Friday, October 29, 2010

School appeals

Catholic school appeals for help to stop further abuse
Martin Bentham, Home Affairs Editor

A leading Roman Catholic school hit by a paedophile scandal has appealed for information about the abuse to help protect pupils in future.

It follows the conviction of a priest at St Benedict's School in Ealing, and allegations against two other former teachers dating back to 1972.

The private school has announced a review by Lord Carlile of Berriew into the abuse and how it can be prevented. Lord Carlile today appealed to anyone affected by the scandal to come forward to help establish weaknesses in child protection at the school and Ealing Abbey, to which it is linked.

An advert in the Evening Standard set out the terms of the review, due to be published in January, and the range of evidence Lord Carlile is seeking.

It follows the conviction last year of Father David Pearce, the former head of the school, for indecently assaulting five young boys between 1972 and 2007. He was jailed for five years by Isleworth crown court.

A report this year by the Independent Schools Inspectorate said there had been six cases of alleged abuse at the school and Abbey. None of those subject to allegations still work at the school.

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