Westminster School investigating 'rape culture' claims made by female pupils

·2-min read
The Westminster School building in London. (Getty)
The Westminster School building in London. (Getty)

The prestigious Westminster School, which has taught six prime ministers, is investigating claims it has a “rape culture”.

Current and former female pupils of the institution in London, which costs £13,869 a term, have put together a 21-page dossier that includes allegations of sexual assault, The Times newspaper reports.

There are 76 anonymous claims which allege girls were raped, including being forced to perform sex acts on boys.

Pupils also claim they were jokingly referred to as “gang rape” victims and were humiliated in front of boys who were asked if they would “smash or not” and if they wanted “'first dibs” on them.

Read more: Former Fettes College pupil calls for ban on in-house investigations into abuse

Aerial view of Westminster Abbey and School. (Getty)
Aerial view of Westminster Abbey and School. (Getty)

The dossier alleges the abuses were “everyday life”.

One of the entries read: 'It makes me sad that these boys who have had so many opportunities and come from such privilege were so unaware of human decency.

'It wouldn't surprise me if every girl in my year had a story concerning some form of sexual harassment.'

Westminster School Head Master Dr Gary Savage has said it takes the claims “extremely seriously” and will investigate “specific allegations”.

He said: “Although anonymised, we have referred the accounts to our local authority with whom we work closely to safeguard children. We will continue to be in touch with them and action will be taken where appropriate.

“Behaviours and attitudes like these have absolutely no place at our school, or in society in general, and we are determined to help and support pupils past and present who are affected. We encourage individuals to come forward and assure them any issues will be investigated thoroughly.”

The Conservative chairman of the Commons education select committee Robert Halfon has called for an inquiry into the allegations made about Westminster School and other institutions.

He added: 'The allegations that are coming out from all these different schools are horrific. There needs to be rapid reform in terms of respect and treating female students properly but also in terms of safeguarding.

'The safeguarding measures at all these schools need to be looked at to find out what's gone on and make sure it doesn't happen again."

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Westminster School Head Master Dr Gary Savage said a consultation launched into its “ethos” last September had allowed “pupils to put across their feelings on inclusion, equality and diversity”.

He said: “We are developing this discussion into concrete and positive actions, one of which is to commission external reviews into the treatment of issues around race, sex and gender which will build on the internal work undertaken so far.

“These will have a broad remit and include a review of our policies, procedures, training and curriculum.”

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