The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) is holding a public hearing in the Residential Schools investigation from 30 September – 11 October. The scope of the investigation is here; the hearing will examine child sexual abuse in residential music and special schools, as well as institutional responses and safeguarding procedures. The first week will focus on residential music schools: Chetham’s School of Music; Wells Cathedral School; Yehudi Menuhin School; and Purcell School. These schools were chosen “because of the issues arising from their specialist nature, including one-to-one tuition, an intimate atmosphere and an imbalance of power in teacher/pupil relationships”. Residential special schools will be examined in the second week of the hearing, including Appletree School, Southlands School, Stony Dean, Stanbridge Earls and Royal School Manchester.
Witnesses in this first phase of the investigation include victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in residential schools, teachers and safeguarding experts. On the first day, a written narrative of child sexual abuse at eight institutions which have since closed will be submitted. This document, referred to as the “closed schools narrative”, includes accounts from 50 victims and survivors and will provide a historical background to child sexual abuse and institutional failures across the school sector. Transcripts of the preliminary hearing on 16 January 2019 and 25 July 2019 are here and here.
The timetable of hearing and links to the documentation are available here and there is a live stream of all hearings here, which is subject to a short delay to protect the identity of witnesses and to adhere to any restriction orders put in place. The hearings take place from 10am to 4.15pm at the Inquiry’s hearing centre, 18 Pocock Street, London SE1 0BW.