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Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools

An inquiry into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in residential schools.

In recent years the number of criminal convictions for child sexual abuse by school staff has surged and the Inquiry has received many accounts of sexual abuse that occurred in schools. Children in residential schools are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse as a result of their isolation from their families and carers and the involvement of staff in their intimate personal care.

This investigation will address residential schools in both the state and independent sector because children are vulnerable in residential settings regardless of the school’s status or the means of their parents. The investigation will explore how schools and other agencies respond to allegations of sexual abuse by school staff, and address broad questions of school culture, governance, leadership, training and recruitment.

The Inquiry intends to select case studies for focused investigation that will illuminate these issues. Multiple institutions are implicated in failures of child protection in schools, including local authorities, schools inspectorates and the police, and the investigation will take account of this wide spectrum of responsibility.

Next Steps:

This investigation is now open for applications from core participants. Individuals and organisations that wish to be designated as a core participant in relation to phase one this investigation are asked to submit their application before 4pm on Friday 9 November 2018.

A preliminary hearing in relation to this investigation will be held at 10.00am on Wednesday 16 January at the Inquiry’s hearing centre in Pocock Street London.

A public hearing in this investigation will take place on Monday 30 September 2019 to 11 October 2019 at the Inquiry hearing centre at 18 Pocock Street, London SE1 0BW.

Although we are not requesting evidence for our investigations at this stage, the Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.

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