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Schools in Stamford, Bourne, Deepings and Rutland named on Everyone's Invited website

Primary and secondary schools in the area have been named on a website used by pupils and former pupils to allege sexual abuse.

The anonymous testimonies have been shared through the Everyone's Invited website where nearly 3,000 schools have been named by current or former pupils in allegations of abuse and rape culture.

They include Arthur Mellows Village College in Glinton, Bourne Academy, Bourne Grammar, Oakham School, Oundle School, Prince William School in Oundle, Stamford Endowed Schools, The Deepings School, Uppingham Community College and Uppingham School.

Uppingham Community College
Uppingham Community College

Uppingham CE Primary School is among 406 primary schools mentioned.

Headteacher Julia Exton said no allegations had been reported since she took over the role four years ago. She added that she had not heard of any complaints having been made before then either.

In a statement unrelated to any individual school, Ofsted said sexual harassment has become 'normalised' for schoolchildren, with nine in 10 girls reporting incidents of sexist name-calling or being sent unwanted explicit pictures or videos.

The principal's house at the Stamford Endowed Schools
The principal's house at the Stamford Endowed Schools

A testimony on Everyone's Invited, which The Deepings School believes was submitted by a former pupil, refers to an incident 11 years ago at a party not held at the school.

Richard Lord, headteacher, described the school as "extremely saddened to hear about this horrific experience".

He said: "It was extremely brave of this individual to come forward and share what happened. As we have stated previously, we would be happy to support her in whatever way we can, should she decide to take this matter to the police.

"Schools are always developing and The Deepings is no exception. Over the past decade, the support, guidance and advice that schools provide to pupils to promote awareness of consent has significantly improved.

Bourne Academy
Bourne Academy

"Promoting healthy relationships and developing a very clear understanding of sexual consent features prominently in our personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum."

Everyone's Invited 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.

Alastair Anderson, headteacher at Bourne Grammar School, described testimonies on the website as "truly horrifying" and vowed to stand by anyone who experienced trauma.

Bourne Grammar School
Bourne Grammar School

He said: "A key challenge for any school is continuously nurturing and promoting a culture where any young person – or adult for that matter – feels able to share any concern, report any incident, and speak up against any wrongdoing.

"At Bourne Grammar School we have a long-established focus on providing the best atmosphere and best support, and our behaviour policy is built upon safe and respectful relationships; that said, we can never be complacent.

"If anyone in our school community has experienced any form of abuse and has not previously felt able to come forward, I strongly support and encourage them to do so through the pastoral support channels at school."

Arthur Mellows Village College
Arthur Mellows Village College

Oakham School acknowledged its part in the "collective responsibility to ensure change". A spokesman said: "While no details have been shared with us from Everyone’s Invited, we are never complacent and would always take any allegations seriously.

"Should anyone report any incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault, we have clear guidelines and procedures for dealing with this, which, if necessary, would include reporting the matter to the relevant authority. If anyone wishes to bring any specific issues to our attention, we encourage them to do so."

Stamford Endowed Schools also appears on the list but has not been told the details of any allegation.

A spokesman said: "Everyone’s Invited has highlighted the extent of sexual assault and sexual harassment in all schools, with around half of all senior schools and colleges in the UK having been listed by the Everyone’s Invited website, including several local state and independent schools.

"It is sadly apparent that sexual assault and harassment is a societal issue, and we welcome the increased national focus and conversation, triggered by Everyone’s Invited, which is vital in tackling it. We believe change must involve the whole school community, and we will be working very closely with our pupils and their parents to achieve it."

Staff at Arthur Mellows Village College are reviewing 'relationship and consent education' in the PSHE curriculum in light of the number of cases which have come to light nationally

Headteacher Mike Sandeman said the school is unable to comment on individual incidents but takes reports "very seriously and seeks to support pupils, liaising with other external agencies as appropriate".

Bourne Academy, Oundle School, Uppingham Community College, and Uppingham School were all contacted to comment but have not responded while Prince William School has declined to comment.

Martin Smith, assistant director for education at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "We want Lincolnshire's schools to be a safe place for all young people, and all local schools have rigorous safeguarding measures in place, in line with the guidance from the Department for Education.

In addition, the DfE expects schools to deliver appropriate relationship and health education to prepare pupils for adulthood and develop their understanding of this area."

He added: "Alongside our colleagues on the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children's Partnership, we'll continue to work with local schools to reduce the likelihood of abuse and support those affected."

Fall in sexual offences

South Kesteven has seen a fall in reports of sexual offences against children.

In 2020, 115 incidents of child sexual abuse were reported to Lincolnshire Police – a 40 per cent drop from the 194 cases reported in 2019 and 171 reports made in 2018.

In about 18 per cent of cases the offenders were also children.

Detective Superintendent Martyn Parker, head of protecting vulnerable people, said there has been a rise in cases reported to Lincolnshire Police, which “reflects the national picture and greater awareness of the issue”.

He added: “We have been working hard over several years to make sure that we identify such offences, record them effectively and safeguard victims. Increases reflect confidence in reporting, and encouragement of reporting, for example through the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ campaign."

Report any incident of child sexual abuse to the police on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.

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