Did anyone know?

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loringa
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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by loringa » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:51 am

Avon wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:32 pm
No.

There is sufficient evidence to suggest that there was institutional awareness of these things, such that, on occasion, a blind eye was turned. In at least one case the victim was silenced.

It’s not enough to make the assumption that things have changed, that there are fundamentally nicer people in charge these days and better governance and checks. People aren’t fundamentally nicer, we’re British, we don’t do governance and checks particularly well.

It’s the same CH. In hock to the doctrine of ‘it’s all part of the pageant’, fawningly in awe of being ‘royal, religious and ancient’ and spending money it hasn’t got. The School has the cheek to refuse to engage with my generation and tell us why Poulton, Sillett, Cairncross et al were so incompetent, and yet send me clumsy yet chiding requests for money at the same time?

This site is my place to tell them to go **** themselves. And I know they are reading this.
I don't know when you were at CH but from your comments I sense it was after me. I never met either Poulton or Cairncross and Sillett was just the housemaster of LHB; as far as I can recall I never even spoke to him. I knew both Webb and Burr reasonably well and all I am saying is that I am pretty sure that, even if some suspected, few if any actually knew what they were up to, or maybe at the time they weren't actually doing anything. This is perfectly possible; this period was, I think, after Robert's terrible experiences but before whatever caused Webb to be fired.

Whatever the truth of the matter is, and no doubt it will all come out in the end, the school has legally to be very careful in what it says to you or, indeed, any other Old Blue. I have mixed views on whether they should be engaging with any Old Blues on this subject at all except through individual victims' lawyers. We have already seen from Robin Durrant's posts the damage that incomplete information and misunderstandings can do.

You are entirely at liberty to tell CH to go **** itself but my view remains that there is far more that is good than bad about the institution. Those of us who were not abused and who received a far better education than we would have received elsewhere are both in the majority and should be grateful for our good fortune.

Actually, I think we do governance and checks pretty well overall; we are one of no more than a slack handful of countries where there is actually 'rule of law'. With that in mind, and backed up by my own experience of safeguarding in state education, I would suggest that this is something that the school's current SMT as well as teachers and other staff members take very seriously indeed.

Of course these are just my views.
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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by bakunin » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:05 am

I knew nothing more than vague rumours (I was there '89-96). But apparently the wildest, least believable rumours are the ones I should have believed.

However it's clear from the various quotations from the trials in the papers that senior staff knew, and suppressed the information from going to the authorities.

The 'paedo' incident you mention, loringa, shows that a substantial portion of the pupils were aware of something at least at one point in the 1970s.

We knew that Husband had slept with a pupil and was fired for that reason, at the time. There was also the public incident of the bandmaster. There were occasional rumours. I was probably among the least plugged in to the secrets of the school (aside from the tubes)...

We have deduced from accounts of the trials that at least some other staff members knew (the priest Powell knew and did nothing, and one teacher (who was a prosecution witness at the trial and encouraged a victim to go to trial) was confided in at the time (90s) and advised the victim to keep things quiet in order to be able to get in to Oxbridge.)

I suspect that in the 90s, at least some portion of the staff (20%? a wild guess) must have at least heard something. Including the paedos, we can confirm at least a dozen staff who were well informed of what was happening.
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loringa
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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by loringa » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:25 pm

bakunin wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:05 am

The 'paedo' incident you mention, loringa, shows that a substantial portion of the pupils were aware of something at least at one point in the 1970s.
I don't think this is true; what this shows is that someone, possibly only one, either knew or suspected something or conceivably just had an axe to grind. Classic mob mentality - someone started shouting Paedo and lots of others joined in, some of whom probably didn't even know Webb. It is possible that somebody just thought he was creepy or, for whatever reason, didn't like him. On the other hand, I acknowledge he may have been an active abuser at the time and I haven't been following the trials, just the outcome.

A classic response to events like these is 'oh - they must have known'; I am just not sure that is true. As for the later events you mention; I cannot comment as I wasn't there.

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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by Pe.A » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:44 pm

Avon wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:32 pm
No.

There is sufficient evidence to suggest that there was institutional awareness of these things, such that, on occasion, a blind eye was turned. In at least one case the victim was silenced.

It’s not enough to make the assumption that things have changed, that there are fundamentally nicer people in charge these days and better governance and checks. People aren’t fundamentally nicer, we’re British, we don’t do governance and checks particularly well.

It’s the same CH. In hock to the doctrine of ‘it’s all part of the pageant’, fawningly in awe of being ‘royal, religious and ancient’ and spending money it hasn’t got. The School has the cheek to refuse to engage with my generation and tell us why Poulton, Sillett, Cairncross et al were so incompetent, and yet send me clumsy yet chiding requests for money at the same time?

This site is my place to tell them to go **** themselves. And I know they are reading this.
I disagree with this. Institutional awareness? What on earth does that actually mean...?

How can you say it's the same CH now from the one in the 70s?

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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by J.R. » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:01 am

Pe.A wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:44 pm
Avon wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:32 pm
No.

There is sufficient evidence to suggest that there was institutional awareness of these things, such that, on occasion, a blind eye was turned. In at least one case the victim was silenced.

It’s not enough to make the assumption that things have changed, that there are fundamentally nicer people in charge these days and better governance and checks. People aren’t fundamentally nicer, we’re British, we don’t do governance and checks particularly well.

It’s the same CH. In hock to the doctrine of ‘it’s all part of the pageant’, fawningly in awe of being ‘royal, religious and ancient’ and spending money it hasn’t got. The School has the cheek to refuse to engage with my generation and tell us why Poulton, Sillett, Cairncross et al were so incompetent, and yet send me clumsy yet chiding requests for money at the same time?

This site is my place to tell them to go **** themselves. And I know they are reading this.
I disagree with this. Institutional awareness? What on earth does that actually mean...?

How can you say it's the same CH now from the one in the 70s?
It now appears that this went on a lot longer after the 70's.

Time for space-watching possibly.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by Otter » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:26 am

Pe.A wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:44 pm
Institutional awareness? What on earth does that actually mean...?
I guess he means the SMT - the most powerful staff body at the school, consisting of HM Poulton and Deputy HMs Sillett and Cairncross - about as institutional as you get in a school I suppose - who were fully aware of at least one complaint of abuse and did little/nothing to stop it, and instead actively discouraged the victim from pursuing the complaint.

---

I am very confident that the CH now is not the place it was even in the 90s or early 00s, due in part to beefed-up legislation and in part to reaction from the convictions in the last year or two. In the present day I do I believe it does far more good than bad.

But I absolutely agree with Avon, Bakunin and others that some - hierarchically powerful - people did know. This isn't speculation but has been stated in court, and also by forum users who attended and/or have had private involvement with victims and the cases in general, or who are even victims themselves.

It has been revealed in court that Poulton, Cairncross and Sillett did know about the abuse, and that Sillett threatened that one victim would (illegally) be named in the press if she pursued her complaint. The despicable Kate Powell (if you're interested in my anecdotes of her you can do a search on my user page) also knew, having been directly told by a victim, and did nothing. I think these are the ones who have been confirmed in court to have definitely known and failed to act; a handful of other staff have been named on here as potentially knowing at least something, but I don't know the extent of the veracity of these claims.

I'm not into general CH bashing, especially the modern-day CH that is not the same place as even 10-15 years ago, for the reasons above. I had on the whole fond memories and I remember many wonderful teachers. But I share the anger at the staff who did know and I understand those who will not rest until they are held accountable.

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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by robert totterdell » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:32 pm

Eer I know feelings run high on this.

Many at CH (Boys or Girls) did not know what was going on - they are not to feel any blame - other than that for some they were clearly looking through Nelson's second eye.

It happened - deal with it. You may have been there when it happened - deal with it.

The issue is why did it happen and why was it allowed to happen into this century?

And it was because the Governance of CH - be it the Head, the Housemasters, the Head Teachers or the Council of whatever period simply allowed it to happen.

The school today is a very different place as they say and that is true and it is probably down to Simon Reid who is totally committed to Safeguarding and the Welfare of children - this unlike the first CPO (Child Protection Officer) one Elizabeth Cairncross along with her team of dubious Housemasters and teaching families.

Of course the abuse happened in the past. Not so it was happening right up until Simon Reid took over as head and many do know this but just deny it.

From the victims and I now know many, there is not a hate of CH or an attempt to disparage or degrade the school. Most believe in its original Foundation. But they want to understand why the 'management' allowed what went on to go on.

I would suggest that those in eternal love with CH face up to a reality in the same way that victims of abuse at the school have to face up to what happened to them.

Rob
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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by TMF » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:03 pm

We have already seen from Robin Durrant's posts the damage that incomplete information and misunderstandings can do.
Do you mean Robert Durrant?

Robert C Durrant was a master who was asked to resign but given a reference by headmaster Newsome after Durrant assaulted and burst a pupil's eardrum (according to Durrant himself). You can read more about Robert C Durrant here:

viewtopic.php?f=65&t=5274&start=225#p146141
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north- ... ex-2810551
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north- ... ex-2811014

Robert C Durrant says that he went on to enjoy a rewarding career as a caring teacher, though his time at CH was not happy.

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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by loringa » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:12 am

TMF wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:03 pm
We have already seen from Robin Durrant's posts the damage that incomplete information and misunderstandings can do.
Do you mean Robert Durrant?

Robert C Durrant was a master who was asked to resign but given a reference by headmaster Newsome after Durrant assaulted and burst a pupil's eardrum (according to Durrant himself). You can read more about Robert C Durrant here:

viewtopic.php?f=65&t=5274&start=225#p146141
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north- ... ex-2810551
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north- ... ex-2811014

Robert C Durrant says that he went on to enjoy a rewarding career as a caring teacher, though his time at CH was not happy.
I do indeed mean Robert Durrant - my mistake. The point I was trying to make was simply that, whilst RCD's action was unacceptable, it wasn't unforgivable and in his own words he went on to enjoy a successful career at other schools.

Most parents know how insufferable their kids can be when they simply won't behave (even an almost perfect child like my own dd)! For anyone who has never worked in a school I can absolutely assure you that when there are 30 of them it can stretch the patience of a saint. In RCD's own words he over-reacted and the outcome was a serious injury but remember that this was in the era of corporal punishment; if he hadn't burst the lad's eardrum I doubt anything more would have been said. Some things are unforgivable, some things are not, but I (and clearly Dr Newsome) would suggest that this one was ultimately forgivable once RCD had, quite rightly, been punished.

Nonetheless, RCD was lumped in with those teachers who had sexually abused their charges, and he was vilified for it, hence his avatar. He really didn't deserve that; misinformation or partial information is a very serious thing and I felt (still feel) that some of the comments on this forum and elsewhere use such intemperate and inappropriate language that end up obfuscating the truth.

But, once again, this is simply my opinion and I don't expect everyone, or indeed anyone else, to share my views.
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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by richardb » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:01 am

Any teacher who assaults a pupil should never teach again. Durrant was moved on with a reference which should never have happened.
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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by TMF » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:48 am

Robert Durrant..on Robert Durrant.
I was very stressed and reacted by trying to call him quickly to order by smacking him around the head.
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=5274&start=150#p146007
Durrant, of Milton Abbas, Blandford, told jurors at Dorchester Crown Court he was very friendly with many of the boys he taught and he would often hug them and give them massages in a friendly way.
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north- ... ex-2810551

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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by loringa » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:50 am

richardb wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:01 am
Any teacher who assaults a pupil should never teach again. Durrant was moved on with a reference which should never have happened.
I am sorry Richard but I do not agree with you on this. Sexual assault - most definitely, but a single act of physical assault then I mostly strongly believe that a second chance could be, and in this case was, merited. People do make mistakes but hopefully they learn from them and there is no repetition. It would appear that was precisely what happens in RCD's case and I think, as a fairly regular maker of mistakes myself, that this was the better outcome than he being banned from teaching (which is what would probably happen today).

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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by richardb » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:09 pm

You cannot assault pupils. Whatever the circumstances.

We have a very self serving account from Durrant. On that account alone, he should never have been allowed to teach again.

With 35+ years of listening to criminals (and it was a criminal act) minimising their actions, I rarely believe a word they say. And I am not minded to take a different course with Durrant.

Any teacher assaulting a pupil is a complete and utter disgrace and renders that person totally unfit for teaching.

You are quite entitled to disagree Andrew but in the more enlightened times that we now live in he would be drummed out of the profession. He should have been then.
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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by AMP » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:28 pm

Whilst it would be nice to give people the benefit of the doubt, he came on this forum out of the blue and made a full confession to a criminal offence for which he could be imprisoned today if he were prosecuted and found guilty.

There is no record of why he left.

We are being asked to rely solely on his account.

Why would anyone knowingly come on a hostile public forum and confess to a criminal offence?

Unless of course it never happened

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Re: Did anyone know?

Post by Pe.A » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:45 pm

richardb wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:09 pm
You cannot assault pupils. Whatever the circumstances.

We have a very self serving account from Durrant. On that account alone, he should never have been allowed to teach again.

With 35+ years of listening to criminals (and it was a criminal act) minimising their actions, I rarely believe a word they say. And I am not minded to take a different course with Durrant.

Any teacher assaulting a pupil is a complete and utter disgrace and renders that person totally unfit for teaching.

You are quite entitled to disagree Andrew but in the more enlightened times that we now live in he would be drummed out of the profession. He should have been then.
Given the context of the time with regards to corporal punishment, i'm inclined to agree with loringa. It's tricky to work out quite what's twisting your melon, exactly, Richard - the clip round the earhole or the perforated eardrum - which, to be fair, implies it was either an almighty wallop or an unfortunately placed one.

Both you and loringa are longer in the tooth than me, and even though i reckon i was one of the last primary school children in the UK to get the cane in the late 80s, i appreciate that your knowledge of the regime in CH around corporal punishment will be greater than mine.

However, when this furore first kicked off i immediately thought of the line in the Madness song, Baggy Trousers ("...teacher comes to break it up, back of the head with a plastic cup...") which does sort of imply a clip round the earhole wasn't out of the ordinary - or at least by not that much.

Given by what sounds like a successful career post CH for Mr Durrant teaching and stewarding children, would you say that your own career as a barrister has left you less accommodating of the idea of rehabilitation rather than punishment...?

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