The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is under investigation after an allegation of sexual abuse was made at the Pears Centre; which is regarded as their flagship school.

The Pears Centre is a Specialist Learning School and Children’s Home for young people who are blind or partially sighted.

The Charity Commission launched a statutory inquiry into RNIB and reported that there had been “several serious incidents over the course of last year and children had been placed at risk of harm. A final serious safeguarding incident took place at the start of last month”

The Chief Executive of the Charity Sally Harvey has resigned over the crisis. Harvey Grenville Head of Investigations and Enforcement at the Charity Commission has said that, “the situation at the centre was deeply concerning.”

Ofsted published a report in January 2018 which showed that there had been a “high number of incidents and accidents involving pupils last year.” They also stated that they would “withdraw the Children’s Home registration unless improvements were made.”

Eleanor Southwood, Chair of the Charity has made the following statement:

“A few weeks ago we received a notice from Ofsted, which regulates our children’s services, proposing to cancel our registration to run the children’s home at RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning in Coventry, Warwickshire.

This was in response to a series of increasingly poor monitoring reports which have criticised the way we have run the service.
We now have to demonstrate to Ofsted substantial improvements by mid-April and we will know Ofsted’s decision in mid-May.

The children at Pears Centre are our number one priority. We recognise the seriousness of Ofsted’s concerns and we’re truly sorry that the level of service we’ve provided has not been good enough.

We’re also launching our own independent review to get to the bottom of what happened, and to guide us in making improvements to how we work.”


Jordans Solicitors are highly experienced in representing victims of abuse. If you have been affected by anything in this article, please contact the abuse team on 0800 9555 094 or request a call back.

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