Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

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jtaylor
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Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by jtaylor »

This has been published today on the CH website, and publicised via social media too:-
CH website Old Blue update

"Wednesday 22 February 2023

Statement of Acknowledgement

Christ’s Hospital has heard from a number of former pupils, at both Hertford and Horsham, about abuse they suffered at school. Between 2017 and 2020, six former members of staff at Horsham were convicted for offences dating from the late 1960s to 2001.

For some former pupils, the School’s letters and public statements have not offered sufficient acknowledgement.

We have engaged with representative victims and other Old Blues from both Hertford and Horsham. We now wish to make the following statement, which marks the culmination of this independently facilitated process.
"

I've uploaded a copy of the pdf document here:
https://www.chforum.info/docs/CHAcknowl ... 230222.pdf
Julian Taylor-Gadd
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robert totterdell
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by robert totterdell »

Thank you Julian - 5 and a half years of my life trying to get this real apology but I never gave up and nor did Chris. Perhaps to say 'in memory to Adrian Reith who was part of the process'. Rob - and thanks to so many others who contacted me and supported me through the process.
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by jtaylor »

Well done to you Rob, and all others involved in pushing.

The senior leaders being referred to - completely understand why they’re unable to name them, but think it makes it pretty clear where responsibility lay….
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Peele94
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by Peele94 »

A big thanks to you Rob for all your perseverance in this.
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by Elvie »

Well done to all those who have been involved in this. I'm no expert but i think it's a good statement which doesn't try to deflect or detract blame or accountability. I hope that for those direct victims it provides at least a small amount of comfort in acknowledging their suffering at the time and in the years since. It also provides some recognition for those of us who were in the vicinity that what was seen and tolerated was not acceptable.

It is a great shame that those senior leaders and other perpetrators were never held to account. I guess that those who are still alive will see out their days with their mouths closed and their pens down.
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by Otter »

Elvie wrote: Wed Feb 22, 2023 9:49 pm It is a great shame that those senior leaders and other perpetrators were never held to account. I guess that those who are still alive will see out their days with their mouths closed and their pens down.
Sadly there is one such person who cheerfully tweets on a daily basis and seems to be personal friends with numerous influential people from the educational and religious sphere.

She was responsible for safeguarding during some of the 90s abuse. She was also a witness in Karim's trial, where she told the court she "couldn't remember" whether a sexual abuse complaint against him had been passed to the police.

She was appointed a governor of a religious school 3 months after Karim was convicted.
Last edited by Otter on Fri Feb 24, 2023 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
robert totterdell
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by robert totterdell »

Please be rest assured that the CPO involved in the Karim trial etc. will be made aware of the statement as will others who attempted to ensure that action was not taken against perpetrators and this from the entire period of 1969 - 2001. Action on this has already been undertaken. Rob
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by Otter »

robert totterdell wrote: Thu Feb 23, 2023 5:05 pm Please be rest assured that the CPO involved in the Karim trial etc. will be made aware of the statement as will others who attempted to ensure that action was not taken against perpetrators and this from the entire period of 1969 - 2001. Action on this has already been undertaken. Rob
Thanks a lot, Rob, and for all that you have done amid your trauma.

Of course there is also her colleague who dissuaded a victim from going further with a complaint by warning said victim that they risked being named publicly.

It seems that those in charge during the 90s consider themselves untouchable and also unremorseful, judging by their social media profiles and their appearances at fancy awards dos.

While I understand that the criminal threshold is apparently not met for such actions/omissions, it is outrageous that anyone who ignores or deflects abuse allegations should be allowed/able to work in education in any capacity whatsoever, let alone in high-profile educational posts, and to gain prestigious new roles after the court revelations.

It is legally possible to put someone on the Sex Offenders' Register despite not being convicted of any offence, if their conduct makes it clear that they are a danger. So it should also be possible to put someone on the Children's Barred List where their conduct falls so far short of what is expected of them in their duties as an educator.

Well done for achieving this unprecedented statement of acknowledgement. Again no expert here, but it seems not to be attempting to minimise anything, and is unequivocal in its criticism of those in charge of safeguarding at the time.
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by robert totterdell »

Thank you for these comments. Any mediation process is about compromise. It is not the best statement but it is the best that both sides could agree on. I am deeply aware of 'another' who dismissed allegations and deliberately and wilfully misled complainants. That person was a teacher at the school in my time. I am also aware of several others, still alive, from the more recent past who also acted in an inappropriate manner to complaints made in the late 1980's onwards.

To prosecute these people or to get them on the Child Offender Protection Register is almost impossible - that was the point of Mandate Now.

It is not for me to say what I would do with these people if I could as it would involve a machine gun and I would spend my last years at HMP. They will have or will read the Statement. They must live with their own consciences.

This Statement for me is just one step. There will be something else which I am trying to arrange. If that comes off it will be the most significant event ever held at CH either at Newgate Street, Hertford or Horsham. Please allow me time - it 13 months to get the Statement!

One thing that has happened is new 'victim' contact has been made to allow them to come to the gatherings arranged and to finally help with an understanding that they are not alone.

Hope that this helps.

Rob - I say to any victim who may have gone to court or not, if you need support please email me at [Email removed as obsolete - please contact via Private Message] or roberttotterdell@gmail.com. and I will point you in the right direction for support. I have gone through the process and know just how awful it is - I am here to offer my support.
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by sejintenej »

Robert; a simple "congratulations" to you and all those involved.
That final page with "who to contact if.." is excellent. I just hope it effectively warns any future would-be offender to go elsewhere..
What happens if a politician drowns in a river? That is pollution.
What happens if all of them drown? That is solution!!!
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by 80s90s »

Hello. Longtime lurker, first time poster. Been looking at this board on and off for many years.

I was at CH in the late 80s / early 90s period, and know the people involved well – was taught by several of them.

I would like to congratulate everyone involved who pushed for and got this acknowledgement. Best of luck to anyone taking it further.

I have read that some other public schools have made similar statements recently. I do wonder if they serve some sort of defensive legal purpose, although I can believe that the sentiment might be genuine. It must be easier to to apologise for something you weren't involved in and probably happened decades before you were involved.

Unfortunately I have found that my experiences at CH have affected me in lots of complex ways, some of which I am only beginning to discover many decades on. The education I received and the resilience I developed came at a cost. In my mid-forties, a lot of this trauma has resurfaced – I'd been keeping it pushed down for years. Am gradually getting some help.

For decades I put CH and what happened there into a kind of mental box. That was then, you survived it, you're free now. It was what it was. It was then, what it was then. You're stronger because of it. It was done. And indeed we do live in a different world now, where standards of pastoral care are different, there are avenues for whistleblowing and safeguarding and so on. But it doesn't mean what happened to you in the dim and distant past isn't still coursing through you.
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by TMF »

The school recognising, and apologising for, its failures. That is progress. Thank you very much Rob and Julian.
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by sejintenej »

80s90s wrote: Fri Apr 14, 2023 11:45 am Unfortunately I have found that my experiences at CH have affected me in lots of complex ways, some of which I am only beginning to discover many decades on. The education I received and the resilience I developed came at a cost. In my mid-forties, a lot of this trauma has resurfaced – I'd been keeping it pushed down for years. Am gradually getting some help.
Agreed and it is hitting me even worse nor 60+ years later. As for help - what help is available?
That was then, you survived it, . But it doesn't mean what happened to you in the dim and distant past isn't still coursing through you.
What happens if a politician drowns in a river? That is pollution.
What happens if all of them drown? That is solution!!!
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by Chris Blewett »

Too little too late and how do you ask for support???
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Re: Statement of Acknowledgement from CH

Post by Kiff »

There is a Support Service run by an Old Blue - see below Duncan's recent post on here:

If you'd like more information, or would like to chat to me about it, please go to my website https://forsurvivors.co.uk/ob-survivors/

Best Wishes
Duncan Forbes (CH 87-94)

And the pdf attachment on the School's Statement is reproduced below:

The School today is a very different place, one in which the safety, happiness and
wellbeing of our pupils is at the centre of all we do. Close links with local statutory
agencies help ensure that our practices and decision-making are compliant, effective
and open. Our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and other policies may be
found here.
We continue to encourage anyone who may have suffered abuse at the School to
come forward if they feel able to do so. A report can be made in a number of ways:
▪ Our dedicated email address – safeguarding@christs-hospital.org.uk – which is
staffed by a small team who can respond to your concerns or pass them on to the
relevant authorities. All approaches will be dealt with sympathetically and in
complete confidence.
▪ Sussex Police can be reached on 01273 470101.
▪ There are a number of organisations providing support for victims of child sexual
abuse including NAPAC (the National Association of People Abused in Childhood)
on 0808 801 0331 and the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
▪ The Benevolent Society of Blues (the BSB) is an independent charity that provides
support, financial and otherwise, to Old Blues and their families. Tel: 01403
247418 or email julie@bluessupportingblues.net.
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