Five Huntingdonshire schools named by students on sexual abuse website
- Credit: Archant
Five Huntingdonshire schools – including a primary school – are on a list drawn-up by sexual abuse victims who have opened up about their experiences.
Everyone's Invited, which describes itself as "a movement committed to eradicating rape culture", recently published a list of almost 3,000 schools across the UK named by victims who have come forward.
The list is available to view online and mentions around one tenth of all schools across the country.
In Huntingdonshire, the schools named are:
Godmanchester Community Academy
Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon
Longsands Academy, St Neots
St Ivo School, St Ives
Abbey College, Ramsey
Current and former pupils came forward to anonymously share their experiences – some of which 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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Education chiefs from the schools said all allegations were taken “extremely seriously” and robust sex education policies were in place.
One school featured was Godmanchester Community Academy that teaches children aged from five to 11.
Andrew Goulding, chief executive officer of the ACES Academies Trust, which oversees the primary school along with Hinchingbrooke School, said: “The trust is very concerned to learn of postings on the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website and would like to reassure everyone that allegations and disclosures of any nature are taken extremely seriously by staff in our schools.
"We have robust policies and procedures to deal with all types of concern and appropriate action is taken in line with government guidelines.
“Matters of this nature, which fall under the safeguarding category, are regularly discussed by senior staff and with other support agencies.
“Training for staff is regular and on-going and the board of trustees and local governors monitor such incidents.
“We have created safe environments in our schools, where children are encouraged to seek adult support and talk about their concerns and any incidents that occur in their lives.
“We also recognise that there is no room for complacency.”
The Astrea Academy Trust, which oversees St Ivo School and Longsands Academy, said they were “appalled and saddened by the testimonies shared on Everyone’s Invited”.
A spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of all students is our number one priority - we work hard to create a culture of respect in our family of schools, where wrongdoing is called out and students trust that any allegation will be treated seriously and sensitively.
“Our schools have programmes in place to address these issues including, at St Ivo, student voice work to better identify the current issues for students – with information being used to strengthen the curriculum and pastoral work for the coming year.
“Meanwhile, Longsands is reviewing its relationship, sex and health education policy and delivering special assemblies, with student voice as the driving force behind them.”
The Hunts Post also contacted Abbey College, in Ramsey, for a comment which they declined to do so at this point.
The website came into the spotlight after the death of Sarah Everard in March 2021 and has received more than 16,000 testimonies since it started in June 2020.
It publishes a full list of schools linked to allegations of abuse, but these are not automatically cross-referenced to the testimonies, providing greater anonymity for those involved.
Shockingly, the site features testimonies from children as young as nine.
There are 2,556 secondary schools and 406 are primary schools listed.
Earlier this year minsters said that anyone making allegations would receive support and protection.
A Government spokesperson said: "We are very concerned by the significant number of allegations recently posted on the 'Everyone's Invited' website.
"The abuse of children and young people in all its forms is abhorrent.”
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.
The regulator found nine in 10 girls had been sent explicit videos or photos or been called sexist names.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Are schools doing enough to address any issues? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.