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Cranbrook School Council announces independent review into handling of any serious child safety allegations | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


An independent review will be undertaken to examine how Sydney’s prestigious Cranbrook School has handled any serious child safety issues over the past 15 years, days after headmaster Nicholas Sampson was forced to resign.

On Sunday night the school’s council held an extraordinary meeting where members decided to commission an investigation.

In a letter to the school community on Monday, Cranbrook School Council president Geoff Lovell announced the review was part of the “significant work” required to “maintain the confidence of the school community”.

On Friday, the ABC revealed Mr Sampson kept a teacher on staff, and went on to promote him, despite knowing he had sent multiple graphic emails to a former female student at a Catholic girls’ school where he had previously taught.

The teacher described sexual fantasies involving intercourse with young female students and looking up girls’ skirts while in class.

He is on leave while investigations are ongoing.

The private school is also now being investigated by the federal government, Education Minister Jason Clare said.

Cranbrook headmaster Nicholas Sampson was forced to resign last week.(Supplied: Cranbrook School.)

Mr Lovell on Friday said Mr Sampson’s failure to disclose the matter, in the context of the ABC Four Corners story, “led to an irrevocable breakdown of trust between the headmaster and the school council”.

He said the external review will investigate the school’s handling of any serious child safety matters since 2010, or earlier if necessary.

The council will create an “external avenue for people to report serious concerns” which will be available to current and former staff, students and parents of Cranbrook, and anyone else who may have relevant information.

A boy, whose face is not shown, wearing a Cranbrook School blazer and tie, with a backpack over his shoulder.

Allegations by former female teachers and staff of a toxic culture were exposed by the ABC last week.(Four Corners: Ryan Sheridan)

The school council also announced it will review the school’s policies and procedures in relation to child protection, workplace health and safety, whistleblowing and discrimination and bullying, to ensure they are “in line with best practice”.

“Our priority is to ensure that students experience minimal disruption and that our staff and fully supported,” Mr Lovell said in his letter.

Four Corners also revealed Mr Sampson’s failure to act on allegations made by Travis Mathews that he was sexually assaulted by an older boarder at the school in 2013.

Mr Mathews was 13 years old at the time.

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