This month, 10 former Swalcliffe Park pupils have taken legal action against the specialist Oxfordshire boarding school after suffering alleged physical, sexual and emotional abuse from staff members and classmates between 1975 and 2008.
In this article, we’ll look at how the former students were affected by their time at Swalcliffe Park, as well as the school’s response and what you can do if you’ve been affected.
What was the Impact of the Alleged Abuse?
Although the details of the allegations made against Swalcliffe Park have not been shared, it’s clear to see that the claimants’ time at the school has caused them great distress over the years.
One of the men who came forward, Benjamin (not his real name) was a student at the school from 1975-1980 and he’s said that his experience there has “haunted” him throughout his life. He has suffered with anxiety and depression and even contemplated suicide and engaged in self-harm when he was feeling at his lowest.
Benjamin described his memories of the school as a “burden” that he’s had to carry around and it’s only now that he’s beginning to see a “light at the end of the tunnel”.
How has Swalcliffe Park School Responded?
A spokesperson for Swalcliffe Park School has said: “We have been aware of historic allegations dating back more than a decade and that pre-date the Senior Leadership Team’s management of the school.”
The spokesperson said they were “hugely concerned” by the allegations but was keen to point out that the school now considers safeguarding as “paramount” and also referred to the Ofsted “Outstanding” rating they received in March of this year.
The solicitors representing the 10 men who have come forward are still awaiting an official legal response from the school.
What can you do if You’ve Been Affected by Abuse at School?
If you experienced any form of abuse whilst at school, we would first encourage you to report this to the police. We know that the thought of talking about the abuse you suffered after so long can feel daunting, but this could be the first step towards you getting a sense of justice and access to vital support.
Our Abuse Law Solicitors are experienced in this area and can help you to navigate the criminal reporting process. We may also be able to help if you decide to make a civil claim against the school responsible for breaching their duty of care towards you.
When you’re ready to speak to us, we’ll listen to the details of what happened and work to hard to get you the compensation and support you’re entitled to. For free initial advice, get in touch with our approachable Abuse Law team.
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