An historic North Yorkshire public school is fighting for its reputation tonight after a damning Ofsted report.
The report into Ampleforth College, the leading Catholic boarding school near Helmsley, has found its safeguarding of pupils was “inadequate”.
When Ofsted inspectors visited the £36K-a-year school in November 2021 they found that safeguarding at the school remained “ineffective” and “inspectors became aware of serious safeguarding incidents before, during and after the inspection”.
“Leaders do not accept responsibility readily for the harm experienced by pupils in their care,” the report said.
Ofsted said that 81 Year 13 students left the boarding houses on the last night of school for an unauthorised gathering.
“As a result, one pupil was admitted to hospital due to alcohol intoxication,” the report says.
“Another pupil was missing for one hour after everyone else was back in their boarding houses. The pupil was found unconscious and alone in an orchard.
“At the same time, leaders located Class A drugs in the boarding house.”
Later in the report Ofsted says that vulnerable younger pupils engaged in “sexual activity, observed by another pupil, because levels of staff supervision were not sufficient to protect them.”
A March 2021 inspection said the headteacher had a veto over which monks could live in the abbey, but this veto was no longer in place, which meant “monks of concern” who had been accused of or found guilty of child sexual abuse in the past could be admitted to the abbey.
In a statement, the school said it would be appealing to Ofsted over its report: “We cannot stand publicly behind a report containing ill-founded conclusions and we will continue to do everything in our power to demonstrate to Ofsted the need to revisit their assessment in the light of the evidence already in their possession.”