Ampleforth Abbey: School’s welfare responsibilities canned

Ampleforth Abbey has lost its responsibility for managing pupil welfare.

The UK Charities Commission said the Abbey had lost its pupil welfare responsibilities “as a result of continued concerns about the extent to which current safeguarding risks to pupils at the schools run by the [Ampleforth] charities are being adequately managed”.

The Charities Commission is particularly concerned about the boarding school’s management of sex-abuse allegations.

The allegations were made against 40 monks and teachers who had previously lived or worked at Ampleforth’s secondary and preparatory schools and adjacent religious community.

The Commission says Ampleforth has not improved its policies enough since an inquiry into the Abbey and the St Laurence Education Trust (which runs the schools) was launched in 2016.

Harvey Grenville, head of investigations and enforcement at the Charity Commission, said: “It is of paramount importance that beneficiaries and others who come into contact with charities are protected from harm.

“We are not satisfied that the trustees of these charities have made enough progress in improving the safeguarding environment for pupils in the schools connected to the charities”.

A specialist charity lawyer has been appointed as interim manager of both charities.

In a statement, the Abbey said the move would ensure “all our beneficiaries are able to flourish and thrive, reaching their full potential in a safe environment and protected from harm”.

The Ampleforth preparatory school announced its closure earlier this year.

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