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Investigations into Allegations of Abuse in Children's Homes and Schools

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 26 February 2015

This is a statement regarding investigations relating to Jimmy Savile and a number of children’s homes and schools in England.

On 27 March 2014 the then Education Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), informed the House about the transfer of information received by the Department for Education relating to Jimmy Savile and several children’s homes and schools in England, dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. This information was passed to the appropriate organisations for further investigation.

I can today inform the House that investigations have been completed by the relevant local authority, institution or legacy organisation and their individual reports are being published today.

None of the investigations have been able to reach firm conclusions about whether the alleged abuse took place or not. Although many of them say the informant was credible, the lack of corroborating evidence has prevented them from reaching a definitive conclusion. The investigating organisations are publishing a report of their findings today and links to their individual websites where the reports can be found are included at the end of this statement.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff was appointed to provide independent oversight and quality assurance of the process and she has now produced a report covering a total of 14 investigations. The report “Independent oversight of investigations into matters relating to Jimmy Savile at schools and children’s homes” has been published today and is available at: http://www.gov.uk

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff concluded in her report that:

All the investigations reviewed into matters relating to Jimmy Savile have been conducted in an appropriate and robust fashion and that the resulting reports should be published.

All the investigations found that policy and practice has developed significantly in the schools and children’s homes since the time of alleged incidents. This is not as a result of Savile’s activities but because of the greater awareness of safeguarding risks that has developed over the last few decades.

The risk of a paedophile having unrestricted access to children, as Savile apparently had, is now substantially reduced.

I would like to thank Lucy Scott-Moncrieff for her assurance that the investigations were conducted in an appropriate and robust fashion.

Child abuse is an abhorrent crime whenever it occurs and whoever the perpetrator. All victims have a right to expect that allegations of abuse, no matter how much time has passed, will be investigated professionally and appropriately. I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to all the victims, survivors and witnesses for their invaluable assistance that has required them to relive distressing events in their life. These investigations would not have been possible without their co-operation.

Links to relevant websites for access to investigation reports:

Action for Children at: http://www.actionforchildren.org. uk/savilereport

Banardo’s at: http://www.barnardos.org.uk/ jsinvestigationfinalreport.pdf

Bournemouth Borough Council at: www.bournemouth. gov.uk/yewtree

Devon County Council at: http://www.devon.gov.uk/js-colleton-lodge-report.pdf http://www.devon.gov.uk/childrenfamilies

Gloucestershire County Council at: www.gloucestershire. gov.uk/saville-investigation-report

Henshaws Society for blind people at: http://henshaws. org.uk/resources/for-professionals/operation-yewtree

Hounslow Council at: http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/report-on-investigation

Leeds City Council at: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/ opendata/Pages/Savile-investigation.aspx

London Borough of Tower Hamlets at: http://www. childrenandfamiliestrust.co.uk/the-lscb

Manchester City Council at: www.manchester.gov.uk/savilereport

Nottinghamshire County Council at: http://www. nottinghamshire.gov.uk/caring/childrenstrust/pathwav-to-provision/mash

Nottingham City Council at: http://www.nottinghamcity. gov.uk/29395

Sevenoaks School at: http://www.sevenoaksschool.org/press-gallery

Southwark Council at: www.southwark.gov.uk/ holliesreport

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