Former teachers and pupils accuse Warblington School of 'turning a blind eye' over paedophile Sean Aldridge
FORMER teachers and pupils have accused Warblington School of ‘turning a blind eye’ over paedophile predator Sean Aldridge.
But they were all silenced, according to one former member of staff who tried to report a safeguarding issue but was reprimanded for speaking out.
Aldridge has been jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of grooming four pupils at the school.
Supply teacher Vanessa Roberts, who was at the school between 2013-2016, said: ‘We were all aware of what Sean Aldridge was doing.
‘We were told we were not allowed to speak about it and would face disciplinary action if we did. The school turned a blind eye.
‘When I tried to raise a safeguarding issue over a pupil which turned out to be true I was told to mind my own business. I was given a verbal warning for raising it.’
She added: ‘I believe the school should face action for letting this happen. They could have stopped it.’
Meanwhile, a former pupil said she was called a ‘liar’ after telling the school she had been touched by Aldridge inappropriately on her backside in 2010.
‘I raised a concern for myself after I was touched by him. At that age you are in denial but I found it scary,’ she said.
‘I was told not to go through with my complaint. I was called a liar – it was degrading and disgusting.
‘I think there were a lot more girls this happened to that haven’t come forward yet. They might do now.’
She added: The school knew the full extent of what was going on and did nothing.’
Another former staff member said: ‘There must have been at last a dozen girls this happened to. The school wasn’t interested and even promoted Aldridge to head of safeguarding.’
A NSPCC spokesperson said: ‘As a teacher, Aldridge held a position of trust that he took advantage of by abusing young girls in his care.
‘He repeatedly groomed and sexually abused his victims, some of whom will not have realised that what was happening to them was abuse.
‘All victims of abuse should be listened to and provided with the appropriate support to come to terms with what has happened to them.’