I have no doubt that the financial figures are all justified, having been through the auditors and all. But other aspects of the report are thoroughly dishonest, although the lies are mainly lies of omission.
Lets start with the list of Trustees on page 1.
Rt Revd Martin Shipperlee OSB – ChairmanNowhere in the report is it mentioned why Revd Gregory Chillman OSB resigned as trustee - i.e. that he had been placed on restricted covenant, and barred from public ministry and from access to children. I would regard that as a significant lie by omission.
Rt Revd Francis Rossiter OSB (resigned 30 April 2011)
Revd Alexander Bevan OSB
Revd Gregory Chillman OSB (resigned 29 March 2010)
Br Matthew Freeman OSB (appointed 30 April 2011)
Revd Timothy Gorham OSB (appointed 29 March 2010)
Revd Thomas Stapleford OSB
Revd Dominic Taylor OSB
The report mentions the following about inspections carried out during the year.
The School was inspected in November 2009 and the results were highly successful. The published report stated that the School was highly successful in achieving its aims of providing good quality education and “teaching a way of living”. The pastoral care and personal development of the pupils are excellent. Teaching is strong, often excellent and at times inspirational.No mention is made of the Supplementary Inspection carried out by the ISI in April 2010, which highlighted severe shortcomings in safeguarding procedures. Nor is any mention of the report of the Charity Commission's own two Statutory Inquiries, published in December 2009, which was highly critical of the trustees. This is a disgracefully partial report.
Then, the report makes this passing mention of safeguarding issues.
The School community was saddened for those affected by historical safeguarding issues. There were failures in the past and the School co-operated with the relevant authorities to help expose or punish those involved.To be blunt, this is an insult to the victims and to the intelligence of all those associated in any way with Ealing Abbey or St Benedict's School. The failures resulted in the conviction of Father David Pearce during the year being reported on, and this is apparently not considered worthy of any mention in the report at all. Second, it suggests that the abuse is "historical". Not so, incidents occurred during the year, which resulted in Social Services investigation, albeit not in any prosecutions. Thirdly, I notice weasel words in "the School co-operated with the relevant authorities", without mentioning whether the co-operation was pro-active, continuous or voluntary.
Later on, the report makes mention of the "Independent Review"
Independent ReviewThe report is dated 24 June 2011. It seems that even back then, they had seen which way Lord Carlile's mind seemed to be working, and they have as a result resigned themselves to a split in the governance between the school and the rest of the trust, as I recommended in my evidence to Lord Carlile.
As a result of the historical safeguarding issues mentioned above, and due to the hurt and damage that they have caused and continue to cause, the Abbot commissioned a full independent review of the Monastery and School by Lord Carlile of Berriew QC. As well as looking at the history of abuse allegations, the review is considering policies for dealing with such allegations and other reassurance. This is likely to include a recommendation to strengthen the governance of the School by separating it from the overall governance of the Trust. It is hoped that this review will report in the summer or autumn of 2011.
But the paragraph is still lying by omission. It has neglected to mention the other "Independent Review" commissioned by the Abbot during the year being reported on, and especially has failed to mention the circumstances under which it was prepared.
It seems as if the Trustees are still operating in denial mode. They are minimising the extent of the problems, omitting as many inconvenient facts as they think they can get away with, and seem still to be liberally throwing whitewash in all directions. In view of the huge scale of the failures and the widespread damage to children at the school which has resulted, this is a pathetically inadequate report.