Written statement to Parliament

Investigations into abuse in children’s homes and schools

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Statement regarding investigations relating to Jimmy Savile and a number of children’s homes and schools in England.

On 27 March 2014 The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP informed the House about the transfer of information received by the Department for Education relating to Jimmy Savile and several children’s homes and schools in England, dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. This information was passed to the appropriate organisations for further investigation.

I can today inform the House that investigations have been completed by the relevant local authority, institution or legacy organisation and their individual reports are being published today.

None of the investigations have been able to reach firm conclusions about whether the alleged abuse took place or not. Although many of them say the informant was credible, the lack of corroborating evidence has prevented them from reaching a definitive conclusion. The investigating organisations are publishing a report of their findings today and links to their individual websites where the reports can be found are included at the end of this statement.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff was appointed to provide independent oversight and quality assurance of the process and she has now produced a report covering a total of 14 investigations. The report ‘Independent oversight of investigations into matters relating to Jimmy Savile at schools and children’s homes’ has been published today (26 February 2015) and is available on the GOV.UK website.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff concluded in her report that:

  • all the investigations reviewed into matters relating to Jimmy Savile have been conducted in an appropriate and robust fashion and that the resulting reports should be published
  • all the investigations found that policy and practice has developed significantly in the schools and children’s homes since the time of alleged incidents. This is not as a result of Savile’s activities but because of the greater awareness of safeguarding risks that have developed over the last few decades
  • the risk of a paedophile having unrestricted access to children, as Savile apparently had, is now substantially reduced

I would like to thank Lucy Scott-Moncrieff for her assurance that the investigations were conducted in an appropriate and robust fashion.

Child abuse is an abhorrent crime whenever it occurs and whoever the perpetrator. All victims have a right to expect that allegations of abuse, no matter how much time has passed, will be investigated professionally and appropriately. I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to all the victims, survivors and witnesses for their invaluable assistance that has required them to relive distressing events in their life. These investigations would not have been possible without their cooperation.