Shocking goings on by Megan Stammer's school

(90 Posts)
Blu Tue 25-Sep-12 15:48:44

If all the press reports are accurate.

The school and County Council / LA claim they have been investigating the relationhip between Forrest and the girl since a pull brought it to thier attention, and reports say he was to be suspended on Friday. And yet the girls mother had not been told of any of this, and thought she was simply attending maths coaching. Why would they investigate an inappropriate relationship between a child and a staff member and not tell the child's parents?

The school has recently been involved in a 'grooming' and unlawful sex case involving 2 other girls and a male teacher.

One of the Governors was charged in June with numerous (38) sex offences involving children and young teens dating back to the 60s and 70s. Despite the fact that he was suspended by the CoE when these allegations came to lighht, he was allowed to remain a school governor - "At the time the headteacher at the school Terry Boatwright reassured parents that the allegations were historical, dating back more than 40-years in some cases and were not connected with the school."

Terrible, terrible safeguarding lapses all round.

here

here

edam Fri 28-Sep-12 20:45:33

Betsy, I'm afraid there's a long history of the diocese responsible for this school covering up allegations of abuse, hiding CRB checks that came back with less than flying colours and allowing the school governor accused of multiple child sex offences access to schools and therefore children. the Archbishop of Canterbury had to intervene to strip the diocese of responsibility for safeguarding. This stuff has been known about for years amongst the diocese - yet they continued to put children at risk. Shameful.

beancurd Fri 28-Sep-12 20:31:13

That made me snort hackmum.

Betsyboob, I didn't say all faith schools I just said that generally they are behind non faith schools when it comes to cp issues. Actually I typed that thinking primarily about secondary schools, faith primaries often do rather better.

My swiping or sniping at the faith sector isn't based on this case, actually I haven't really looked at the practice of this school beyond what has been mentioned here. My observations are based on a good fifteen years work with cp issues and yps. I have had a range of roles working outside schools but also within leas and go into a wide range of schools regularly.

Am a governor too and know my school gets most safeguarding right although if they didn't they could easily conceal this from me...as they could from ofsted too.

The issues that this school seem to have had would be shocking to lots of schools, less shocking to schools that rely on a few key establishment figures to make decisions, again often a faith school trait. One of the cp figures at a school I have linked to has a wife over twenty years younger than him, they married when she was 17 and had 'dated' for a few years before. Ancient staff remember them and still joke in a fond way about them snogging and who knows what in his office-she was his student. This man has done cp advisory work for the lea in a role similar to mine! Another teacher used to call up students as they turned sixteen and ask for dates, his dad is a church bigwig and his career has flourished alongside this behaviour. He 'behaves' better now apparently (wouldn't want him leading my daughter's lessons though).

The individual cases don't say much though, have plenty from other schools but I absolutely stand by my judgement that faith schools have greater problems negotiating cp than non faith schools especially at secondary level.

Can't see it is that surprising in view of the institutional failings of various churches when it comes to cp.

MissM Fri 28-Sep-12 18:31:46

Well said BetsyBoop.

BetsyBoop Fri 28-Sep-12 17:22:48

beancurd: "The faith schools generally have weak safeguarding which tries to negotiate between the historic way of doing things and better practices common today."

Whilst I wouldn't disagree that there are probably some schools with weak safeguarding practices and some of those will no doubt be faith schools, unless you have actual evidence to the contrary I don't see how you can say that generally ALL faiths schools are weak at safeguarding.

I'm a governor in a faith school and I also work in a (different) faith school and both follow best practice wrt safeguarding, not just in terms of putting the right words in a policy but wrt what actually happens every single day too.

I'm personally appalled at the apparent lack of adequate safeguarding in the school concerned (I say apparent as I can only go off what the journalists say which may of course not be the whole truth.)

edam Fri 28-Sep-12 14:33:02

Quite - very, very, very good news.

Blu Fri 28-Sep-12 13:38:25

They have been located on Bordeaux. he has been arrested, she is being returned. Thank goodness she is safe and coming back.

Blu Fri 28-Sep-12 09:55:08

It is really interesting to hear that perspective, Beancurd.

There are potential conflicts of interest when any external partner is providing a statutory service. It's a factor, and relevant to all Academies, Foundation (inclusing faith) and Free schools.

The Arcgbishop of Canterbury has acted decisively in removing responsibilities from the diocese, not sure it's fair to take a broadsword swipe at all faith schools on the basis of this.

But the nature of the conflict of interest, self-interest and relationship between the diocese and school will and should come under intense scrutiny when all this is looked into.

edam Fri 28-Sep-12 09:53:12

Agreed, Blu.

Beancurd, that's extremely worrying. You'd think, given the recent exposure of systemic abuse by priests against children over decades, church schools would be very, very careful about safeguarding. Appalling that they are still utterly complacent.

hackmum Fri 28-Sep-12 09:31:22

beancurd: "The faith schools generally have weak safeguarding which tries to negotiate between the historic way of doing things and better practices common today."

Ah, is this the "faith school ethos" we hear so much about? I'd always wondered what it was that made faith schools so special. Now I know.

Blu Thu 27-Sep-12 21:06:54

MyMate - It must be hideous.

I feel for the students who reported the relationship in the first place - they must have felt so ignored and disempowered to see that nothing was done. Hardly a good message to young people about risk: we encourage you to report things, we tell you we can then make you safe...and then we do sweet fa for weeks on end.

And they must be worried for Megan, and worried about the school and disruption - all these children are victims, not just Megan and her family. sad

mymatemax Thu 27-Sep-12 17:55:36

Blu, I completely agree & wasnt suggesting that people on here were adding anything to the argument.
Just stating a point really
But its easy to lose sight of the realy families caught up in this.
the parents at the school are asking questions & demanding answers. The continued media attention at the school is making life very difficult.

beancurd Thu 27-Sep-12 17:22:35

The faith schools generally have weak safeguarding which tries to negotiate between the historic way of doing things and better practices common today.

Working alongside faith schools you see the principles of the faith distorting cp issues, the dioscesan approved old boys network imposing their own standards which too often prioritise the employed adults/school reputation over the children's needs.

As a safeguardng governor I have a little more chance than ofsted to know what is really going on but ofsted are reduced to checking paperwork. Many schools just adopt the paper models approved by lea/diosces, hard to prove they are not followed.

Blu Thu 27-Sep-12 17:18:48

My child would be out of that school so fast until the relationship with the Head, the entire board of governors and any relationship with the Diocese of Chichester and that bishop was completely severed.

In the absence of any contrary evidence.

Blu Thu 27-Sep-12 17:13:31

here it suggets that he was questioned on suspicion of abuse in the 2000s

and here the BBC say it was the enhanced CRB check in Aug 2010 that showed he had been under allegations and questioned in the 1970s and been arrested on 2002. This is the CRB check that the bishop delayed passsiing on until forced to do so by a third party in Sept 2010, which is when the CoE suspended him.

What date in 2010 is the Ofsted?

Did he then stay on as a governor at the school until he was charged in 2011?

edam Thu 27-Sep-12 17:06:54

oh wow, so the bishop didn't pass on the info from the CRB check and the diocese's safeguarding officer only found out about it by accident? Blimey. Looks like there's loads more appalling stuff there...

Blu Thu 27-Sep-12 17:03:38

Lolads here...but I have not waded through it here

Blu Thu 27-Sep-12 16:59:36

I thnk there were allegations much earlier than that, Edam - the 2011 ones were the most recent round.... it's all in various links, incl the one Jane linked earlier.

edam Thu 27-Sep-12 16:51:13

(And what Blu said wrt media coverage.)

edam Thu 27-Sep-12 16:50:37

I can't see anything in that Ofsted report about their safeguarding policies -am I missing something? The only relevant bits are where pupils say they feel safe and where most parents surveyed said their children were safe. That's perception by people who don't have all the background info, not an objective assessment of reality.

It's dated 2010 but completely ignores the conviction of a supply teacher for grooming children in 2009 - wtf? Did Ofsted not notice? And having noticed, did they not ask searching questions?

The investigation into the priest-governor now charged with various counts relating to child abuse seems to have started in 2011, after the Ofsted report.

Blu Thu 27-Sep-12 16:21:47

I really sympathise with those families and children, Horrible.
And a safeguardng issue in and of itself.

Do you think discussion on MN which is concerned with understanding how safeguarding works for all our children actually generates publicity focussed on the school? I think the techer concerned and the school itself have attracted the interest of the press, as has the social media based campaign of the family! This is about what has been reported in the press and other sources within the public realm, not an exclusive expose of as yet unpublished material!

If I had a child at the school I would be asking far tougher questions than have been posed on this thread!

mymatemax Thu 27-Sep-12 16:15:06

please please be aware that there are a large number of children running the guantlett of TV cameras every day just to get to their classrooms.
Yes the school has had more than its fair share of events over recent months & years BUT the added publicity directed at the school does nothing to help those families struggling to get their kids to school every day.

Blu Thu 27-Sep-12 16:09:16

A timeline, including the date that Lucy Duckworth raised concerns with Michael Gove!

Blu Thu 27-Sep-12 16:08:08

You can presumably read the ofsted reports for the school here Edam.

Check the press reports for details / dates of the convictions of the teacher who was jailed earlier, and google Canon Rideout and Wallace Benn for the lengthy and sordid history of cover ups and allegations.

And put it all together!

edam Thu 27-Sep-12 15:47:49

I'd like to know whether it is true that Ofsted rated safeguarding at this school as good or better, and if so, why Ofsted didn't know about or ignored the conviction of one teacher for sex offences against children, and the presence on the board of governors of someone who was facing multiple allegations of child sex offences - actually the chair of governors. Does the 'safeguarding's great' claim date from before the supply teacher was convicted?

MissM Thu 27-Sep-12 15:39:56

I honestly think Ofsted would dispute your suggestions Jane, but clearly very worrying if they didn't. As for the 'credibility' of CRBs, I think any shred of credibility they have left would be gone after this case. Jeremy Forrest obviously had a CRB check, and we know that the governor at this school had a check that showed up his alleged offences! If anyone needed any more evidence as to why they are flawed they've got it.

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