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Children homes and schools in Leeds to be investigated over new Savile claims


Jimmy Savile

By Russell Truran

Three children’s homes and schools in Leeds are to be investigated over claims of abuse by disgraced TV personality Jimmy Savile.

Notre Dame Grammar School is one of the schools, in Savile’s birthplace of Leeds, to be investigated over allegations of abuse by the late TV personality.

Notre Dame Sixth Form College, St. Mark’s Avenue, Leeds, stands on the site of the former school and has said it will co-operative in any way it can.

Principal Terry Coen said:

“We are aware of the Ministerial Statement released on Thursday 27 March 2014 concerning the former Notre Dame Grammar School. Notre Dame Sixth Form College is an incorporated college which was founded in 1989 on its present site. The site was previously occupied by Notre Dame High School, and before that by Notre Dame Grammar School (1946 – 1978), a direct grant grammar school run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

“None of the current staff at Notre Dame Sixth Form College were employed at the Notre Dame Grammar School and no records concerning the previous grammar school are in the possession of the College. We will assist as far as we possibly can with any investigation in conjunction with other agencies, as appropriate.”

The Metropolitan Police have today handed over documents to the Department for Education relating to 20 schools and children’s homes from around the UK.

Former establishments Northways Residential School and Beechcroft Children’s Home in Leeds are also on the list.

Chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan said:

“Following the statement by the Secretary of State for Education this morning we can confirm that we have been approached to carry out investigations in relation to two establishments in Leeds.  We are now liaising with the Department for Education in order to carry out these investigations.

“We are unable to comment any further at this stage.”

Human rights lawyer Lucy Scott-Moncrieff will help to oversee the investigations.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “I have asked Lucy Scott-Moncrieff to ensure that investigating organisations take all practicable steps to establish what happened and why at the time of the incidents, and any lessons there might be to inform current safeguarding practice in our schools and children’s homes.”

Since his death in October 2011, there have been numerous allegations against the former Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It presenter and there is already an ongoing investigation into NHS institutions.

Leeds General Infirmary is one of the hospitals currently being investigated.

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