Stanbridge Earls – Child Abuse Deniers, It’s Time to Face Facts

Stanbridge Earls School

More shocking revelations from an Oftsed Advice Note about Stanbridge Earls School recently secured from an FOI request. The Report details incidents of homosexual oral rape and under age sex which went unreported, in addition to the previously reported rape allegations and other abuse at the school. 4 weeks before this report was published Caroline Nokes MP publicly backed the school.

Over the last 4 years my family and I have been the target of threats, harassment and false allegations as I continue to expose the truth about Stanbridge Earls School and the authorities involved in the child abuse cover-up.

A number of individuals, including parents from the school, continue to claim that there was nothing wrong with Stanbridge Earls School and that the content of articles on this blog are false.

I can only assume it is mixture of denial and a campaign to distract from the truth about the school, which closed in 2013.

I can understand a state of denial where the child abuse is concerned, after all no parent wants to admit they have put their child willingly in harms way or, God forbid, their child was a victim of abuse that they are not aware of. There are parents who attack me to this day who do not even know the truth about their own children because Stanbridge Earls School decided it was down to the children to tell their parents what had happened to them, and not the schools responsibility.

I have previously published the Emergency Inspection Residential Report – 30th April 2013 now, through a Freedon of Information request, I can reveal the extent of the failings of Stanbridge Earls School, Staff, Teachers and Governors through the Ofsted Advice Note For An Emergency Inspection – Welfare Only – Stanbridge Earls School.

The Report details leadership failings, staff failings, training failings and more disturbingly further examples of children engaging in unlawful sexual activity: one of a serious sexual assault (boy on boy) and the other of underage sex among children (girl aged 16 and boy aged 14). Neither case was referred to child protection or the police. This was in a school where children had severe learning difficulties and mental ages well below their actual ages.

Extract of the Ofsted Advice Note

HEAD TEACHERS FAILINGS
The Report is highly critical of the Head Teacher, Peter Trythall and his running of the school, saying: The DfE rejected the school’s original action plan following the January 2013 Ofsted inspection. The school has worked to strengthen and implement an updated action plan to address safeguarding failures. In some areas progress has been made, management structures revised and practice improved. However, serious weaknesses remain.

…new houseparent who has no relevant residential experience was left in sole charge of 39 boys within a week of starting to work at the school. His induction had included basic child protection instruction, but he had not been given an overview of individual young people’s needs or directed to read risk assessments.

Going on to say: “Since the inspection in January 2013, six new staff started working at the school prior to receipt of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. At the time of appointment for five of these staff, there was no documented risk assessment to confirm that the headteacher had given permission for them to commence working and to outline the necessary additional supervision arrangements. The continued failure here is a real concern and indicative of weakness in the leadership of the school.”

CHAIR OF GOVERNOR FAILINGS
The Report was also highly critical of the Chair of the Governors.

Extract of the Ofsted Advice Note

There remains a lack of clear leadership within the school to enable them to take forward the post-inspection action plan despite the appointment of a team of consultants. This is preventing rapid improvement, clear prioritisation and resource allocation on a systematic basis. The school does not have an overarching development plan and, while there is much work underway, the two deputy headteachers are working beyond their individual and collective capacity. The school’s own performance assessment shows that, while the two deputy headteachers have potential, their ability to lead and manage the school is limited. They are unable to lead the school out of the crisis within which it is now operating.

During the inspection, the Chair of Governors accepted that the management arrangements were inadequate and would not secure the urgent improvements required. This is despite initially reporting a ‘growing confidence’ in the leadership team.

Durand Academy

DEPUTY HEAD FAILINGS
It is also critical of the Deputy Head. Although not named in the report one of the Deputy Head’s at the time was Grant Taylor who was later embroiled in another scandal at Durand Boarding School in West Sussex after parents withdrew their children after his appointment when they found out about his history at Stanbridge Earls School.

BASIC AUTISM AWARENESS FAILINGS
In a school where a high proportion of the children had Special Educational Needs and Autism, the staff clearly did not even have the most basic of understanding of how to care for these children: “The National Autistic Society (NAS) has audited the school, identifying the need for staff to attend basic awareness training in autistic spectrum disorders. The NAS has been commissioned to deliver this training by the end of the summer term.”

SERIOUS SEXUAL ASSAULT/RAPE INCIDENT
In a School where the events surrounding this report stemmed from a rape allegation it is criminal that accounts of further rape allegations and sexual assaults were dealt with in such an off-hand manner. It was as if these events were so common place at the school that they did not bother the staff nor warranted the correct procedures.

On 26 April 2013, the school was informed that a boy who had previously boarded at Stanbridge Earls had made an allegation of serious sexual assault (oral rape) against another boy that occurred while they both attended the school. The alleged perpetrator is still a boarder at Stanbridge Earls. While the school worked promptly and sensitively to remove the alleged perpetrator from the establishment for the weekend, he was re-admitted as a boarder on 29 April 2013 without a full assessment of risk. This young person shares a bedroom with two other teenage boys. Until instructed to do so by inspectors, the school failed to assess the risk associated with allowing these three young people to share a bedroom. Given the wide range of needs of children who board, the failure to identify this risk factor is a significant omission. In this case, decision making, including risk assessment, was overseen by the Chair of Governors and a Deputy Headteacher; these individuals failed to fully recognise, assess and manage risk appropriately.

UNDERAGE SEX BETWEEN PUPILS
In another case that clearly warranted the involvement of child protection services and the police, the Deputy Head appears to simply brush the incident under the carpet. It begs the question exactly what were the parents really told about the incident as I doubt any caring parent of a 14 year old boy would have been happy to send their child back into this environment.

In a second case, the school was informed that a 14-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl had entered into a sexual relationship during the Easter holidays. On their return to school, following discussions with the parents, the Deputy Headteacher concluded that the relationship was consensual and therefore decided that it should not be referred to external agencies. There is no record of how this assessment was made and the instructions issued to staff were basic and unrealistic given staffing levels at the school.

The report concluded that in May 2013 that children remained “unsafe” at the school.

“The school has not made the urgent improvements required by Ofsted in January 2013 because leadership is not clear and incisive. Although this inspection has found evidence that there have been some improvements to safeguarding since the end of March, and particularly since the resignation of the previous headteacher, it is a concern that more significant improvement has not been secured in the three months since the last inspection. As a consequence of continuing weaknesses within leadership and governance, children remain unsafe at this residential special school.”

Caroline Nokes MP and her father Cllr Roy Perry

WHO KNEW ABOUT THESE FAILINGS?
All this information was available to the then Head of Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services, John Coughlan and soon to be Leader of HCC, Cllr Roy Perry. This report would have also been made available to Hampshire Police during their Operation Oregan and Flamborough investigations.

Just 4 weeks before Ofsted started this investigation, Caroline Nokes, the MP for Romsey & Southampton North, publicly backed the failing Headteacher Peter Trythall and was also campaigning to keep the school open, claiming in the press that the school had made “massive strides”.

Working on the “ice-berg principle where only the tip will be visible – there will be further examples of rape and sexual abuse that have not been reported, yet.

Read the full Report here: Ofsted Advice Note For An Emergency Inspection – Welfare Only – Stanbridge Earls School.

Further Reading: Stanbridge Earls School – A Timeline of Abuse

Posted in Child Abuse, Hampshire, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Safeguarding Children's Board, Romsey, Romsey Extra, Stanbridge Earls School | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stanbridge Earls School Update – 2 Top Hampshire Police Officers face independent investigation

Stanbridge Earls School - The site of child abuse allegations

Will 2017 finally bring justice for the victims of child abuse at Stanbridge Earls School?

It’s long been accepted that the worst kind of child abuse takes place behind “closed doors” and that is where the investigations into Stanbridge Earls School would stay if Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Police and certain politicians had their way.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on who you are, there are a few organisations and individuals who cannot be silenced or have their operations sealed.

As reported on this website back in May 2016 former Hampshire Chief Constable Andy Marsh is under investigation because he set up Operation Flamborough to protect the reputation of Hampshire Constabulary, and other organisations and individuals in Romsey, following claims he ordered a whitewash over the failure of police investigations into the sex abuse allegations at Stanbridge Earls School http://www.nadineoconnor.org/?p=2685

Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen - Under Investigation

I have now learnt that Hampshire Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen and former Hampshire Assistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson, who is now at Thames Valley Constabulary, are also to be investigated by a separate police force, following an appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the IPCC.

Assistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson - Under Investigation

The Appeal, which took 18 months, was upheld and now both Glen and Nicholson are being investigated for their involvement in the disputed Operation Flamborough Terms of Reference.

In addition to this, I can confirm that The Charity Commission, who withdrew its first 2 reports on Stanbridge Earls School has still not re-published its report into the School’s conduct and Trustee’s actions as investigations continue. Read the Stanbridge Earls Timeline of Abuse and Cover Up here: http://www.nadineoconnor.org/?p=2337

It would appear that those who tried so desperately to cover up the child abuse at the school and did their hardest to shift blame and attention onto others to avoid detection and protect certain individuals are still being pursued, and rightly so.

Let’s hope that 2017 is the year the child abusers and those involved in the cover up at Stanbridge Earls School are exposed fully and justice is served, if not through the Courts, who after all act to protect their own in many cases, but by someone who has the courage to speak out publically for the sake of themselves and others.

Posted in Assistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson, Avon & Somerset Chief Constable, Avon & Somerset Constabulary, Charity Commission, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Child Abuse, Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen, Hampshire, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire County Council, IPCC, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales, Operation Flamborough, Policing, Romsey, Stanbridge Earls School, Thames Valley Constabulary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cork Pro Choice group apologise to Fathers4Justice and Matt & Nadine O’Connor for libel and pay damages

Cork Pro Choice, an organisation campaigning to Repeal The 8th Amendement in Ireland, has apologised to Fathers4Justice, and it’s principles Matt and Nadine O’Connor, for claiming they promoted domestic violence with their ‘Change The 8th’ campaign advertisement, ‘A father is for life not just conception’, which features a photograph of a father cradling an infant child.

The group has undertaken to pay €2,000 to F4J and discharge the legal costs of F4J.

Brophy Solicitors in Dublin remain instructed on this matter and any further false allegations made against F4J.

CORK PRO CHOICE APOLOGY

On 21st November 2016, Cork Pro Choice stated on it’s Twitter and Facebook feeds that an advert by the campaign group Fathers4Justice ‘promoted’ domestic violence. A link to the allegation was included in an article by the Irish Examiner, and the allegation repeated by supporters of the Repeal the 8th Campaign on social media. The same allegation was also made to Bus Eireann by Cork Pro Choice.

Cork Pro Choice sincerely apologise for claiming that Fathers4Justice, and its principles, Matt and Nadine O’Connor, in any way promote domestic violence, or that their ‘Change The 8th’ campaign advertisement ‘A father is for life not just conception’, which features a photograph of a father cradling an infant child, promotes domestic violence. Cork Pro-choice now accepts that this comment was wholly false, unwarranted and defamatory and they regret the hurt, embarrassment and damage caused to them

Cork Pro Choice acknowledge that Fathers4Justice is a respected advocacy group which campaigns on behalf of fathers, children and men’s health issues, and that the suggestion that they would support violence against women was wrong.

Cork Pro-choice has also undertaken to pay €2,000 to F4J and discharge the legal costs of F4J and its principals in responding to this unfortunate episode.

https://www.facebook.com/corkwomensrighttochoose/

https://twitter.com/Cork4Choice

Posted in Brophy Solicitors, Bus Eireann, Cork, Cork Pro Choice, Defamation, Domestic Violence, Dublin, Eighth Amendment, False Allegations, Fathers 4 Justice, Fathers4Justice, Fathers4Justice International, Fathers4Justice Ireland, Ireland, Irish Examiner, Libel, Matt O'Connor, Nadine O'Connor, Repeal The 8th Amendement, Repeal the 8th | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Irish Examiner Comment Piece – Men will have a vote so they should have a voice in the abortion debate

OPINION: Men will have a vote so they should have a voice in the abortion debate

LINK TO ON LINE ARTICLE

Democratic and informed debate is predicated on all sides and all viewpoints being able to make their point freely and that is why Fathers4Justice have launched a campaign calling for the Eighth Amendment to be changed to reflect what they view as the unrecognised rights of fathers in the constitution, argues the group’s International Campaign Co-Ordinator, Nadine O’Connor.

I read with great sadness Suzanne Harrington’s recent comment piece in the Irish Examiner in which she argued – among other things – that a new Fathers4Justice campaign around the Eighth Amendment was completely ill-conceived and one through which men were acting out ‘private psychodramas on the side of our public buses’.

I will come to Ms Harrington’s arguments in time but first let me explain who I am.

Nadine O'Connor, F4J International Co-ordinator

I am a woman and I am the International Campaign Co-Ordinator for a father’s rights organisation called Fathers4Justice (F4J).

Our campaign team are mostly women and a third of our registered supporters are women.

The women at F4J – and I would suggest the vast majority of women in general – have got involved in this campaign because we support equality for all, not just the few.

F4J are simply attempting to be a voice for the 100,000 Irish children living without a dad, the 77.9% of separated fathers who live without their children and the many courageous men who are fighting through secret courts every week just for the right to see their children.

Ms Harrington, however, offers no humanity, compassion or concern for these men and children. We would just ask why?

For our part Fathers4Justice are just attempting to start a democratic debate about the 8th Amendment. To do that we announced a six-week ad campaign on Bus Eireann buses in Cork beginning next Monday, December 5th.

A Father if for Life Not Just Conception, Bus Advertising Campaign

The advert features a picture of a father cradling an infant child with the words ‘a father is for life not just conception’ and calls for the Eighth Amendment to be changed to protect the rights of fathers which are not recognised in the constitution.

We are merely raising an important question that we feel should and needs to be debated, that is, should men and women have an equal say in whether they become parents or not?

We have said we would consult with the public (like the Citizen’s Assembly) before publishing our policy in early 2017.

Despite that the response from some in the pro-choice lobby has been deeply troubling. We have been subject to an abusive tirade of threats on social media and a range of irresponsible allegations about our campaign have been made.

It is clear from this response that for some ‘pro choice’ means no choice for anyone who dares to disagree.

To express your democratic voice is to leave you at risk of attack from an unpleasant minority who have explicitly stated that men should be denied any democratic right to have a voice on this issue, yet paradoxically concede men will have a vote, should a referendum be held.

Emerging from Ms Harrington’s narrative is a suggestion that dads fighting to see their children are doing this to ‘try to retain coercive control’ over mothers.

Nadine O'Connor at Family Conference

In the years that I was running the campaign in the UK, I never once came across the type of father described in Ms Harringtons’ article.

Now I work on an international level it’s even clearer that her stereotype is manufactured by some for cheap political propaganda.

One could argue that recalcitrant mothers who deny children access to their dads are actually the people who are controlling.

Equally controlling and coercive are people like Ms Harrington and others who are trying to shut down this debate.

Ms Harrington goes on to demands absolute rights for women but feels it is ok to deny fathers any basic rights or protection in the constitution on this issue whatsoever.

These are dangerous sentiments and dangerous times.

I can see that there are many valid points on both sides but it has come to something when democratic debate is shouted down by a minority too hostile to even consider there is another voice in the room.

Some in the pro-choice lobby are attempting to pervert the meaning of our language and twist it into a propaganda tool.

So let us be clear. Fathers4Justice represents the forgotten men and women of Ireland.

We represent over 80,000 families in both the UK and Ireland.

Our campaign objectives are clear: an equal voice and equal rights for men and fathers and a presumption of 50/50 shared parenting between mums and dads.

As a woman, and a mother concerned about the lack of rights for men, my message is simple:

It’s time to stand up for your rights.

They are rights that do not exist in the constitution and they are rights you will need to fight for.

You need to find your voice and find it soon.

Nadine O’Connor is the International Campaign Director of the Fathers4Justice group

LINK TO ON LINE ARTICLE: http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/men-will-have-a-vote-so-why-not-a-place-in-the-8th-amendment-433412.html

Posted in A Voice For Men, Campaigning, Change the 8th, Cork, Cork Pro Choice, Eighth Amendment, Equality, Fathers 4 Justice, Fathers4Justice, Fathers4Justice International, Irish Examiner, Mens Rights, Repeal the 8th, Suzanne Harrington | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

F4J Statement: Cork Pro Choice Allegations

A Father Is For Life Not Just Conception

Fathers4Justice (F4J) are concerned that a number of individuals in the ‘Repeal The 8th’ campaign are aggressively opposed to democratic debate around the 8th Amendment.

In particular, the organisation Cork Pro Choice has made a serious allegation concerning our advert, ‘A father is for life not just conception’, which will run on Bus Eireann in Cork for six weeks from 5th December 2016.

The advert features a picture of a father cradling an infant child and is part of our ‘Change The 8th’ campaign.

We believe the allegation by Cork Pro Choice is grossly defamatory.

For the record, our campaign promotes equal rights for fathers alongside men’s health issues, including male suicide. F4J is staffed by women, and a third of our supporters are women. They find the allegations by Cork Pro Choice deeply offensive and upsetting.

The objective of our campaign is to promote democratic debate around the 8th Amendment. Instead F4J has been subject to vicious online abuse and bullying.

Our campaign and consultation will continue until early 2017, when F4J will publish it’s policy and document and any proposed amendment to the 8th. In the event of a referendum, we expect this to include a question about fathers’ right, and we would legally challenge (Judicially Review) it’s exclusion.

In the meantime Brophy Solicitors in Dublin are instructed on this matter and we will not comment further until legal proceedings are resolved.

Posted in Bus Eireann, Change the 8th, Cork, Cork Pro Choice, Fathers 4 Justice, Fathers Rights, Fathers4Justice, Fathers4Justice Ireland, Matt O'Connor, Nadine O'Connor, Repeal the 8th, University College Cork | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beware of The Cambridges!

In the front windows of my house I have 3 signs. The first 2 read, “Beware of the Dogs” and “Dogs Loose – Do Not Enter”. They are the first things you see and read, before you get to the smaller sign that says “No Cold Calling, No Junk Mail, No Free Papers, etc.”.

I am not being rude, I am simply informing you, as I lawfully should, that my house is also home to a pack of dogs, this is their home, their space and you should be respectful of that.

I don’t expect people to love my dogs the way I do, but I do expect people to respect them in the same way I respect the public when they are around my dogs.

If you come into my home, announced, then it’s always a good idea to say hello to the dogs, they are after all my family and I would not ignore yours. It’s also advisable because that way they don’t spend the rest of your visit trying to say hello to you. If they know you well, worse-case scenario, you might get licked to death. Naturally if you enter the house unannounced and they sense you are not there with good intentions, well, you were warned.

You see dogs, just like people, know what they like and don’t like and sense right and wrong. No matter how well trained your dog is, they are still dogs and dogs have boundaries and they might not always react how you think they will react.

Jumping up and down on a dog is one of those boundaries and once again the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have showed just how ignorant and irresponsible they are with their children around dogs.

Their constant need to present their children as “cute and adorable” to win over the understandably ever increasing anti-monarchy public has resulted in them using “pets as props” rather than showing any real understanding or consideration for dogs.

And this from a family famous for their dogs. The Queen after all is famous for her love of Corgi’s. I doubt she lets any of her “excited” great-grandchildren bounce on any of her dogs.

In Canada yesterday, Princess Charlotte “giggled as she bounced up and down on the pooch”

There would not have been much giggling going on if  “patient Moose” turned round and bit her because her bouncing over stepped one of his boundaries.

“Patient Moose” would have been put down before he had a chance to fill in his pet insurance claim for a damaged spine, poodle-golden retriever cross’s would have been added to the dangerous dog list and dog owners would once again be under attack for not “keeping their dogs under control”.

I don’t care how “utterly charming” the 16-month old Princess is, or how desperate her parents are to PR this Canadian Tour to present a “perfect family unit”, “Moose” is a dog and it does not matter how well trained he is, no child should ever be allowed to “bounce up and down” on a dog, full stop!

Too many people think large breed dogs can be treated as circus acts/toys/bouncy castles or ridden “like horses”. I lost track of how many times people asked me if they could “ride” my Irish Wolfhound. They only ever made that “quip” once.

Large breed dogs, in particular, have very delicate spines because of the speed they grow and because of their size, but that aside, no dogs should ever be bounced on.

Much was made of “Moose” being a “therapy dog” as if that excused the child’s behaviour and it was ok. No, it’s still not ok.

“Moose” is a therapy dog for cancer patients and yes therapy dogs are made a fuss of by their patients, but I’m pretty sure their patients are not encouraged to “bounce” on them.

Just because a dog is a “therapy dog” that is not a label to say “this dog will put up with anything”. They are expertly trained, and are trained to tolerate and interact with many things in a certain way, but they are still dogs, and “working dogs” at that, so should be given greater respect.

Princess Charlotte’s parents should know better and should have stopped her, but there enlies the rub, her parents don’t know better.

This is not the first time this couple have shown a dangerous lack of respect and understanding of dogs.

In July this year, animal welfare campaigners, rightfully, criticised the Royal couple of staging a photo shoot that showed Prince George feeding ice cream and chocolate to their Cocker Spaniel.

Dogs are allergic to dairy products, which can cause digestive problems, and that chocolate is highly toxic to canines.

I urge Canada’s SPCA to issue a public statement criticising Princess Charlotte’s actions and advising all parents to take greater responsibility and educate their children about the dangers of invading a dog’s space and never doing anything that could harm a dog.

As members of the British Royal Family they seek publicity on their overseas tours and as such set an example to others, whether they intend to or not – this was a dangerous, irresponsible and selfish example to set and shows an alarming lack of understanding towards dogs, something they risk passing on to their children.

NB.UPDATE
It has been claimed by some people commenting on various newspaper articles that the Duchess of Cambridge immediately took her daughter to oneside after this incident and scolded her. If this is true what a shame then that this was not witnessed on the video, or indeed reported in the newspaper as this would send an important message to other parents and children that this is not how you treat a dog. The video footage available, shows the Duchess crouched down beside her daughter, holding her hand and laughing while she bounced on the dog. It is also worth noting that the video footage available changed during the day on the 30th September. Originally you could see clearly the child bouncing on the dog from a more direct angle, later the video footage was from a different angle and was less clear as a man walks in front of the child blocking the view of what is happening. On neither this, nor the icecream and chocolate incident, hav the Cambridges ever issued a statement reassuring the public they understand dogs should be treated with respect and not fed potentially dangerous foods.

Posted in Beware of The Dog, Canada, Dangerous Dogs Act, Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Moose the Therapy Dog, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Royal Family | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment