Private school to carry out a ‘forensic review’ of policies following sexual harassment allegations

By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter

A private school in Wimbledon will carry out a “forensic review” of its policies following shocking allegations of misogyny, harassment and abuse.

King’s College School was named at least seven times on Everyone’s Invited – a website where people can anonymously share experiences of sexual, harassment, abuse and assault.

The school is primarily a boys’ school but accepts girls in the sixth form.

One anonymous response submission said the school had a “serious problem with rape culture” and claimed that teachers were dismissive when problems brought up.

It said: “Guys regularly took advantage of girls when they were drunk or pressured them into things they didn’t want. At school, those girls would then receive judgement and abuse that often went on for years.

“Girls got ratings out of 10 shouted at them in the sixth form centre and sexist comments in lessons. And the school’s solution – punish girls for their skirts being too short.”

Some of the submissions describe being coerced into sexual acts at parties.

While others describe boys at the school rating girls and having competitions to “get with and have sex with the ugliest girl”.

Everyone’s Invited was started by Soma Sara in June 2020 in a bid to tackle what she claimed is an abuse and rape culture.

More than 14,000 people have since posted testimonies of experiencing misogyny, harassment, abuse and assault on the site.

It has shone the light on the experiences of young people in education, most of the submissions are by girls and young women.

A spokeswoman for King’s College School said: “We have been shocked and appalled by accounts brought to us in person and shared in the public domain. King’s will not accept any form of abuse or discrimination.

“The governors are appointing a panel of independent experts to carry out a forensic review of the school’s policies, practices and values, and we will work with the whole school community – including former pupils – to listen, learn from and act on these testimonies.”

In response to the thousands of allegations, the government set up a helpline and review into sexual abuse in schools last week.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “No child or young person should have to experience abuse. But if something isn’t right, they should speak to someone they trust to raise concerns, whether that’s family, a friend, teacher or social worker, helpline or the police.”

The dedicated NSPCC helpline number is 0800 136 663.

 


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