Alleged historic abuse at Dulwich College ‘investigated by authorities’

Katherine Johnston (15 September, 2021)

It is unknown how many cases are being investigated or when the abuse is alleged to have taken place

30173Dulwich College

Historic abuse allegations at Dulwich College are being investigated by the authorities, the school has confirmed.

An update on the school’s website, published in June this year, explained how the school was ‘dealing with historic allegations of abuse’ and that investigations were ‘on-going internally, with a small number of cases now in the hands of the authorities’; implying legal proceedings are in motion. The school declined to comment when contacted by the News.

It is unknown how many allegations have been made and when they date to, if they are against staff members or pupils, and whether any arrests or charges have been made by police. The Met was unable to confirm any details when contacted this week.

This is the first time historic allegations have come to light at the private school, which provides both day and boarding education.

As this paper has previously reported, in March 2021 a series of allegations about pupil-on-pupil sexual violence and abuse was published on the website Everyone’s Invited, and an open letter written by a former Dulwich College student. The majority of these cases were within recent years – and they did not involve abuse by staff.

At the time, Dr Joe Spence the school’s head wrote: “The behaviour described is distressing and entirely unacceptable; we condemn it unreservedly.

“This has led us to enhance our current provision and to develop a bespoke and robust response to effect change.

“We recognise that the impact of cultural change will take time to become deeply embedded, not least where the issues we are facing are widespread and societal; and that most importantly, this will happen only if we work together and take shared responsibility for the actions of our children.

“The great majority of Dulwich College pupils are considerate and respectful towards others; they are acknowledged to be grounded, reflective, and curious and engaged with the world. “Our confidence in them is undimmed and we will do our utmost to uphold their reputation whilst addressing the actions of those whose behaviour we condemn.

“Our ethos is one of respect and support for others in all we do and we are, as a school, committed to gender equality and to the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability or religious belief.

“As a boys’ school the first thing we must do is listen to what women and girls are telling us about their experiences and their concerns.

“I am determined and optimistic that good will come as a direct result of listening to those who have spoken out and it is our collective responsibility not to let them down. Where changes need to be made, we will make them.”

This month will also see an Independent Review of Behaviour, Culture and Safeguarding published.  Commissioned by the school’s governors, the report has been conducted by the INEQE Safeguarding Group and led by Jim Gamble, a former Chief Police Officer and the founding chief executive of the Child Exploitation and On-line Protection Centre.

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