Department ‘woefully failed’ child sex victim-survivors | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Children in Victorian public schools were left to fall prey to sexual predator teachers for decades because the department failed to act on allegations and prioritised reputation over safety.

The board of inquiry into the historical child sexual abuse in Beaumaris Primary School and certain other government schools tabled its final report on Wednesday.

The investigation was set up in June by then-premier Daniel Andrews to establish the extent of past sexual abuse at Beaumaris from the 1960s to the 1990s.

It eventually expanded to cover 23 other schools.

In its report, the board slams the Department of Education finding it “woefully failed to protect children from the risk” of sexual abuse because it did not have policies in place to deal with allegations or convictions.

“The department failed in both its action and inaction,” the board writes.

“There was a culture of covering up child sexual abuse to prioritise the reputation of the education system, including schools and teachers.”

Even after the department was told of the conviction and sentencing of teacher David MacGregor, who was also found guilty of misconduct in an internal investigation, he was able to remain as an employee, transferred into an administrative role and was only banned from teaching for three years.

The inquiry found the department still had not done a review of allegations into sexual abuse at Beaumaris or within the broader system.

It makes nine recommendations for reform, including a statewide public apology to be made by the government in parliament, public memorials and better resources to help victim-survivors.

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