The Governors of St James have set up an Inquiry website on which they issued a statement accepting the Inquiry's findings, apologised and stressed their support for reconciliation between former pupils and teachers. Subsequent statements have been issued in reply to questions and concerns raised by us and others. On 26 January details of the action the Governors planned to take and an outline of their reconciliation process were published. In early February they issued a "Clarification of Key Questions". In March they outlined how they had dealt with the issue of current teachers who were named by Townend in a second confidential report.
In summary, the Schools response to date has been to:
- attack PPIAG and victims of abuse as "hardened activists".
- reject calls for resignations or for any change in the current management or governance of the schools.
- claim the relationship and influence of the SES is transparent and that critics are misinformed.
- confirm that "there are currently no plans to remove" any current teachers who were named in the confidential Inquiry report. 1 teacher has received a written warning following a review by a panel of governors.
- address in detail the extensive efforts the schools have made more recently to ensure that they comply with statutory requirements and best practice for child protection and welfare.
After growing criticism, a special report on Channel 4 News and an open letter from nearly one hundred parents and pupils (past and present) calling for action, there has been an apology from the Head of the SES but no admission of the organisation's responsibility. There has still been no response from the Education Renaissance Trust (ERT) or its Chairman Nicholas Debenham (former headteacher of St James).
Click here to read more about the action we are calling for the Schools’ response to the Inquiry and what you can do.