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The Friends’ School Board of Governors apologises sincerely and unreservedly to any Friends’ Old Scholar who has been sexually abused whilst in the care of the School. Child sexual abuse is an abhorrent crime and we acknowledge the terrible impact that it has on the lives of those abused, their friends and family. The School is resolved to protect all in our care and to recognise and redress trauma from the past.
The School has a Policy and Guiding Principles in Response to Abuse of Former Students or Staff, which can also be viewed below. This Policy and Principles apply to all former students and staff who have experienced sexual abuse at The Friends’ School. The National Redress Scheme (NRS) only applies to institutional child sexual abuse which occurred prior to 1 July 2018. The NRS commenced on 1 July 2018, with survivors of child sexual abuse able to approach the Scheme at any time until 30 June 2027. It is a government-led response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
In early 2019, The Friends’ School Board of Governors confirmed their support and commitment to join the NRS and the Minister for Families and Social Services made a declaration formalising the inclusion of Friends’ in the Scheme with effect from 13 August 2019.
Under the NRS, applications for redress are considered by independent assessors who decide on the appropriate levels of financial and other support, such as counselling services. The NRS can also assist survivors in gaining access to a direct personal response from an institution (e.g. an apology) for those who want it.
As a caring and supportive community, our School is determined to ensure that there is an accessible, compassionate and confidential resolution process for anyone impacted by child sexual abuse. Collectively, the Board of Governors and school staff are fully committed to ensuring that our ongoing approach to child safety and the healing of historical harm is active and central in our systems and culture.
Any Friends’ Old Scholar who may have experienced sexual abuse while in the care of The Friends’ School can apply to the Scheme for redress online or in paper form. Free and confidential Redress Support Services are available throughout the process to help explain the Scheme and application process.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the Principal, Nelson File at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss anything relating to these matters.
If you or someone you know needs assistance or support, the following organisations are also available to help:
The Friends’ School is guided by its Purpose and Concerns statement:
The Friends’ School is a co-educational Quaker school based on fundamental values such as the intrinsic worth of each person, the recognition of ‘that of God’ in everyone, the desirability of simplicity and the need to establish peace and justice. As a learning community, we are concerned for the academic, cultural, physical, social and spiritual development of each person in our care. We seek to help our students develop into men and women who will think clearly, act with integrity, make decisions for themselves, be sensitive to the needs of others and the environment, be strong in service and hold a global perspective. We believe that these aims can best be achieved with the active support of all members of our School community.
The Friends’ School recognises that individuals may have suffered from harm, pain and loss while at school. The School deeply regrets such harm or damage. The School is resolved to protect all in our care and to recognise and redress trauma from the past.
The School has joined the National Redress Scheme (Redress Scheme) set up by the Commonwealth Government in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. The Redress Scheme offers an alternative to seeking compensation and reconciliation through the Courts.
These Principles and Policy apply to all former students and staff who have experienced sexual abuse at The Friends’ School. The National Redress Scheme only applies to institutional child sexual abuse which occurred prior to 1 July 2018.