Council pays compensation after teenage girl was sexually abused by teacher at Whittlesey school

Sir Harry Smith Community College Whittlesey EMN-160629-131846009
Sir Harry Smith Community College Whittlesey EMN-160629-131846009

Cambridgeshire County Council has agreed an out of court settlement after failing to protect a teenage girl who was abused multiple times by her teacher at a Whittlesey school.

The girl, who was aged 15 at the time, was abused multiple times a week in the 1990s, both in the classroom and at the man’s home.

The BBC reported that she was raped and sexually abused at Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey.

Now Cambridgeshire County Council has agreed an out-of-court settlement of up to £550,000.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council told the Peterborough Telegraph: “It is deeply regrettable that these incidents happened in the 1990s and we would like to say once again, how sorry we are to the woman involved in this case.

“We have already faced up to our responsibilities for this historic case and made a full compensation payment without putting the victim through the additional trauma of a court case

“However, the council processes, the school itself and the whole vetting and checking process is very different from the systems in place then.

“At the time, the only form of check that existed was a police check of any convictions a teacher may have had - and the teacher involved was never convicted of any offence.

“Nowadays schools check individuals who come into unsupervised contact with children with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and the DfE’s list of people banned from working with children.

“References are also taken up and any teacher who had been convicted of an offence or dismissed from post would be identified.”

The BBC has reported that a social worker had previously written to warn the council about the teacher - who cannot be named - but he was allowed to continue teaching.

The claim for compensation was made in 2013 and it was settled in early 2015.