Ampleforth, the ‘Catholic Eton’, admits it failed to protect its pupils

The Sunday Times of London

December 27, 2020

By Sian Griffiths

College has accepted serious failings over child abuse as it seeks to overturn a ban on new admissions

One of England’s most famous Catholic boarding schools, which has been surrounded by abuse
scandals for years, has accepted it has “very serious” safeguarding failings as it fights to stave off closure.

Ampleforth College, nicknamed “the Catholic Eton”, has submitted to ministers an action plan to tackle the serious weaknesses highlighted in an emergency inspection in September.

The 200-year-old school in North Yorkshire, which initially complained about the inspection report, says it now hopes to be reinspected early in the New Year. Local Conservative MPs have met ministers to intervene on its behalf.

When Ofsted inspectors visited Ampleforth this autumn, they found a range of failings including leaders not taking “reasonable, timely and appropriate action to safeguard pupils”, concerns raised by the police “not always given sufficient consideration”, and “serious weaknesses in the way leaders … manage allegations”.

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, subsequently banned the school from admitting new pupils.

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