitable funds to pay for the Father David Pearce's defence in the civil action brought by C against Pearce and the abbey. The Charity Commission in their report of the two Statutiry Inquiries they conducted clearly felt that, while not quite a misuse of charitable funds, it was really stretching the valid use pretty far, and that they felt they ought to have been consulted before the decision was made.

Even if it were decided that the charitable trusts for the Abbey and the school needn't be split, there is still the need for a wider range of trustees so that all the charitable objectives of the trust can get appropriate degrees of attention and resources.

So, those are my recommendations. I hope that you consider them appropriately modest. I'm not calling for the dismantling of the Catholic Church. I'm not calling for the monks to be kicked out of the monastery. I'm not calling for the school to be handed over to the Richard Dawkins Foundation to be run as an atheist academy. I'm merely looking for safeguarding to be made a priority both in procedures and culture, for fairly modest changes of governance that will bring wider experience to the management of the school and parish without destroying the Catholic nature of either. While some of the proposals have been quite specific, I have explained the reasoning behind them, and would be perfectly content with some other arrangement that succeeds in achieving the same overall ends.

Once I'm satisfied that the policies and procedures of the school are such that abusers will be detected quickly and properly reported, so that abuse cannot again become part of the culture of the school, I will be gone. I have lots of other things I want to do with my life apart from writing about St. Benedict's School.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

You just can't tell

Just remember, you can't spot a paedophile at sight. This what Alastair Rolfe said about this towards the end of Chosen.
The successful paedophiles are the ones that aren’t discovered of course and there are plenty of them around. They are people who have all the social graces that you might expect in someone of normal behaviour. They’re charming, they have good conversation, they’re caring, they’re intelligent, they’re interested, they’re committed to what they’re doing, they earn respect, they appear like any other member of society quite frankly and you just can’t tell. Sorry but you can’t tell.
The London Child Protection Procedures say essentially the same thing, though they put it in dryer and more dispassionate language.
Sex offenders have no common profile, and it is important for professionals to avoid attaching any significance to stereotypes around their background or behaviour. While media interest often focuses on ‘stranger danger’, research indicates that as much as 80 per cent of sexual offending occurs in the context of a known relationship, either family, acquaintance or colleague.
In this context, the local teacher or priest counts as a "known relationship". What both statements mean in essence that you cannot treat anybody as being above suspicion. The case of Fr Kit Cunningham shows that even people who fondly believed themselves to be sophisticated and able to spot an abuser were completely taken in.

It is clearly impossible to go round assuming that everybody is about to molest you. That isn't what I mean when I say that nobody can be above suspicion.What I mean is that if there is a report or allegation, it has to be properly investigated to see if it has any substance. You can't discount an allegation because you think "XYZ is a splendid fellow, he would never do a thing like that.", because no matter how splendid a fellow he appears to you, that could all be a front. You aren't in a position to know.

So if abusers are to be caught quickly before they can do significant harm, all allegations have to be reported so they can be investigated. Who does the investigating is also of critical importance. The investigator has to be somebody who doesn't know the alleged perpetrator, and so doesn't have preconceptions as to the sort of person he is. And the investigator has to have training and experience in the subject so that he or she doesn't miss important clues, and know what sorts of preconceptions might lead an investigation astray.

In the UK, this is why all allegations of abuses by adults in a school should be automatically reported to the LADO, the Local Authority Designated Officer for Child Protection. Part of the Children's Services in the local authority, the LADO has the necessary training to conduct child abuse investigations properly. Also the LADO has no commercial interest in the outcome of the investigation, no benefit if it turns out that the allegations are unfounded.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Review of "Abused: Breaking The Silence"

Since the programme was shown on BBC1 last night, there have been various reviews of Abused: Breaking The Silence.

Most have concentrated on the horror of the events described in the programme. Some have also commented on the disgraceful behaviour of the Rosminian order, including their president Fr David Myers, in covering up the abuse.

But what struck me most strongly were the clear parallels between the abuses by the Rosminians at Grace Dieu and Soni, and the abuses by Benedictines at St. Benedict's School Ealing.

In both cases, the monks instituted a climate of fear, with regular beatings and other severe physical punishments.

In both cases, it seems that the priests sometimes derived sexual pleasure from administering those beatings.

In both cases, there was sexual abuse of young boys.

In both cases, boys were warned on threat of hellfire and damnation not to tell anyone about it.

In both cases, monks enjoyed watching boys naked in the showers.

In both cases, some boys did try to tell their parents about sexual abuse they had suffered, and some of them were not believed.

In both cases, when parents complained, only the most minimal changes were made. In the case of the Rosminians, it was to move a priest from Grace Dieu school to the boarding school in Soni, Tanzania, where he carried on abusing as before. In the case of the Benedictines, it was to move a priest from being Junior School Headmaster to being Bursar, while allowing him still to supervise the Cadet Corps where he could carry on abusing as before.

In both cases, where victims complained, the order denied liability and contested claims for compensation.

Last night's programme could have been about St. Benedict's, and although details of the narrative would have been different, the accounts of the abuse suffered by the victims would have been almost exactly the same.

Two schools. Two different religious orders involved. Very similar stories.

Let nobody call this a case of a few bad priests acting against the orders of the church. The Catholic Herald (not a paper particularly noted for negative stories about the Catholic Church) has nearly 60 articles tagged "clerical abuse crisis", describing cases of sexual abuse from UK, Tanzania, Canada, Kenya, USA, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Germany and probably a few other places that I have missed.

It is time to realise that this is, if not normal behaviour by priests, at least distressingly common.

It is not a problem of just the way some seminary or other has trained its priests, it is worldwide.

It is not a problem of sexual licence introduced to the world in the 1960s, it has been going on much longer than that.

It is not a problem of a few rotten apples, it is too widespread for that.

It is not a problem of homosexuality, some abusers (Fr Kit Cunningham himself for instance) are heterosexual.

It is not a problem of liberalism, abuse was going on before Vatican II and the introduction of Mass in the vernacular.

It is not a problem of celibacy. Fr Kit Cunningham himself was in a very close and loving relationship with his housekeeper, and outside the church there are abusers who are married or in a regular sexual relationship.

So put aside all the traditional explaining-away accounts of the abuse crisis. They won't wash any more, not now we know about Fr Kit Cunningham.

Of course, this individual example of the problem as shown on BBC1 is going to have to be resolved in a way that offers some degree of justice and healing to the victims. It is tragic and scandalous that Fr Myers and the Rosminians are digging their heels in against this.

But the wider causes of the problem must also be addressed, and real effort put into introducing proper child protection measures everywhere in the church, and more importantly, establishing a culture of awareness and zero tolerance of abuse.

No more saying "Oh, but Fr Kit was a wonderful priest who brought lots of people to the faith", as if that excuses his actions. It doesn't.

No more saying "Fr XYZ would never do such a thing" and so failing to pass on a report or allegation of abuse. We know that priests - even very prominent priests - can do such a thing.

No more of the attitude that equates reporting abuse with an attack on the priesthood or on the church itself, unless you want the church to be in a position where it institutionalises the defence and protection of paedophiles and sexual abusers.

That such a prominent priest as Fr Kit Cunningham, who knew everybody who was anybody in London Catholic circles, should have been revealed to be an abuser will be making a lot of people feel awfully foolish and betrayed today. Let this be a wake-up call. Abuse isn't something that only affects other people and places. Nobody can be treated as being above suspicion, and robust protection measures are needed to ensure that any abuse that happens near you is detected quickly and stopped immediately. That is happening in some places, but not nearly enough.

Two of the places where is isn't happening are St. Benedict's School, and St. Augustine's Priory School.

Recommendation 7

The next point I addressed in my recommendations to Lord Carlile concerned governance of the school.
There must be changes in the governance of the school and Trust. A separate charitable trust shall be set up to manage the school. The school’s board of governors shall be given executive authority, and shall be recruited from a wider range than is current for the Board of Advisers. At least two seats on the Board of Governors shall be reserved for parents of pupils at the school. Each parent governor shall be elected by parents for a two-year term, with an election held each year for one parent governor. One seat on the Board of Governors shall be reserved for the Archbishop of Westminster or his nominee. No monk or priest of Ealing Abbey shall have a place on the Board of Governors. It is not intended that these changes will remove the Catholic emphasis of the school, but will remove responsibility for the school from the Abbot and Trustees.
Basically, the key point is that the monks can no longer run the school. Running a modern school takes a wider range of knowledge, background and experience than the monks can muster. There has to be a break. By all means maintain a link of some sort, by all means have monks visiting the school, or even teaching in it if they are qualified to do. But the governors must be drawn from a wider pool of talent.

So there has to be a formal separation between the School and the Abbey. that means separate charitable trusts for each, and some suitable division of the trust's reserves.

The Board of Advisers needs to be converted into a proper board of governors, and given the authority to make decisions for the school, and the governors need to be drawn from a wider range of people than just ex-pupils. Parents need to be governors. The Archbishop's nominee is intended to help maintain the overall Catholic nature of the school.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Recommendation 6

My next recommendation to Lord Carlile was concerned with the management of the school and abbey.
The Abbot, the Prior, and the headmasters of the Senior School and Junior School shall resign from all positions of responsibility with regard to the school and the Trust. Replacements for the two headmasters must be recruited from outside the school so that there is a clean break from the old management.
At the time I provided this recommendation to Lord Carlile, Father Francis Rossiter was still Prior. As I understand it he has now retired and his place as Prior has been taken by Father Dominic Taylor. But according to the Trust website Rossiter is still a Trustee, and it is necessary that he resign from that post. I know nothing about Father Dominic, so I have no reason to require his removal.

But the others will have to go. The place needs a good clean-out and the best way of achieving that is for there to be a new broom. No new policy can be successfully implemented while the old management is hanging round clinging to the idea that the old policies were adequate. Both Cleugh and Shipperlee have been obstructive. Cleugh even went to the trouble of using his prizegiving speech to claim that the problems are all down to anti-catholic plots!

And Simmons will also have to go. He stood alongside Cleugh and Shipperlee at the Safeguarding meeting last September, and remained silent while the others produced statements which he must have known were untrue. Had he come forward and said words to the effect "Some of the things which Father Abbot and Mr Cleugh have told you are not entirely accurate" and gone on to describe what,.he would have been unsackable. But he didn't do that, either then or later. Instead, he chose to put loyalty to his employers above his duty of care to the pupils, and so he has to go. I realise that he is well liked by many parents, but that is no use if he's not actually able to ensure that policies are in place for the safety of the children he is responsible for.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Recommendation 5

The next part of what I suggest be done at St. Benedict's concerns greater openness towards parents.
There shall be more encouragement given to the involvement of parents in the life of the school. Parents should be welcome on the premises at any time, for instance to observe lessons or to assist with extracurricular activities. Safe recruitment practices shall always be followed with respect to any parent who volunteers for activities which involve the supervision of children at the school. This will include induction training in safeguarding and the parent’s role in this.
There are actually two aspects to this. First is encouraging parents to enter more into the life of the school. This has an advantage in terms of safeguarding in that it is more eyes and ears available to notice anything amiss, quite apart from any other advantages this may have.

The second part of the recommendation is that if a parents volunteers for some activity that involves supervising pupils, rather than acting as an observer, such as Scouts, cadets, mountain-walking trips or some other activity, then the same rules on getting them CRB checked need to apply as for the staff.

If the parents wish to ensure that the school is safe, then they can reasonably expect that all staff shall be thoroughly checked, without exception. It is also reasonable for parents to expect that volunteers will also be similarly checked, and so should have no issue with being checked if they themselves volunteer. They key to keeping known dangers away from children is no exceptions to these checks.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Abused: Breaking The Silence

There is an article on the Guardian website today: He was my priest and my friend. Then I found out he was a paedophile.

In it, Peter Stanford talks about the late Father Kit Cunningham, whose obituary Stanford wrote for the Guardian earlier this year.

Cunningham was a close friend of Stanford for 20 years. He had presided over his wedding, had baptised his son. And Stanford had no idea that Cunningham was a paedophile, until he started to receive correspondence from victims after publication of the obituary. And the shocking truth of the other side of Cunningham's life gradually emerged. On Tuesday night BBC1 will be showing Abused: Breaking the Silence. It is about St Michael's boarding school, Soni, in the 1960s in what was then Tanganyika, now Tanzania. Four of the priests who taught there, all members of the Rosminian order, and including Fr Kit Cunningham, perpetrated frequent physical and sexual abuse there.

Stanford goes on to discuss the implications for catholic parents today.

There is a running debate that takes place at the gates of my children's Catholic primary school. "What are we doing?" parents ask each other, "sending our children to a school run by the Catholic church when we are reading about the abuse in its schools elsewhere that it has covered up?"

The ready answer – and I have been as ready as anyone else to utter it – is that most allegations concern episodes several decades ago, our school is a warm, loving, nurturing place, governed by extremely strict rules of conduct (I am the safeguarding governor) and that, more broadly, Catholicism in Britain has set up a system to ensure no abuser will ever again use the church to prey on children.

Then I found out about Father Kit and it has shaken me out of my complacency and shaken my faith – shaken it because here is a religious order still reluctant to own up to the damage its members have done. The Rosminians appear, to this Catholic at least, to be placing defending the institution – ie their order, its good name and its properties – above a heartfelt acceptance of the catalogue of depression, broken marriages and suicide attempts recounted by victims in the documentary.
There is an important aspect to this which may not even have occurred to Stanford himself. He is the safeguardung governor at his school, and yet he was close friends for 20 years with an abusive priest, and yet he had no idea. Is it just possible that he had placed Cunningham beyond suspicion? Is it possible that he has placed others above suspicion and as a result might have failed to detect abuse at his children's school?

I'm sure that if he did, he now realises better, every word of the article shows how much Stanford realises he was deceived.

I am again reminded very much of Alastair Rolfe's statement towards the end of Chosen.
The successful paedophiles are the ones that aren’t discovered of course and there are plenty of them around. They are people who have all the social graces that you might expect in someone of normal behaviour. They’re charming, they have good conversation, they’re caring, they’re intelligent, they’re interested, they’re committed to what they’re doing, they earn respect, they appear like any other member of society quite frankly and you just can’t tell. Sorry but you can’t tell.
In the unlikely event that Peter Stanford reads this, take some comfort in the fact that you are not the only one to have been deceived. The clever career paedophiles go to great lengths to burnish their outward appearance of respectability. It is the clever ones who are good enough at it to deflect suspicion from themselves, and who have the opportunity to do the most damage as a result. Stanford goes on to say:
If he kept his "dark side" so well hidden, if the church authorities allowed him to keep it so well hidden that even the Queen awarded him an MBE, what of all the other priests I admire for their work with the poor and marginalised? Who can I trust now when my children go into the sacristy to be altar-servers? And if I am struggling to trust priests, what on earth am I doing in the church at all?

Such questions might nag away slightly less insistently if I thought the Catholic authorities were genuinely trying to understand the root causes of this scandal. But this month the quasi-official Catholic Truth Society published a booklet on clerical sex-abuse that blames it on the "permissive society" of the 1960s. So while everyone else took sexual liberation to mean you didn't have to wait until you were married, priests took it as licence to abuse children?
Of course, the "Woodstock defence" (as it has come to be known) is rubbish. Abuse was happening in the Catholic Church before the 1960s. It seems that there are still important elements of the Catholic Church which still seek to place the blame anywhere other than the church's own institutional shortcomings.

Paedophiles will be paedophiles. We cannot prevent that on current knowledge. All we can do is limit as far as possible the number of victims they are able to damage. The scandal of the Catholic Church is that it failed to do that for many, many years, and has been terribly slow to learn from its mistakes as they have gradually come to light.

Abused: Breaking The Silence is on BBC1 on Tuesday 21 June, at 10.35pm.

Recommendation 4

The next thing that is important is to establish an atmosphere where abuse is no longer a taboo subject. So here is the next recommendation.
The school shall, as part of the information pack provided to new parents, emphasise the importance of having parents explain to their children about inappropriate touching, and how if children are touched in a way that makes them uncomfortable by adults at the school or elsewhere, they should tell their parents about it immediately.
The key to preventing abusers from doing much harm is to ensure that their activities are reported as early as possibly by their victims. Remember that an abuser will be trying his hardest to ensure that everything remains a secret and that the child tells nobody. This is made far more difficult and risky for an abuser if the child has already been told by his or her parents about what to do. For some abusers, it might deter them from trying it on at school at all. For those who do the chances are far higher that they will be found out quickly.

And this is the key point. Paedophiles will inevitably be attracted to occupations that involve supervising children. Priests and teachers are two such occupations. We have no means of reliably identifying a potential abuse before he has actually committed any abuse, our psychological tests are so inexact as to be essentially useless, they will wrongly highlight far more perfectly safe adults than they will finger those who are a true danger.

So what must be done is to minimise the number of victims paedophiles have access to. And that in turn means lots of vigilance with nobody being regarded as above suspicion, and an atmosphere of openness where the children feel able to tell people if something happens that they are uncomfortable with. Only by this method can abusers be found earloy and removed immediately from contact with more victims.

The scandal of the catholic Church, in Ireland, in the US and elsewhere, is that the church's policies were the exact opposite of this, and that they could hardly have been better designed to ensure the maximum degree of harm to to largest possible number of victims had that been their intended purpose. Of course, it wasn't the purpose of the church's procedures, merely the effect of them.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Recommendation 3

The next recommendation I provided to Lord Carlile concerned the fact that the Trust of St. Benedict's runs the monastery, the Abbey and the parish in addition to St. Benedict's School. Since all are under the same management, there is a need for the culture of all of them to be chganged to that safety of children is a top priority. So they need the external help just as much as the school.
External consultants shall be engaged to review the child protection policies and procedures of the Abbey and parish. The consultants shall ensure that the child protection policies are made a model of excellence, and that they are consistently and safely applied. The consultants shall produce reports twice a year for two years describing progress and outstanding actions. These reports shall be published in their entirely on the Abbey website.
And I don't mean CSAS. External means not only external to the  Abbey but also extrernal to the catholic Church. If the CSAS approach was going to be sufficient, all the Abbey's problems would have disappeared long ago.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Recommendations for St. Benedict's

Since Lord Carlile won't be publishing his report into St Benedict's at least until after the trial of Pearce and Maestri next month, I'm going to carry on with publishing the recommendations I suggested he should include in his report. My first recommendation concerned the need to rewrite the current child protection policy from scratch, so that it implements best practice.

My next recommendation is based on the observation that the school seems not to have a culture of good safeguarding. Following the ISI supplementary inspections, the school made three attempts at updating its child protection policy, once in May 2010, and twice in September 2010. None of them was the kind of root-and-branch review that should have been implemented in the light of the terrible stories of past abuse that have come to light.

Changing an organisation's culture is very hard work. It takes sustained and determined effort. I doubt that the present management knows how to go about making those changes, because they are part of the culture. Therefore outside help is needed. So here is my second recommendation.
The Trust shall obtain consulting services from an outside organisation with expertise in safeguarding law and good safeguarding practice specifically in the context of independent schools.

The consulting services should include the following activities:
  1. Refining the Child Protection Policy for the school so that it is an example of excellence in safeguarding.
  2. Training all staff, particularly those staff who have specific safeguarding responsibilities, to ensure that they fully understand those responsibilities and the best way of fulfilling them.
  3. Ensuring that sexual abuse and other forms of abuse are addressed in an age-appropriate way in the PSHCE curriculum at all levels within the school.
  4. For a period of two years, provide a regular review of safeguarding actions to ensure that staff are properly implementing the new child protection policy. This should include (at the discretion of the consulting organisation) announced and/or unannounced inspections of the records of the safeguarding activities at the school.
  5. For the same period, publish a report twice a year describing progress in safeguarding at the school and any action items which have been given to the school to implement. These reports shall  be placed in their entirely on the school website and copies shall be provided to all parents.
  6. For the same period, provide a mentoring service to staff with regard to their safeguarding responsibilities, and to provide training as required for new staff or refresher and/or supplementary training for existing staff who have been given additional safeguarding responsibilities.
  7. For a further five years, conduct an annual inspection of safeguarding activities, and  publish a report which will similarly be placed on the school website and distributed to parents.
The aim here is first of all to make use of the expertise of an outside agency, and second, to ensure that there is no backsliding from the needed improvements. Changes to the written procedures are necessary but not sufficient. The written procedures are worthless if they aren't followed. So staff training to instil new and better habits is also needed. That deals with items 1 and 2 on the list.

Awareness on the part of children and parents is also needed, so the issue has to become part of the curriculum as described in point 3. Abuse must not be a taboo subject which isn't spoken about. Abusers depend on that kind of climate of silence.

The arrangements I've described for regular checking and reporting in points 4 and 5 are part of rebuilding of trust with the parents. Let me draw a parallel here with the world of science. Science achieves its results in part because scientists know they have to be honest, because their experimental results are checked by others, and mistakes or fraud will be found out eventually. Science as a whole is largely trustworthy because there is an institutionalised and mutually accepted mistrust of individual scientists. So my proposal for reporting is designed to echo this principle of accepted mistrust, by giving the parents the confidence that somebody from outside the school is keeping an eye on things and would say if old habits were recurring. By accepting that management alone cannot be trusted for the time being and is willing to subject itself to ongoing outside scrutiny, they would in essence be saying that parents can trust the outside scrutiny until the internal procedures have shown their worth.

The mentoring in point 6 is there to provide support to staff, to help them ensure that they are able to withstand any residual pressures to return to old bad habits.

Once new habits have been instilled, the checking and reporting can go on at a lower level of intensity, just as a guard against backsliding. Point 7 is designed to provide that lower level of ongoing review for a few years.

As for who that outside organisation should be, the most obvious name that comes to mind is the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. But there may be other organisations also able to help. I'm not particular about which organisation is used, so long as they have the relevant expertise to help the school into good safeguarding habits and rebuild trust with parents.

The cultural inertia of an organisation takes a lot of shifting. The problem of abuse at St. Benedict's has been going on and been swept under the carpet for decades. It will take more than a few platitudes to change things, it will take sustained effort over years from all involved at the school, and will need outside help.

The real work is only just beginning.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Father Gregory Chillman

I've had a most interesting exchange of correspondence with Peter Turner, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for the RC Diocese of Westminster, concerning Father Gregory Chillman. Although he was not named in the ISI Supplementary Report on St. Benedict's (they generally do not name individuals), the following passage from the report clearly refers to him.
A monk who had taught in the school a long time ago has recently come under investigation by social services. At the time of the follow-up visits he was living in the monastery under a restrictive covenant barring him from contact with children.
I asked Mr Turner a set of questions questions about Chillman, to whch he was kind enough to offer replies.

1. On what date did he resign as a Trustee?
A. Fr Gregory resigned as a trustee of Ealing Abbey on 29 May 2010 (I later learned that this was an error, it was 29th March 2010.)

2. Did St Benedict's make a Referral to the Independent Safeguarding Authority within a month of his resignation?
A. No, because it was unnecessary he ceased to be a trustee because he was no longer on the Abbot’s Council.

3. If not, was a Referral subsequently made, once the issue had been raised by the ISI?
A. A referral was made to the ISA in October 2010.

4. On what date and for what reason did he resign as Chaplain of St. Augustine's Priory School?
A. Due to age & ill health he resigned on 3 October 2010.

5. On what date and for what reason did he resign as Chairman of Governors of St. Augustine's Priory School?
A. As (4) above.

6. In the last 5 years has he been a governor of any other schools? If he is still a governor, please list the schools of which he is a governor. For any where he has resigned as a governor within the last 5 years, please give the school, the date and the reason.
A. Fr Gregory was a governor of the Gunnersbury School, but gave up that role some time ago.

7. What are the terms of the restrictive covenant referred to in the ISI report?
A. Fr Gregory has no public ministry.

8. Is the restrictive covenant mentioned in the ISI report still in force on the same terms?
A. Yes

9. If the restrictive covenant has been modified or cancelled, please indicate the date on which this occurred, and the reasons for the change.
A. N/A. 

10. Is Father Gregory Chillman still resident at Ealing Abbey?
A. Yes

This was very interesting to me, because it is at odds with information that has previously been provided by St. Benedict's. At the safeguarding meeting with parents last September, I understand that although Chillman wasn't mentioned by name, this bit of the ISI report was raised, and the Abbot and Headmaster assured parents that "almost all" the restrictions had been lifted. The implication seems to have been that there was in investigation, the allegations were without foundation, and therefore almost all the restrictions have been lifted. But according to the information from Peter Turner, this is not true. The restrictions on Father Gregory Chillman remain in force on the same terms that applied at the time of the ISI inspection in April 2010.

The ISI Supplementary Report on St. Benedict's included the following as Recommendation 1.
1. Ensure that any staff or members of the religious community live away from the school, if they are subject to allegations of misconduct related to safeguarding or convicted of wrongdoing.
After a good deal of kicking and screaming, and extensive correspondence with the ISI and the DfE, this recommendation was eventually carried out with respect to Father Stanislaus Hobbs, who no longer lives at Ealing Abbey. But it hasn't been carried out with respect to Father Gregory Chillman, who remains at Ealing Abbey living under restricted covenant. The ISI criticised the use of restrictive covenants, since they had already failed to prevent abuse occurring at Ealing Abbey.

And then there is the issue of St. Augustine's School. Father Gregory Chillman remained chaplain and Chairman of Governors of St. Augustine's School for several months after he was placed on restricted covenant and denied any public ministry.

Did the trustees of St. Augustine's (including the Bishop of Arundel & Brighton) know that their chairman of governors had been put on restricted ministry?

If they didn't know, then Chillman himself was almost certainly breaching the terms of his restrictive covenant by remaining in the post. And I find it inconceivable that Abbot Martin Shipperlee didn't know about Chillman's role at St. Augustine's, and so he should have informed the St. Augustine's Trustees himself, and ought to have required Chillman's resignation.

If the St. Augustine's Trustees did know about Chillman's restrictive covenant and did nothing for several months, then they chose to retain the services of Chillman as chaplain and Chairman of Governors when they knew he had been placed on restricted covenant and barred from access to children. Negligence towards the safety of the pupils seems about the kindest interpretation that could be put on this.

The ISI inspected St. Augustine's in March 2010, with a follow-up visit in May. This overlaps with the supplementary inspection visits to St. Benedict's which took place on 30th April and 17th May. The ISI were definitely aware of the connection between the schools through Father Gregory Chillman, because I told them. It is inconceivable that the ISI, in the course of their inspection visits and subsequent correspondence, made no mention to St. Augustine's of Chillman's restrictive covenant and his unsuitability for the role. And yet he remained in place.