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Commissioner responds to allegations of historic sexual abuse at Welsh school

“I am shocked and saddened by the serious allegations that have been brought to light today (26/06/2019), and I encourage anybody with related information to contact South Wales Police, who are investigating the matter.

“Victims of historic abuse can feel embarrassed, ashamed, and afraid to speak out. I want to remind them that there is never an excuse for child abuse and it is never the victim’s fault. They need to be listened to and given the right support.

“Those who’ve experienced historic abuse can also feel that nothing can be done when an alleged perpetrator has died. But, reporting is still extremely important. Those experiences need to be heard, both to aid the victim’s recovery, and to help us understand how the abuse took place so steps can be taken to keep children safe in the future.

“I want to advise anyone with other concerns or experiences related to child sexual abuse to contact the Truth Project; these are confidential sessions held by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that allow victims to share their stories so that lessons can be learned to help protect children now and in the future.

“I also want to remind everyone who works with children in Wales that my office is always here to listen to concerns you might have about children and young people’s safety – I am a prescribed whistleblower, which means that if people are concerned about suspected wrongdoing, danger or risk in their workplace which affect the rights and interest of children, you can make a disclosure to us.

“Following developments today, I will be seeking assurances from the school about their safeguarding arrangements and asking them to be clear with existing pupils and parents about the procedures they have in place to protect children.  I will also be seeking clarity from the local authority about its investigation and writing to the local safeguarding board to establish its role in all this.

“If anyone is concerned about the immediate safety of a child or young person or if they have any relevant information to this particular police investigation, please make contact with South Wales Police on 101.”