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Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools

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

1. The Inquiry will investigate the nature and extent of, and institutional responses to, child sexual abuse in residential schools, including schools in the state and independent sectors and schools for children with disabilities and/or special educational needs. The inquiry will incorporate case­specific investigations, a review of information available from published and unpublished reports and reviews, court cases, and investigations, and a consideration of the Inquiry’s own commissioned research.

2. In conducting its investigation, the Inquiry will consider the experiences of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in residential schools, and investigate:

2.1. the prevalence of child sexual abuse in residential schools in England and Wales;

2.2. the policies and practices adopted by residential schools in relation to safeguarding and child protection, including considerations of school culture, governance, training, recruitment, leadership, reporting and investigation of child sexual abuse, disciplinary procedures, information sharing with outside agencies, and approach to reparations;

2.3. the responses of residential schools, law enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities, and other public authorities or statutory agencies to allegations of sexual abuse in residential schools;

2.4. the response of residential schools to suspected abusers, including:

a) the use of disciplinary procedures;

b) the use of compromise agreements;

c) references provided to subsequent employers of suspected abusers;

d) subsequent employment of suspected abusers by other schools or institutions in England and Wales and abroad.

2.5. the extent to which residential schools sought to investigate, learn lessons, implement changes, and/or provide support and reparations to victims and survivors, in response to:

a) allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the school;

b) criminal investigations and prosecutions and/or civil litigation in relation to alleged abuse by individuals associated with the school;

c) reports, reviews and inquiries into child sexual abuse and/or safeguarding, including internally­commissioned reports and reports by external authorities, inspectorates or agencies;

2.6. the adequacy of inter­agency reporting and information sharing between institutions in relation to child sexual abuse in residential schools;

2.7. the adequacy of inspection and regulatory regimes; and

2.8. the appropriateness of statutory regimes in relation to vetting and barring.

3. As part of the investigation of the issues set out above the Inquiry will:

3.1. commission preliminary and further research as to the issues set out in paragraph 2;

3.2. identify a number of case studies for a closer investigation of the issues set out in paragraph 2.

4. In light of the investigations, the Inquiry will publish a report setting out its findings, lessons learned, and recommendations to improve child protection and safeguarding in England and Wales.

Child Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools - Definition of Scope

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