School to be examined during national child sexual abuse inquiry after Leat abuse

PUBLISHED: 07:21 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 07:21 05 December 2019

(click on image for larger view) Police outside Hillside school Worle.

(click on image for larger view) Police outside Hillside school Worle.

Archant

A primary school is to be examined as part of a national investigation into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will consider Hillside First School in Worle during the second phase of its residential schools investigation.

Former teacher Nigel Leat received an indefinite jail sentence for public protection in 2011 after he pleaded guilty to 36 charges relating to the abuse of pupils in his care.

The offences included attempted rape and sexual assaults and he also filmed the abuse, which took place at the school.

More: Anger as sex abuse teacher is deemed suitable for move to open jail.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is examining the extent to which institutions and organisations have failed to protect children in England and Wales.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "We are glad to support the work of the inquiry to ensure that lessons continue to be learned across the education sector."

The Residential Schools investigation is one of 15 examinations which are being carried out by the inquiry - and it will look at the sexual abuse and exploitation of pupils in three schools.

A public hearing in May 2020 will hear evidence regarding allegations of child sexual abuse at the school, as well as Headlands School in East Yorkshire and Clifton College in Bristol.

In October, the public hearing into the first phase of the inquiry's Residential Schools investigation examined music and special educational needs schools.

The second and final phase will take a broader look at safeguarding procedures within the schools sector in general, including day schools.

This will include an examination of culture, governance and management when allegations of child sexual abuse are made, while also hearing from teaching unions and the Teaching Regulation Agency.

The inquiry will make recommendations for change with the aim of ensuring institutions will do more to protect children from sexual abuse in the future.

The hearing will take place from May 11-22 at the inquiry's hearing centre in London.

Anybody who has first-hand knowledge of allegations of child sexual abuse at Hillside First School can email the inquiry at solicitors@iicsa.org.uk with Residential Schools investigation in the subject line, or call on 08009 171000.

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