Historical Abuse and Allegations Committee

Message from Lord Moynihan, Chairman of Governors

Following the “Trial of facts” against Graham Score, former Bursar at Monmouth School for Girls during the 70s, 80s and early 90s, I have established a new committee, led by Old Monmothian and Governor Anu Mohindru KC, to review how the schools handled the allegations.

The committee will be a permanent addition to the work of the Governors and a point of contact for any who feel they have been mistreated, whether sexually, physically, or emotionally whilst a pupil at any of our schools. We will not desist from our commitment to review all the allegations raised, learn lessons from past experiences and make recommendations on changes to the schools’ Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy whenever and wherever appropriate.

If you believe you have been a victim of abuse at one of our schools and would like to speak to a member of the committee in confidence, you are invited to make contact with Gina Negus: negus.gina@habsmonmouth.org in the first instance.

 

The remit of the Historical Abuse and Allegations Committee – Full Statement

The welfare and protection of the children in our care is the absolute priority of the Governors, senior leadership team and all staff at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools.

We were all deeply shocked to learn of the sexual abuse of pupils in the 1970s, 1980s and the early 1990s by Graham Score, a former bursar at the girls’ school.  In November 2021, after a three-year police investigation, Score was found to have committed four rapes and 14 indecent assaults against two victims, both former pupils at the school. Score was deemed unfit to stand trial, with the judgement being made after a hearing of evidence. Since the hearing, other victims have come forward to report abuse by Score to the police. Whilst the police opened a new investigation, it is our understanding with Score’s death in March 2022, those investigations are closed. Score was a predatory, serial abuser and it is deeply troubling that he was able to continue unchallenged for so long.

We are extremely sorry for the suffering he caused and admire the courage it took for his victims, both direct and indirect, to come forward after all these years and give details of their hurt and anguish.

We must learn lessons from past failures and constantly strive to guard against such abuse ever happening again. The recent IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) report into historical abuse in schools has shone a spotlight on how prevalent this was across the country during this time. There has been a complete change of culture in schools since the introduction of the Children Act in 1989 which put the welfare of children at the heart of all schools and gave them a voice. Before this time, adults were often quick to dismiss a child’s account which enabled perpetrators of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse to operate. Despite the endemic nature of abuse, it should never have happened at any of our schools.

The Board of Governors has established the Historical Abuse and Allegations Committee to manage the schools’ handling of allegations of non-recent abuse (namely allegations involving former pupils and former members of staff).

Mr Anu Mohindru KC, a barrister with experience of working on cases of child abuse, chairs the committee. Two other Governors, Mrs Hilary Moriarty and Dr Ruth Weeks, are members. Both have considerable, relevant experience of working as Heads and school inspectors. Two non-Governor appointments have also been made. Mr John McLaren, with great experience as former Chairman of Haberdashers’ Knights Academy, present Governor of Danes Hill Prep in Surrey and Governor of the British School of Amsterdam, has been appointed to the committee by the Haberdashers’ Company. Ms Gina Negus, an alumna of the girls’ school from the time, brings the experience of outstanding service as a police officer with special expertise in child abuse and victim support.

The remit of the committee is to review allegations raised, learn lessons from past experience and make recommendations on changes to the schools’ Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and procedures in order to provide pupils, parents and staff (in each case both past and present) with the confidence that the schools offer a safe, inclusive and trusted environment.

The committee will consider allegations raised through internal, school-based reviews, including the examination of relevant records and informal interviews of the individuals involved. We must not lose sight of the victims during this review, and we will arrange appropriate support for those affected and communicate the outcomes with transparency and integrity.

In cases subject to an ongoing police investigation, the committee will continue to offer full cooperation to the police and support to the victims.

If you have been a victim of abuse or have allegations, you are asked to contact your local police station in the first instance. Additionally, you can contact Gina Negus of the committee at (negus.gina@habsmonmouth.org), with any concerns you may have.

We have also been recommended two charities offering specialist counselling: the National Association for People Abused in Childhood and The Survivors Trust.  We hope they may offer additional support where needed.

www.napac.org.uk and www.thesurvivorstrust.org

Anu Mohindru KC

Chair of the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools Historical Abuse and Allegations Committee June 2022

Clare Anning, Clerk to the Historical Abuse and Allegations Committee by email anning.clare@habsmonmouth.org or Phone no: 01600 710447

Committee Members

Anu Mohindru KC, Chairman
Educated at Monmouth School for Boys (Head of School 1992-3), University of Wales (Law, LLM) and UWE (BVC) Now lives in London practicing as a Barrister in all areas of regulatory, financial and general crime; Currently Advising the UN (Office of Drugs and Crime) and Counsel of the Kosovo Specialist Chamber (The Hague).

John McClaren, Haberdasher
John bring great experience to the committee as former Chairman of Haberdashers’ Knights Academy, a present Governor of Danes Hill Prep in Surrey and a Governor of the British School of Amsterdam.  He has been appointed to the Committee by the Haberdashers’ Company

Hilary Moriarty, Governor
Educated at Denbigh Grammar School, Trinity College, Dublin (BA Hons in English Language and Literature), the University of Wales (Postgraduate Certificate in Further Education), Leicester University (MA in Modern English and American Literature) and Leeds Metropolitan University (Diploma in Education Leadership and Management). Lectured in English in Colleges of FE, and taught in comprehensive, grammar and independent schools. Deputy Head and subsequently Head of independent girls’ boarding schools. National Director of the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) and the State Boarding Schools’ Association (SBSA) 2006 – 2014. Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate for 20 years. Currently a consultant advising schools on preparation for inspection and training governors. Contributor to national education press since 1985. Lives in Monmouth, married with two sons and two daughters, both of whom attended Monmouth School for Girls.

James Murphy-O’Connor, Principal, Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools
Mr Murphy-O’Connor became the first overarching Principal of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools in September 2019. A history graduate from Oxford, with a PGCE from Cambridge, Mr Murphy-O’Connor started his teaching career at Stamford School in Lincolnshire, moving on to become a history master and housemaster at Sherborne School in Dorset. Mr Murphy-O’Connor then became the founding Headmaster at Sherfield School in Hampshire, a challenge he relished, building pupil numbers to 500 in just five years. In 2009, Mr Murphy-O’Connor took on the headship of Prior Park College in Bath and subsequently became Principal of Prior Park Schools with responsibility for their prep school, junior school, college, and the senior school he established in Gibraltar in 2016.

Gina Negus
Gina is an Old Girl and was a pupil when Miss Page was Head.  After Monmouth, Gina joined the police where she initially dealt with emergency care and protections, indecency, and rape allegations.  Gina specialised in this type of work until joining criminal intelligence.  Her career with the police ended after she was shot at.  She was one of the first people in the country to be diagnosed with PTSD which later led to an involvement with Victim Support.  Pro bono, Gina chaired Thames Valley Court Witness Service and the Witness service at Reading Crown Court.  Following on from this, part of that role involved setting up the first witness support service at a magistrates court (in Milton Keynes). For the past 30-plus years, Gina has run a management consultancy and latterly a private investigation agency.

Ruth Weeks, Governor
Educated in Birmingham. BSc in Biochemistry, PhD in Muscle Biochemistry. Taught in Comprehensive, Grammar and Independent schools. Senior posts include Deputy Headmistress Pastoral of Monmouth School for Girls, Head of Redland High School, Head of Edgbaston High School, retired August 2019. Past Chair of the Education Committee for the Girls’ School Association (GSA), Reporting inspector for Compliance and Educational Quality Inspections for the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Living in the Wye Valley, married with two daughters, who were educated at Monmouth School for Girls, three grandchildren attend Monmouth Prep School.

Clerk to the committee, Mrs Clare Anning, anning.clare@habsmonmouth.org