Charity Commission 'urgently assessing issues' at private special needs school

Allegations of sexual abuse have been made by two female pupils of Stanbridge Earls School in Romsey, Hampshire, which is registered with the regulator

Stanbridge Earls School
Stanbridge Earls School

The Charity Commission is "urgently assessing the issues" relating to an independent special needs school after allegations of sexual abuse were made.

Stanbridge Earls School in Romsey, Hampshire, provides boarding for children with special needs aged between 11 and 19. It has been registered with the commission since 1964.

Hampshire police are making investigations after two female pupils alleged that they suffered serious sexual abuse at the school, dating back to 2010.

A spokeswoman for the commission said it was aware of the concerns about the school and was "urgently assessing the issues".

She said the commission was also in contact with the Department for Education after it rejected the school’s action plan for improvement because of serious shortcomings.

She said the commission would assess whether the school’s trustees had failed to fulfil their duties to ensure that it effectively safeguarded its pupils.

"If we find evidence that the charity’s trustees have failed to fulfil their duties, we will take firm action to ensure the charity is put back on track," said the commission spokeswoman.

A DfE spokeswoman said that it expected the school to take immediate action and improve in time for its final inspection by the department in May.

She said: "If rapid progress is not made, the department will consider removing the school from the register of independent schools.

"The Charity Commission remains responsible for governance at the school. It is aware of our findings and that we expect to see the school improve the quality of governance, management and leadership."

A spokesman for Stanbridge Earls School said it was cooperating fully with the police review. He said the school would also cooperate fully if the commission launched an investigation.

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Stanbridge Earls School

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