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Top drama schools investigated over culture of abuse

By Amy Clowrey

Sky News has recently reported a culture of abuse inside the UK’s top drama schools. This comes as no surprise given that many abusers often place themselves in environments close to children.

drama school students

The report talks of inappropriate behaviour between students, but also between staff and students. Former teachers have compared the abuse to grooming.

 Sky News approached 18 schools with a Freedom of Information request. Only 10 schools have fully responded to the request since 2020. Those schools claim to have had at least 25 formal complaints of sexual misconduct and 47 complaints of  inappropriate behaviour.

 This of course isn’t confined to drama schools. Abuse in many forms occurs in environments where there is an opportunity for an abuse of power, such as the teacher/student relationship. In particular, we know that this is often the case in teaching environments where there are smaller classes and one-to-one teaching, such as between music teacher and student. 

 Abuse like that reported by Sky News is a strong example of why mandatory reporting should be brought into effect. This is something that Switalskis, amongst other law firms, are lobbying the government for at present. Switalskis supports mandatory reporting for all personnel in prescribed professions to report known and suspected child sexual abuse to the authorities.

 Switalskis has significant experience dealing with child abuse and exploitation and we are trained to be able to support survivors of child sexual abuse.

If you would like a confidential, no obligation chat, please contact the child abuse team on 01924 882000 or contact us through the website.


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Amy has worked in the legal sector for 13 years. She is a Director in our Child Abuse Compensation team.

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