On 10th June 2021, Ofsted published their report, ‘Review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges’. The headlines within this report are not only deeply concerning for teachers and parents but society as a whole. Ratcliffe College takes the findings of the report most seriously and continues to strive to educate children and young people to treat one another with respect and dignity.
Indeed, Ratcliffe College seeks to promote positive attitudes and behaviour in a society where no one should suffer discrimination on issues of gender, age, disability, race, religion, cultural background, or sexual orientation. As importantly, we educate young people to develop respectful relationships with others so that no one should ever experience sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour.
Ratcliffe College is named in the Everyone’s Invited list of Primary and Secondary Schools. At the time of writing, the College is not aware of any specific allegations published on the website and has not received any communications from current students, staff or recent alumni in this regard. Regardless, the fact that the College name appears in the published list of schools confirms that an individual or individuals associated with the College have shared their experiences via the Everyone’s Invited website. The Governing Body has been kept informed of the College’s response to this matter.
The College condemns unreservedly any behaviour that has resulted in distress to current or former members of the College community. In response to Ofsted’s recently published report, we have undertaken a further comprehensive review of our relevant Policies to ensure that our provision and practice is as effective as possible now and in the future. The outcomes of our review have led us to enhance further our current provision for September 2021 to effect further positive change. We recognise that the impact of cultural change will take time to become deeply embedded, not least where the issues we are facing are widespread and societal; and that, most importantly, this will happen only if we continue to work in harness and take shared responsibility for the actions of our children and the young people we care for.
The overwhelming majority of Ratcliffe College students are polite, considerate and respectful towards others; they are acknowledged to be appropriately confident, polite, reflective and curious and engaged with the world. Our confidence in them to behave appropriately remains absolute and we will do our utmost to uphold their reputation whilst addressing any allegations which may be reported to us of those whose behaviour has not met the highest standards.
Our ethos stems from our Faith and our rich heritage as a Catholic School with a Rosminian Charism. Our ethos is based upon the Gospel values, God’s Word. Our ethos is one of equality and respect and support for others in all we do and say. We are, as a College, committed to eliminating discrimination and we will continue to listen to what our students are telling us about their experiences and their concerns.
Ratcliffe College community is determined and optimistic that only good will come as a direct result of the Government and those in positions of responsibility listening to those who have spoken out, and it is our collective responsibility not to let them down by ensuring that future generations of Ratcliffians continue to demonstrate the highest standards of decency and integrity in the way they behave.
The following actions are the pillars to the College’s Diversity, Equality and Respect plan of action:
1. Staff Training
Developing staff training opportunities to affect positive behaviour changes for students; for example, online training for all pastoral leaders by the NSPCC on preventing as well as managing sexualised behaviour.
2. Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Beyond our specific commitment to anti-racism following the issues highlighted recently through the media and the Black Lives Matter movement, we remain committed to our on-going work to build a College of equality where every student feels they have a place where their God-given gifts and talents are recognised equally.
3. Development of our Wellbeing education curriculum
Development of our wellbeing curriculum and wellbeing initiatives with students and staff is underway, together with appointing a member of staff to develop wellbeing opportunities through the co-curricular programme.
4. Working closely to meet the outcomes and guidance of the Ofsted Review
We have made an unequivocal commitment to be an anti-racist school where no one feels undermined or vulnerable on account of racial difference or any other perceived difference. The Ofsted Review (published on 10 June 2021) can be found here:
5. Tackling the widespread misuse of social media
Working through Student Voice, in particular the Diversity Committee, PSHCE programmes, RSE Policy, Anti-bullying Policy and our Mobile and Electronic Devices Policy, together with the Local Authority and other external agencies, a series of Parent Cafés on Digital Awareness and similar opportunities in the Preparatory School will be delivered again in the Autumn Term 2021.
6. Working with victims and reporting alleged perpetrators to the authorities
At the time of writing, the College is not aware of any specific allegations but stands ready to listen and to support any individual who comes forward and shares with us accounts of abusive behaviour. Where appropriate, we will report matters to the relevant authorities.
7. Dealing with historic allegations of abuse
At the time of writing, the College is not aware or dealing with any allegations of historic abuse.
The Deputy Head Pastoral leads the Diversity and Inclusion Committee which will meet each half-term to share, discuss and monitor the effectiveness of our current policies and practice, whilst seeking ways in which to enhance our provision further. Where appropriate, outcomes from these discussions will be put in place to effect positive change.
Further training is being planned to support staff in tackling conversations around issues such as online safety, everyday use of inappropriate sexualised language and language related to sexism and LGBTQ+.
Please see our Policies section, and in particular (but not only):
If you are a student, alumnus, parent, former parent, member of staff or former member of staff and would like to talk to us about a safeguarding issue, current or historic, please contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the College: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 is open Monday to Friday 8.00am – 10.00pm or 9.00am – 6.00pm at the weekends or online or by e-mail 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.