Charity-run children's homes to be investigated after Savile revelations

Claims against Jimmy Savile have prompted investigations involving 21 children's homes and schools visited by the TV presenter, including Penhurst School (pictured)

Penhurst School
Penhurst School

Three children’s homes and schools run by charities, including Barnardo’s and Action for Children, are among 21 that will be investigated amid claims that Jimmy Savile had contact with children there, the government has said.

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, issued a statement yesterday saying he had received information relating to 21 children’s homes in England as part of a document review carried out by the Metropolitan Police.

The documents relate to claims against Savile dating back to the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s.

Police have previously said that the former BBC presenter, who died in 2011 aged 84, abused more than 200 people over six decades.

Gove said the relevant local authorities would carry out the investigation in most cases, with the work overseen by Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, a human rights lawyer.

Among the homes being investigated are Henshaw School for the Blind in Leeds, run by the Henshaw Society for Blind People.

A Barnardo’s children’s home in Redbridge, which has not been named, and Penhurst School in Oxfordshire, run by Action for Children, are also under investigation.

Action for Children said the investigation into Penhurst School, which closed in May, related to claims that Savile visited the institution and not that he had abused children there.

"We are committed to keeping children safe and have robust measures in place to do so," a spokeswoman for the charity said. "We are cooperating fully with the Department for Education and will conduct a full investigation into Savile’s possible visits to our former school in the 1970s."

Barnardo’s said it took allegations of historical abuse from adults who were once children in its care extremely seriously and would work with the Department for Education to investigate them.

The Henshaw Society for Blind People confirmed its school was one of the organisations being investigated.

"It is right that steps are taken to explore these allegations, to find out what happened and why," a spokesman for the charity said. "We will be providing what evidence we can to the inquiry and will be putting as much effort as it takes into providing the enquiry with the information it needs. Child sexual abuse is an abhorrent crime and we are committed to ensuring that all those who are vulnerable are protected."

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