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40 years too late Warwick School has today apologised to me for the physical abuse I suffered aged 11 at the hands of Geoffrey Eve

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 28 February 2022

Since 2011, I have been urging Warwick School to do something about historic physical and, latterly, sexual abuse of young boys. Two headmasters of Britain’s third oldest school swept the matter under the carpet but, to his credit, the new headmaster, James Barker, himself an OW, has done something. Barker, myself and governor Ruth Weekes had a long Zoom chat today and Warwick says that it believes my allegations against Eve, apologises for what happened and for its 41 years of failure in doing something about it. That was welcome. But that is not enough for Warwick is sitting on far worse secrets.


If you were either physically abused by Geoffrey Eve or another Warwick teacher or sexually abused by one of the two paedophile masters known to have operated at the school (I suspect there were more) I would urge you to contact the Head at once on [email protected]


If you were a victim of Eve you will get an apology. If you were physically abused by another teacher, the Governors will make enquiries. As to the sexual abuse: matters are out of my hands on one master but I am likely to name another publicly here soon as authorities are, in my view, failing in their duties, the police are refusing to prosecute so I shall name the teacher and challenge him to sue me. At the very least that may stop him giving any more tuition to young boys as Warwick allowed him to do.


It goes without saying that Warwick was aware of the activities of both paedophiles but in both the cases I am aware of did nothing so allowing both perverts the opportunity to teach young folk elsewhere.


As for Geoffrey Eve, the school has written to him saying that it believes the allegations made by his victims and is considering its next step.  There is nothing that can be done legally and Eve is 96 so some might say that the old bastard be left in peace.  I do not think that is appropriate.


Warwick failed to provide me with a satisfactory explanation of who allowed Eve to come back from a sabbatical prompted by his first bout of abuse so he could throw my head against the wall. Twice. It failed to explain who protected him as he engaged on his second reign of terror and why he was never sacked but given early retirement.


At the very least Warwick should be publishing its apology to the victims of Eve on its website and issuing it as a press release to the local, regional and national press. And it should be paying for an advert of apology in the local press.  In his last years I want Eve’s neighbours and family to all know what a bastard he was inflicting violence and terror on countless young boys, to have some idea of the dread and terror boys like me felt every time we were dropped off at school in the morning.


Warwick says it has reached out to all OWs with a letter in the hope that more victims of abuse will step forward and that a couple have responded. But that letter is weak, stating:

Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our pupils – past and present – is at the heart of all we do. It is fundamental in ensuring that each of the young people in our care can thrive.


Quite rightly, in the wake of high-profile failings nationally, there has been a greater focus on safeguarding in schools, and there is likely to be further scrutiny with the publication next month of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse report into abuse in residential schools. Whilst we have not ourselves been subject to scrutiny by this inquiry, nor Ofsted’s review following the disclosures on ‘Everyone’s Invited’, we are constantly striving to improve.


I would therefore like to take this opportunity to outline the current safeguarding arrangements in the Foundation and to explain how disclosures are dealt with, whether historic or current.


Ends.


I read that a few weeks ago with rage and anger and a sense of hatred towards smug Warwick for pretending that it did not cause such pain to so many boys.  Yes, Warwick has not been “subject to scrutiny” so far, that is only because the antics of Eve and at least two active paedophiles all of whom preyed on young boys were covered up at the time and have been swept under the carpet ever since.  What the NEXT letter to all OWs should say is:

Warwick is aware that in the past it employed men who engaged in sexual and also physical abuse of boys at our school.  We failed the boys at the time and we have failed them since. If you were physically or sexually abused while at Warwick School this is how you can come forward, anonymously if you wish.


You will not be alone, there were far too many other victims and Warwick is truly apologetic to all of them and is now trying to make amends.


That should be the next letter which should also name Eve and say that Warwick believes the allegations made by so many of his victims.


I feel this is a battle won for me but there are bigger battles to fight and while Warwick is making progress it still needs to open up to its crimes and to encourage other victims to come forward.

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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