Winchester College admits it failed to report concerns of abuse

A Hampshire college has admitted it failed to report to police allegations of physical abuse by a former colleague of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A series of accusations have been levelled against John Smyth, a former leader at Iwerne holiday camp for teenage boys, which had close links with the church and where Justin Welby worked as a dormitory officer in the late 1970s.

The allegations have come to light following a Channel 4 News investigation into the prominent QC and part-time judge who is now thought to be based in South Africa.

It is reported that some of the young men met Smyth at Winchester College but there is no suggestion that any abuse took place at the college or with the knowledge of its staff.

A statement from Winchester College said: "Winchester College deeply regrets the terrible ordeals of the victims and pays tribute to their courage in speaking out.

"The college has never sought to conceal these dreadful events. Nothing was held back in 1982 in the school's inquiries. House masters were informed, and many parents consulted.

"The then headmaster met John Smyth and required him to undertake never again to enter the college or contact its pupils.

"No report was made to the police at the time, not least because, understandably, parents of the victims felt that their sons should be spared further trauma, and these wishes were respected.

This is yet again another prime example evidencing the need for mandatory reporting to safegaurd children. if matters had been reported to the Police how many would have been saved from the suffering caused by Smyth...

Below is a selection of organisations/instutions/bodies we are frequently instructed to pursue.


  • Private schools, boarding schools, local authority schools, closed schools, hospital schools.


  • The Scouts Association, St Johns Ambulance, MIND, the Children’s Society, Barnados.

Private companies

  • Football trainers, judo teachers, dance instructors, swimming instructors, holiday activity centres, nurseries, youth clubs.

Local Authorities/Ministry of Defence

  • County Councils, Borough Councils, City Councils, ILEA, cadets, navy/ army (forces).

National Health Service Trusts/Commissioning Boards/GPs

  • Hospitals, Disability care centres, children’s care providers.


  • Convicted perpetrators, acquitted perpetrators.

Children’s Homes

  • Respite care, full time children’s home, part-time children’s homes.

Religious Institutions

  • Roman Catholic Church, United Synagogue, Sisters of Nazareth, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Brothers Order.

Foster Carers

  • Permanent carers, temporary carers

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