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.


  1. You are absolutely right Jonathan, it is time to clear out all the dead wood.

    Shipperlee, Rossiter, Cleugh and Simmons must go.

  2. Anti Catholic? I think you will find that the majority of abuse victims at St Ben's are Catholic and are merely questioning their faith following sexual abuse by adults who are supposed to promote and purvey Catholic values.