New pupils barred from top UK Catholic school after abuse scandal

The Guardian

November 28, 2020

By Mattha Busby

Ampleforth college says it will appeal against education secretary’s decision

The government has ordered one of England’s most prestigious Catholic boarding schools, Ampleforth college, to stop admitting new pupils as a result of “very serious” failings.

Scandal has surrounded the private school in recent years and an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse published a highly critical report in August 2018 that said “appalling sexual abuse [was] inflicted over decades on children as young as seven”.

Ampleforth’s abbot, Cuthbert Madden, was removed from the post that year following allegations that he indecently assaulted pupils. Madden has denied the claims.

His replacement, Deirdre Rowe, stood down as acting head after 10 months in the role following the release of a highly critical inspection report that found the school did not meet standards for safeguarding, leadership, behaviour, combating bullying and complaints handling.

The Department for Education (DfE) has now launched enforcement action against the 200-year-old institution in North Yorkshire after ruling it had failed to meet safeguarding and leadership standards following an emergency Ofsted inspection.

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