Six Cambridgeshire schools named by students on sexual abuse website
- Credit: Archant
Six Cambridgeshire schools and one West Norfolk primary school, have been named on a list drawn-up by sexual abuse victims who have opened up to share their experiences.
Everyone’s Invited, which describes itself as “a safe place for survivors to share their stories completely anonymously,” recently published a report of almost 3,000 schools across the UK named by victims who have come forward.
The list is available to view online.
The schools named in this region are:
Wisbech Grammar School
Soham Village College
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Sir Harry Smith Community College
Witchford Village College
Marshland St James Primary and Nursery School
Current and former pupils came forward to anonymously share their experiences – some took place in an educational setting, while others have named schools that they or their alleged attacker attended at the time.
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One school featured was Wisbech Grammar School that teaches children aged from three to 18.
Headmaster Chris Staley said: “We have been keeping a close eye on the Everyone’s Invited website.
“I am saddened and shocked that so many testimonies have come to light – It's a sad indictment on us all that in 2021 the only avenue seemingly available to girls who attended schools and had experienced sexual assault, sexualised language, misogyny or rape culture was to take to social media.
“As a father myself of 3 children, two of which are teenage girls, I feel strongly connected to this issue as both a parent and a school leader.
“For the individual(s) who attended this school, I can offer nothing more than a sincere apology for the incident(s) that took place.
“Everyone’s Invited has been discussed widely across the staff and pupil body, with all staff taking on a series of mandatory training seminars associated with the subject.
“The voice of the pupil body has been completely restructured and I have appointed a specific staff member who has a clear remit to focus on current issues."
Dr Carin Taylor, Executive Headteacher for Staploe Education Trust which oversees Soham Village College said: “The testimonies posted on the Everyone’s Invited website are deeply concerning for all schools, universities and for our wider society.
“We welcome the collaborative and focused response that Everyone’s Invited has generated.
“We remain determined to play our part in the cultural change that is needed everywhere to address sexual violence and abuse in our society.”
Marshland St James Primary and Nursery school that has an age range of pupils from four to 11 years were ‘unaware’ of the details of the allegations relating to the school.
A spokesperson said: “Nothing has been reported directly to the Trust or the school; we take safeguarding very seriously and have, and will continue to, enhance our provision of PHSE across all of the Trust’s schools.
“We would encourage parents, carers, current and past pupils to come forward with any concerns and we will investigate them accordingly.”
John Attwater, Principal at Kings Ely said: "I am ashamed that misogynistic attitudes at King’s Ely have been called out, but it is a good thing if that gives us an unassailable reason to push forward our agenda of respect for each other as individuals.
"We hope together we can make a difference so that people never feel the need for such a website again.”
Naomi D'Cunha, Assistant Principal at Witchford Village College said: "At WVC, we aim to educate and inform our students, community and staff. Our revised PSHE programme ensures all students are fully informed about issues that they may face and also empowers them to recognise and challenge poor behaviours they may encounter. It also gives students a platform to share their thoughts and to have a voice.
Through high quality education and training, we know that we can play a significant part in making things better for future generations of young adults.
The Cambs Times also contacted Neale-Wade Academy and Sir Harry Smith Community College for a comment, but they have not responded as of yet.
The website has become well-known after the death of Sarah Everard in March this year, receiving more than 51,000 testimonies since it started in June 2020.
It publishes a full list of schools linked to abuse allegations, but these are not automatically cross-referenced to the testimonies, providing greater anonymity for those involved.
There are 2,556 secondary schools and 406 primary schools listed.
In the aftermath of the site publishing these testimonies, Ofsted revealed a report in which they told headteachers to assume sexual abuse is happening in their schools.
What do you think? Are schools doing enough to address sexual abuse? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org