Leading independent school faces inquiry into handling of child sex abuse allegations

By Dean Kirby
i News
December 13, 2016

The Charity Commission said the inquiry will look at charities that administer Ampleforth Abbey and Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.

The college is already the subject of a police investigation into historical allegations of abuse.

In September, the Right Reverend Cuthbert Madden, Ampleforth College's chairman of governors and Ampleforth Abbey's abbot, stepped aside as he denied any wrongdoing after North Yorkshire Police confirmed it was investigating non-recent allegations of indecent assault against four pupils.

The Charity Commission announced it had opened an inquiry into Ampleforth Abbey and St Laurence Education Trust, which runs both Ampleforth College and St Martin's Ampleforth.

The commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales, said its role was not to investigate allegations or actual incidents of abuse, but to look into the trustees' approach to safeguarding and their handling of allegations.

The commission said in a statement: "The commission stresses that it is not a safeguarding authority and its inquiries will not investigate allegations of abuse or actual incidents of abuse, whether historic or recent."

Ampleforth Abbey, which is located at the same site as the college, is home to a Catholic religious community. The St Laurence Education Trust runs Ampleforth College and a second independent school, St Martin's Ampleforth.

A report will be issued once the Charity Commission inquiry has been concluded.


Ampleforth College, which reportedly charges parents £33,000-a-year for boarding pupils, said in a statement that trustees were co-operating fully with the commission.

It added: "Ampleforth is strongly committed to good governance and a January 2016 inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate found the college to be fully compliant with regard to all aspects of safeguarding.

"In addition, an independent audit of the abbey trust's safeguarding commission carried out by the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service on behalf of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission in June 2015 endorsed the work of that commission in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults."


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.