|Teachers At Prestigious School 'Abused Boys'|
Claims made it took place over a twenty year period at St Paul's
An investigation has claimed that six teachers at the prestigious St. Paul's School were responsible for historical sexual abuse of pupils.
The alleged abuse is said to have taken place between the 1960s and 1980s.
One of the teachers, Alan Doggett, helped launch the careers of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and later conducted recordings of three of their musicals.
According to an investigation by The Times, St Paul's failed to report the abuse to police on at least two occasions during the 1960s and 1970s, after concerns were raised by parents or members of staff.
St Paul's and its prep school Colet Court are regarded as amongst the best schools in Britain and attract boys from all over west and south-west London including Barnes, Putney, Chiswick, East Sheen and Ealing.
St Paul's School has said that none of the alleged abuse involves current staff or pupils.
'Any sexual abuse of children by an adult — and particularly a teacher — is abhorrent, a serious violation of trust, and an affront to the values of any caring community. Suspects should be investigated and subjected to the proper processes of justice'.
In the most recent criminal case, a former Geography teacher was arrested last month and released on bail. Police are hoping to speak to more ex-pupils in the enquiry according to The Times report.
A seventh teacher, former head of history at St. Paul's, Keith Perry, received a 2-year suspended sentence at Southwark Crown Court last month, admitting 17 charges of making and distributing child abuse images “over a substantial period of time”
One former case involves ex-director of music at Colet Court (1963-1968) Alan Doggett, who was allowed to resign after the suspected serial abuse of one pupil came to light. Within a year he was teaching music at another London independent school and later directed a London boys' choir, even taking them on European tours. In 1978, he was charged with indecent assault of a 10 year old choirboy, and threw himself in front of a train aged 41, a few hours after appearing in court. He was also a member of the PIE pressure group which has recently been linked to senior Labour figures.
An ex-pupil speaking to the Times accused St. Paul's of “hushing up” the offences which led to Doggett’s departure. He also said that on two occasions, in 2000 and earlier this year, he had contacted St. Paul's to ask if it had support mechanisms for victims of historical abuse at the school, yet each time he claims that he was told that there was no such provision. Last week, St Paul’s finally suggested a meeting with him.
In a statement, St Paul’s stressed that none of the alleged abuse concerned current staff or pupils. The school called for living suspects to be “investigated and subjected to the proper processes of justice”.
It added that “the school deals quickly, sensitively and resolutely with any concerns or allegations of abuse. This commitment applies equally to allegations of historic abuse. Pupil welfare and safeguarding are our highest priority”.
Professor Mark Bailey, the school’s High Master, said he was “grateful to the Times for bringing these allegations to our attention” and promised that St. Paul’s would co-operate fully with any investigation.