Clifton College funding pulled by Ministry of Defence | Bolt Burdon Kemp Clifton College funding pulled by Ministry of Defence | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Clifton College funding pulled by Ministry of Defence

Yesterday it was revealed that top private school Clifton College is to have millions of pounds of funding stripped by the Ministry of Defence following yet another abuse scandal at the school.

In 2014 teacher Jonathan Thomson Glover was found to be in possession of indecent images and films of students having placed hidden cameras in the bathroom for his own sexual gratification. He was arrested after the National Crime Agency flagged an IP address which had been used to download indecent images. This led them to Thomson Glover’s parents’ address where he was arrested. He resigned immediately after over thirty years service at the school.

Police found more than 300 video tapes containing 2,500 hours of footage and 1,400 images of his teenage victims, who were both boys and girls. The images were taken at a number of locations including a Clifton College. Last year he was jailed after admitting 36 charges of making, taking and possessing indecent images of 130 pupils at the school over 16 years.

As a result the Ministry of Defence has now suspended the funding it provides to service families at the college which has been a tradition for decades. To board at the prestigious private school it costs over £280,000 from the age of 8 to 18 years old. Over 50 children of service families, which makes up 20% of pupils that board at the school, would receive funding of £230,000 each meaning that it would be up to five times less for them to attend than other pupils.

This also follows allegations that parents expressed their concerns to the college about Thomson Glover ten years before he was caught taking the images.
A previous emergency inspection revealed that welfare requirements were being missed by the school. A full report by the Independent School Inspectorate is due in the next four to six weeks. Funding has therefore been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation but the MOD has warned that it will remove funding permanently if no improvements are seen.

This is not the first time Clifton College has been at the centre of an abuse investigation. In 2007 BBK secured a £200,000 settlement on behalf of our client who was sexually abused by a teacher at Clifton College in the late 1980’s. Our client suffered serious sexual abuse at the hands of his teacher for a period of over four years. The abuse continued even after our client left the school.

In 2007 our client disclosed the abuse to the police which resulted in a successful prosecution of the teacher. Thereafter BBK was instructed to pursue a claim against Clifton College on the basis that it was responsible for the acts of the teacher as its employee. Despite denying liability on the basis it was not responsible for the abuse, the college agreed to pay our client £200,000 at a settlement meeting.

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