IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

This section was setup in August 2018 in order to move the existing related discussions from other sections into this new section to group them together, and separate from the other CH-related topics.

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robert totterdell
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IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by robert totterdell » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:32 pm

Dear All

The IICSA inquiry into Residential Independent Schools (Public Schools) will start Phase II in September. Phase I looked at 'Closed Schools' such as Sherbourne Prep and Music Schools.

They will now look at the mainstream Public Schools.

Simon Reid has already written to IICSA (with the approval of the Council (Governing) to ask that CH be looked at. I have also written as has another, but possibly more. It is the one thing that CH & I totally agree on - CH needs to be looked at.

The Inquiry are able to call who ever they want to attend for interview (I'll be there) which means they can call teachers past and present to give evidence and they are legally required to do so with the exception of the Royals (Windsors, Gloucesters, Kents) who can provide written statements.

This is the one and probably the only chance that Old Blues will be able to get some of the answers to some of the questions concerning what happened at CH and why it was allowed to happen. Cairncross, Sillett et all can be called and questioned.

So I ask all of you to contact IICSA as below to simply request that CH is looked at.

All contacts are in strictest confidence - you will not be named or asked to be interviewed - the teachers will. I am putting my kneck on the line with this as I will be interviewed as a victim - so I ask for help and support to get some answers, please.

Telephone 0800 917 1000 08:00 - 20:00 M - F, 10:00 - 12:00 Sat. Calls are free and will not show on your phone bill.

Email: contact@iicsa.org.uk

Write: Freepost IICSA INDEPENDENT INQUIRY - no stamp needed.

Thanks you

Rob
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by marty » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:32 pm

Thanks Rob. I contacted IICSA in August last year requesting they look at CH after publication of the Ampleforth report. The parallels between CH and Ampleforth are plain as day. Thank you again for your commitment to this important (and no doubt draining) process.
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by DazedandConfused » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:49 pm

Well done Robert, as ever, for all you are doing to support the other victims. In terms of our letters/emails to them, how lengthy do they need to be? Do we need to provide a compelling argument as to why CH should be included, or do we assume they already know the facts and simply lend our support?

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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by marty » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:41 pm

DazedandConfused wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:49 pm
Well done Robert, as ever, for all you are doing to support the other victims. In terms of our letters/emails to them, how lengthy do they need to be? Do we need to provide a compelling argument as to why CH should be included, or do we assume they already know the facts and simply lend our support?
I would imagine they are fully aware of what is in the public domain. If you can add anything that they might not know about, it will surely only increase the chance of success. If not, then we can only hope sheer weight of numbers will persuade them. I have pasted below an adapted draft based on my original email to IICSA which you are more than welcome to use as a starting point for your own email:


To whom it may concern

I note that you investigated Downside and Ampleforth and would like to request you conduct a similar investigation in to Christ's Hospital in Horsham. The school has seen 6 former teachers convicted in the past 2 years. I attended the school myself and whilst I was lucky not to be subjected to abuse, it is clear that the school did not just fail in its obligations to protect children but wilfully covered up abuse for decades. I am concerned that we have only just begun to scratch the surface and that the full extent of the abuse and the school's complicit behaviour in allowing it to continue (either at Christ's Hospital or by moving teachers on to other establishments with favourable references) needs to be fully investigated.

Kind regards
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by DazedandConfused » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:53 pm

Thanks Marty, that is really helpful as a start point.

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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by robert totterdell » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:43 pm

Thank you Marty & Dazed&C

What Marty has written is pretty much what is needed - short and simple.

Interesting about Ampleforth & Downside. I can't remember which one, but at one of them they introduced safeguarding only to find the safeguarding officer, a priest, being caught doing something personal outside the fence of the playground for young (very young) children attending the primary school part of the school. So much for safeguarding! In another instance and in another part of the Inquiry a choir teacher at a famous Abbey school (C of E, Coronations etc.) was moved onto a Young Girls Academy next to the worlds most famous Tennis grounds because it was believed that because he liked little boys he wouldn't like little girls - you can guess what happened.

The key legal representative for victims in the inquiry cases so far happens, by luck, to be my lawyer and it is the reason that I have said I will speak to the inquiry directly. So far, and in the most recent case - Phase I, very few or no victims have been prepared to present evidence (can't blame them) - but this time I will. A victim is treated in an inquiry exactly the same as any other witness - so no niceties!

What CH can show is the chalk and cheese factor - how bad it was and good it is at safeguarding and I think it really does set an example for the country.

The Inquiry are very aware of the issues concerning the school - I now have another problem - if my second case goes forward they can't use CH. So I must drop it but see if I am allowed to re-instate it at a later date.

So Dazed you will now be more confused - join the club! Thank you Marty and D&C, it is with your help that we may get some answers and it is with people like you who have given me support that I have manged to get as far as I have done - SO GOOD ON YOU - THANK YOU - just in case I forget in the future to thank you.

Rob
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by DazedandConfused » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:23 pm

You’re right about that, I am dazed, confused and more that a little disturbed.

Do you mean new charges in the criminal court would prevent CH being included in the enquiry as they can’t run concurrently? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

Off to email IICSA now.

bl**dy well done Rob, as always. I hope you realise how many people are behind you.
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by robert totterdell » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:48 am

Yup - if there is a current court case that involves CH they would not want to look at CH as it could interfere with the Criminal proceedings - however there may be a way round this.

I'll come back on this shortly.

Rob

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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by stage crew » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:12 pm

In order to manage expectations, I think I should point out that Phase 2 of this investigation by the Inquiry is thematic/issues based. This means that there will not be individual investigations/ case studies of further institutions, unlike in Phase I.

However, it is likely that CH has, rather than asked to be investigated, applied for Core Participant status. Whether they have or not, and indeed whether that is granted by the Chair or otherwise, they are very likely to be asked to provide evidence to the investigation as will many other institutions as the Inquiry is seeking to learn about current policies, safeguards etc (it’s brief is not non-recent and any criminality it learns if will be passed to police).

Complainants/ victims can seek Core Participant status, either individually or as a group, which means, if granted, they can propose lines of scrutiny via the Investigation’s counsel.
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by robert totterdell » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:51 pm

Not quite true

There are two further phases of IICSA in this particular part of the inquiry. They can choose not to cover a specific case study. However, if a significant number of persons has requested this should happen of a particular institution they can be held in contempt of the rules of the Inquiry and as such they themselves can face criminal prosecution if they do not pursue that part of the Inquiry.

To give an example in the various Hillsborough Inquiries certain members of the various Inquiry's have now been held accountable for not following through on their remit and one has received a suspended sentence and one lost a knighthood. They will be very aware of this.

I would suspect that this Inquiry will be very conscious of that and the consequences thereof.

CH wants core participation to show that it has dealt with 'non recent issues' and to show how good it is now. It has covered the latter but not the former.

Unfortunately for the school there is one Old Blue and victim who is not going to allow the fob off that they want. Questions need answering and they will be answered.

It is for the pupils of CH past and present to simply demand that CH is looked at and not for how good their current safeguarding is now.

IICSA actually has a real problem as unlike their previous investigations they have a core element of the establishment to look at - and they will not like that. For Britain this is rather critical just now, and I suspect they know it!

But don't worry - an independent inquiry into the school can be arranged - now that would finish the foundation - best IICSA look at CH.

But then again don't worry - I will dismantle them at my next meeting with The Redress Committee of the Council (Governing) on the 13th September. They have spent over two years doing nothing for the victims who I talk to daily - now they will do something. They mismanaged this situation and got it badly wrong - they will now start to get it right.

Trust me!
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by stage crew » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:43 pm

robert totterdell wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:51 pm
Not quite true

There are two further phases of IICSA in this particular part of the inquiry. They can choose not to cover a specific case study. However, if a significant number of persons has requested this should happen of a particular institution they can be held in contempt of the rules of the Inquiry and as such they themselves can face criminal prosecution if they do not pursue that part of the Inquiry.

To give an example in the various Hillsborough Inquiries certain members of the various Inquiry's have now been held accountable for not following through on their remit and one has received a suspended sentence and one lost a knighthood. They will be very aware of this.

I would suspect that this Inquiry will be very conscious of that and the consequences thereof.

CH wants core participation to show that it has dealt with 'non recent issues' and to show how good it is now. It has covered the latter but not the former.

Unfortunately for the school there is one Old Blue and victim who is not going to allow the fob off that they want. Questions need answering and they will be answered.

It is for the pupils of CH past and present to simply demand that CH is looked at and not for how good their current safeguarding is now.

IICSA actually has a real problem as unlike their previous investigations they have a core element of the establishment to look at - and they will not like that. For Britain this is rather critical just now, and I suspect they know it!

But don't worry - an independent inquiry into the school can be arranged - now that would finish the foundation - best IICSA look at CH.

But then again don't worry - I will dismantle them at my next meeting with The Redress Committee of the Council (Governing) on the 13th September. They have spent over two years doing nothing for the victims who I talk to daily - now they will do something. They mismanaged this situation and got it badly wrong - they will now start to get it right.

Trust me!
I am reasonably familiar with the proceedings of the Inquiry as a whole, on a professional basis. I hope that you get the outcome that you are looking for, but my concern is that the expectations of complainants/victims/survivors are not unduly raised. The Investigative phase is focussed on an understanding of current arrangements and making recommendations for, amongst other options, statutory oversight.

That is good news (perhaps - being a realist) for the future, but the Investigation will not attempt to resolve past wrongs.
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by robert totterdell » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:44 pm

Absolutely right - but it will bring past wrong doings into the lime light!

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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by jtaylor » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:56 pm

“Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it....” (or something like that) - so I really hope both CH and the IICSA have a strong desire to fully understand how the environment at CH lent itself so clearly to these abuses happening, being allowed to continue, and to being so widespread with the ranks of CH teachers.

It’s very easy to look at current processes, and say “they look good....tick” - but without an informed historical understanding of how and why processes and controls failed in the past (all of which were, I’m sure, deemed to be fine then....), confidence can’t be gained in the safety of the current systems.

Having said that, I would completely accept though that the CH of today is a step-change improvement in terms of pastoral care and safeguarding, without question, from what I’ve understood.

J
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by robert totterdell » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:40 pm

Julian is right.

'To understand the present and consider the future one must look at the past'.
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Re: IICSA - Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Post by Foureyes » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:13 pm

Julian remarks that: "Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it....” (or something like that)."

True enough, although it is usually expressed as "Those who do not understand the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them."
However, Old Blues have visited this topic before and I prefer the more poetic: "If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (C.H. 1781-90)
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