Bromley Liberal Democrats welcome the news on 19 October that the London Borough of Bromley is to conduct a thorough investigation into St Olave’s Grammar School. We call for the investigation's terms of reference to include allegations that children who made the initial complaints have since been treated unfairly. We believe children and parents should not be penalised for raising valid concerns about the way the school is managed.
Local Liberal Democrat campaigner Ian Catchpole spoke recently at a Bromley Council meeting to question what powers the council had to hold St Olave’s accountable to the local community. He said, “I was dismayed to hear the Education Portfolio Holder Cllr Fortune state that no safeguarding issues were involved, which we dispute, and further that the Conservative-led council had no power to intervene in the governance of St Olave's. We are delighted to see this position reversed, and that action will finally be taken to investigate claims that St Olave's has been unlawfully excluding students.”
One third of the questions from the public at the Bromley Council meeting on 25th September were about St Olaves, and the public gallery was full with a large number of local people keen to hear the council’s views. “I was appalled when only one question about St Olaves was allowed to be heard by the Council (the rest having written answers but with no opportunity for the questioners to be heard or to ask supplementary questions). The level of concern in the community for the welfare of the students as well as the reputation of the school is overwhelming. I am just relieved that the Council has finally taken action“said Mr Catchpole. “We hope that today’s statement will additionally mean that the local authority will soon have full representation on St Olave’s governing body.”