The ITV documentary Exposure has revealed that hundreds of people have been accused of carrying out sexual abuse on pupils at boarding schools, with dozens of police investigations still ongoing into the abuse.

The Exposure programme was broadcast on Monday and featured journalist and author Alex Renton. Alex was sexually abused at the age of 8 by a teacher of one of the leading boarding schools. Alex revealed how the schools failed to take any action against the abusers even after some of the children managed to build up the courage and report the abuse. The programme revealed the systemic failures that allowed the abusers to go unpunished, in some cases permitting them to continue teaching elsewhere in the private and the state sector. If they were “moved on”, according to the programme, they left with glowing references and continued teaching elsewhere, preying on more children.

All schools are expected to have sufficient safeguarding arrangements to prevent abuse. Exposure analysed the most recent inspection report for every boarding school in England and found one in ten schools either failed to meet national standards, or didn’t meet the requirements needed to be given a rating of ‘good’. ITV’s Exposure made a Freedom of Information request to every police force in the UK and found the following response from 24 of the forces:

• “Since 2012, 425 people have been accused of carrying out sexual attacks at UK boarding schools
• Not every force could provide further details but at least 160 people have been charged so far.
• At least 171 of the total number were accused of historical abuse.
• Since 2012 at least 125 people have been accused by children of recent sex attacks at boarding schools.
• There are at least 31 ongoing investigations.
• Just over half of the forces responded, meaning the total figure is likely to be far higher”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised you can contact the following organisations for support:
• NAPAC offers support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse.
• Victim Support offers free and confidential services to anyone in England and Wales who has experienced sexual assault or rape now or in the past. You can call the Victim Support line, which operates 24/7, on 0808 168 9111.
• Boarding Concern offers support to former boarders and boarding school survivors.
• The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has an Inquiry Information Line you can contact on 0800 917 1000 (open weekdays 8am-8pm and Saturdays 10am-12pm).
• Mandate Now is a pressure group that seeks the introduction of law requiring all staff who work in ‘regulated activities’ to report concerns about the welfare of a child.

If you would like to speak to one of our highly qualified abuse team members in confidence, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our highly skilled abuse team will advice you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are highly experienced in this area. They are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these types of sensitive cases. Please contact the abuse team on 0800 9555 094.

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