Report of an investigation into allegations and information raised about the association of Savile with Beechwood Home, Northways School and Notre Dame Grammar School and any knowledge of concerns or allegations about Savile by Leeds City Council’s Children’s Social Work Service.
Jim Stewart, Independent report author, 19 September 2014.
1.1 On 21 March 2014 the Department for Education wrote to the Director of Children's Services for Leeds City Council about three allegations of potential inappropriate behaviour by Jimmy Savile (referred to as Savile) towards children in establishments managed or commissioned by Leeds City Council.
1.2 Additionally, the Department for Education requested that Leeds City Council investigate an allegation made in relation to Notre Dame Grammar School, as the present Notre Dame Sixth Form College in Leeds has no links with the management or governing body of the previous school, and is not a successor body.
1.3 The four separate concerns relate to Leeds City Council, a local authority children's home, a local authority school with boarding provision for children with educational and behavioural difficulties, and Notre Dame Grammar School. There are no direct allegations by individuals who had contact with Savile
1.4 The purpose of this investigation is to thoroughly investigate the information provided and establish the significance and veracity of the allegations/ information received, and consider the need for any further investigations or any implications for current policy and practice. A Strategic Planning Group was convened to consider the concerns raised and provide management oversight and support to the investigation. Its membership consisted of:
- Deputy Director of Children's Services (Chair)
- Service Delivery Manager, Integrated Safeguarding Unit
- Information Access Manager
- Assistant Manager, Leeds Safeguarding Children Board
- Children's Services Delivery Manager
- Deputy Head of Human Resources
- Principal Education Officer, Diocese of Leeds
- Independent Consultant
- Legal Adviser
1.5 An experienced independent consultant was commissioned by Leeds Children's Services to investigate the concerns raised, and to write a report outlining his conclusions and any recommendations.
1.6 The consultant has worked closely with the Information Access Manager to identify records where available, or to confirm that key records cannot be found.
1.7 There has also been liaison with a Detective Superintendent in West Yorkshire Police who is closely involved with enquiries into Savile's involvement with, and allegations relating to, hospitals and other settings in Leeds.
1.8 This investigation has taken longer than the requested timescale for completion due to the limited information contained in the referred concerns, and the extensive timeframe that concerns or abuse may have arisen within.
1.9 The Strategic Planning Group would like to record their thanks to the individuals who agreed to be spoken to and interviewed during this investigation.
1.10 The Secretary of State for Education asked Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, supported by Verita, to assure him about the quality of the report. The Deputy of Children's Services has liaised with Verita during the completion of the investigation. Two meetings of the Strategic Planning Group have been held to plan the investigation and consider the investigation report.
1.11 The members of the Strategic Planning Group accepted the report and its recommendations on behalf of their organisations. The report was then shared with the Executive Member for Children's Services and the Chief Executive of Leeds City Council and formally signed off by the Director of Children's Services on behalf of Leeds City Council.
Date for first draft of report: 15.06.14
Meeting to consider the report: 27.06.14
Sign off of final report: 19.09.14
2. Terms of reference
2.1 The Director of Children's Services for Leeds City Council was informed by the Department for Education on 21 March 2014 of allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Savile towards children in establishments managed or commissioned by Leeds City Council.
2.2 The allegations are:
•“Allegation A was received by the Metropolitan Police Service from an anonymous female caller.
“The caller left a message that she was ‘at BEECHCROFT CHILDREN’S HOME, SAVILE did the Xmas party. Savile had blonde girl who sat on his leg. Did not witness anything’”.
•“Allegation B was made by an anonymous woman by telephone to the Metropolitan Police Service.
“The caller said that they had been ‘employed’ within Leeds Children’s Services and alleges that senior managers were aware of Savile’s exploits with under aged children of both sexes and the abuse was ‘brushed under the carpet’”.
•“Allegation C was made to the Metropolitan Police Service by a male caller [Mr N1].
“Mr N1 informed the Police ‘that during the 1990s he was Deputy Head Teacher at NORTHWAYS RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL, near CLIFFORD,LEEDS. The school was for boys with behavioural problems, which has now closed. SAVILE resided in a penthouse flat close to the school. Mr N1 was aware that some of the boys visited the flat when they had afforded good behaviour. He named two boys, and looking back were vulnerable. He had no information to suspect that anything untoward had occurred. He has no further information to add.
2.3 Additionally, the Department for Education requested that Leeds City Council investigate an allegation made in relation to Notre Dame Grammar School, as the present Notre Dame Sixth Form College in Leeds has no links with the management or governing body of the previous school, and is not a successor body.
2.4 Allegation D:
•‘An anonymous female caller reported to the NSPCC that Savile would pick up school girls, aged 13-14 years old, from Notre Dame Grammar School in his Rolls Royce. He is said to have had strong alliances with the School in the 1970s and was ‘untouchable’. The caller stated that Savile may have targeted girls from the ‘Alwoodley Leeds 17’ area. He had strong connections with the ‘Faith and Light’ disability charity and Leeds MENCAP where he would be the star opening and promoting events and going on Lourdes Pilgrimages. Nobody would have taken concerns seriously at the time as Savile was seen as a man who did a lot of charity work and was ‘untouchable’’.
2.5 In response to these allegations, the Director of Children's Services commissioned this investigation.
2.6 Leeds City Council will work (with independent assurance from Lucy Scott Moncrieff, appointed by the Secretary of State for England to oversee the investigations relating to children's homes and schools with which Jimmy Savile was associated) to produce a written report that will:
- Investigate any past and current complaints and incidents concerning Savile's behaviour towards children in establishments managed or commissioned by Leeds City Council and Notre Dame Grammar School, including:
-where the incident occurred;
-who was involved;
-whether these incidents were reported at the time and whether they were investigated and appropriate action taken;
-where complaints or incidents were not previously reported nor investigated and where no appropriate action was taken, consider the reasons for this, including the part played, if any, by Savile’s celebrity or fundraising role within the organisation;
- Thoroughly examine and account for Savile’s association with establishments managed or commissioned by Leeds City Council and Notre Dame Grammar School including approval for any roles and the decision-making process relating to these;
- Identify a chronology of his involvement with establishments managed or commissioned by Leeds City Council and Notre Dame Grammar School;
- Consider whether Savile was, at any time, accorded special access or other privileges, and/ or was not subject to usual or appropriate supervision and oversight;
- Consider the extent to which any such special access and/ or privileges and/ or lack of supervision and oversight resulted from Savile’s celebrity, or fundraising role within the organisation;
- Review relevant policies, procedures and practices throughout the time of Savile’s association with establishments managed or commissioned by Leeds City Council and Notre Dame Grammar School and compliance with these;
- Review Savile’s fundraising activities and any issues that arose in relation to the governance, accountability for and the use of funds raised by him or on his initiative/ with his involvement;
- Review Leeds City Council and Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College current policies and practice relating to the matters mentioned above, including employment checks, safeguarding, access to children (including that afforded to volunteers and celebrities) and fundraising in order to assess their fitness for purpose. Ensure that safeguards are in place to prevent a recurrence of matters of concern identified by this investigation and identify matters that require immediate attention;
- Identify recommendations for further action.
2.7 The investigation does not have the power to impose disciplinary sanctions or make findings as to criminal or civil liability. Where evidence is obtained of conduct that indicates the potential commission of criminal offences, the police will need to be informed. Where such evidence indicates the potential commission of disciplinary offences, the relevant employers will need to be informed.
3. Executive summary and recommendations
3.1 Savile died on 29 November 2011 and a television documentary broadcast in October 2012 highlighted many allegations of sexual abuse against him.
Further allegations led to the establishment of Operation Yewtree, led by the Metropolitan Police Service that collated the allegations about Savile and others. Investigations into allegations have been conducted at the BBC and NHS organisations across the country.
Purpose of this Report
3.2 This report outlines the findings of an investigation commissioned by the Director of Children's Services for Leeds City Council following receipt of a letter dated 21 March 2014 from the Department for Education about allegations of potential inappropriate behaviour by Savile towards children in establishments managed or commissioned by Leeds City Council and Notre Dame Grammar School.
3.3 The allegations were as follows:
- Allegation A was received by the Metropolitan Police Service from an anonymous female caller. "The caller left a message that she was ‘at BEECHCROFT CHILDREN’S HOME, SAVILE did the Xmas party. Savile had blonde girl who sat on his leg. Did not witness anything".
- Allegation B was made by an anonymous woman by telephone to the Metropolitan Police Service.“The caller said that they had been, ‘employed within Leeds Children’s Services and alleges that senior managers were aware of Savile’s exploits with under aged children of both sexes and the abuse was ‘brushed under the carpet”.
- Allegation C was made to the Metropolitan Police Service by a male caller [Mr N1]. Mr N1 informed the Police ‘that during the 1990s he was Deputy Head Teacher at NORTHWAYS RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL, near CLIFFORD, LEEDS. The school was for boys with behavioural problems, which has now closed. SAVILE resided in a penthouse flat close to the school. Mr N1 was aware that some of the boys visited the flat when they had afforded good behaviour. He named two boys, and looking back were vulnerable. He had no information to suspect that anything untoward had occurred. He has no further information to add”
3.4 Additionally, the Department for Education requested that Leeds City Council investigate an allegation [Allegation D] made in relation to Notre Dame Grammar School, as the present Notre Dame Sixth Form College in Leeds has no links with the management or governing body of the previous school, and is not a successor body.
3.5 Allegation D:
"An anonymous female caller reported to the NSPCC that Savile would pick up school girls, aged 13-14 years old, from Notre Dame Grammar School in his Rolls Royce. He is said to have had strong alliances with the School in the 1970s and was 'untouchable'. The caller stated that Savile may have targeted girls from the "Alwoodley Leeds 17" area. He had strong connections with the 'Faith and Light' disability charity and Leeds MENCAP where he would be the star opening and promoting events and going on Lourdes Pilgrimages. Nobody would have taken concerns seriously at the time as Savile was seen as a man who did a lot of charity work and was 'untouchable'".
Approach to the Investigation
3.6 A Strategic Planning Group was convened to consider the concerns raised, confirm detailed terms of reference, and provide management oversight and support for the investigation. There has also been liaison with West Yorkshire Police about this investigation; they have been involved in a number of enquiries in respect of Savile.
3.7 An experienced independent consultant was commissioned by Leeds Children's Services to make enquires about the concerns raised and to write a report outlining his conclusions and any recommendations. The consultant has worked closely with the Information Access Manager to identify records where available, or to confirm that key records cannot be found. The Information Access Manager undertook a review of the Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Archive collections, which house historical records for Leeds Council, for any information that they held on named establishments and Jimmy Savile. Searches on the internet were also undertaken.
3.8 Leeds City Council has liaised with Lucy Scott-Moncrieff and Verita during the completion of the investigation and they have provided advice and quality assurance to the investigation on behalf of the Department for Education.
Findings of the Investigation
3.9 Allegation A: Beechwood Children's Home (referred to in the allegation as Beechcroft Children's Home, presumably in error)
‘A message from a female caller to the Metropolitan Police stated that 'she was at Beechcroft Children's Home. Savile did the Xmas party. Savile had a blonde girl who sat on his leg. Did not witness anything’.
There is no direct allegation and very little information in the referral. Leeds Council operated a Children’s Home in Leeds called Beechwood (also known as Beechwood Assessment Centre) which closed in 1984.
No records of assistance to this investigation have been found about the Home or its residents. Police have confirmed that they have received no allegations in connection with Beachwood Children's Home.
The investigation team uncovered an anonymous allegation by a
about an unnamed children’s home in Leeds in the media in 2012. However, due to the anonymous nature of the information it has not been possible to investigate this further to identify whether the home referred to was a Leeds City Council home.
3.10 Allegation B: Leeds Children’s Services
There has been no evidence to support the anonymous allegation that senior managers within Leeds Children’s Services were aware of Savile’s exploits with under aged children of both sexes and the abuse was ‘brushed under the carpet’. Long serving managers in Children’s Services were interviewed, and a search of electronic records undertaken, but there were no recollected or recorded allegations of abusive or inappropriate behaviour towards children by Savile.
In 2008, Leeds City Council awarded Savile the Leeds Award, which honours people who have made an outstanding contribution to the city, and in November 2012 stripped him of that award.
3.11 Allegation C: That pupils at Northways Residential School for children with behavioural difficulties visited Savile in his flat when they had good behaviour.
This school closed in 1997. The investigation found that the school was about 11 miles from Savile’s flat and that boys were not taken to the flat as reward for good behaviour. Rather, boys were taken out on trips by staff for good behaviour and, during one such trip to Roundhay Park, two boys pointed out the flat and told a member of staff that they had been to the flat at a weekend. It is of concern that two vulnerable young people made such statements and these were not recorded or reported at the time, which would have enabled enquiries to be made if other concerns came to light.
There has been no evidence of any association between Savile and Northways School and Police have confirmed that they have received no allegations relating to Savile and Northways.
3.12 Allegation D: That Savile had strong alliances with Notre Dame Grammar School in the 1970s
Notre Dame School was an all-female Catholic direct grant grammar school from 1946, run by the Sisters of Notre Dame, until they handed over it to the Diocese of Leeds in the 1970s. The school became Notre Dame High School in 1978; a catholic comprehensive school for girls aged 1318 years old, and later in 1989 became a new and separate establishment, Notre Dame Sixth Form College.
The Sisters of Notre Dame have not been able to find any records from the old school, and the Diocese of Leeds and the Sixth Form College have confirmed that they had no ongoing association with Savile and have received no allegations or concerns about him from pupils or staff.
A report in the Press attributed to the Diocese of Leeds suggest that the
Diocese had undertaken its own investigation when allegations first emerged. The investigation team clarified these comments with the Diocese who confirmed no formal investigation had taken place and the comments had been overstated.
Current Safeguarding policies, procedures and practice
3.13 The child protection policies and procedures in the 1960s and 1970s were not as sophisticated as those which were developed in the 1980s and on until the present day. Similarly, legislation and associated guidance and regulations, particularly in relation to residential care, have become much more comprehensive and robust.
3.14 Current safeguarding policies and procedures for Leeds Children’s Services and Notre Dame Sixth Form College have been reviewed as part of this investigation. They are fit for purpose, accessible to staff, and training is in place for staff on their use. The LSCB undertake regular audits of safeguarding arrangements of member organisations.
There are no direct allegations or complaints about Savile which have been identified as a result of the matters referred to Leeds City Council by the Department for Education.
There have been no associations established between Savile and either Beechwood Children’s Home or Northways School. This investigation has noted a previous anonymous allegation in respect of an unnamed children’s home in Leeds reported in the media. There is no evidence which suggests that this is Beechwood and the Police have reported that they have not received any allegations in relation to Beechwood Children’s Home.
The investigation has not found any evidence of regular, routine or long-term association between Notre Dame Grammar School and Savile. It has established that he attended at least one event at the school in the early 1970s and made presentations.
There is no evidence of any allegations being made to, or overlooked by, the management of the home and schools in question. There is no evidence that Savile was given a formal role within the running of the home or the schools in question or that he was afforded unsupervised access to premises or unsupervised contact with children in Beechwood Home, Northways School, or Notre Dame Grammar School. There is no clear evidence to suggest that Savile’s fundraising activities brought him into contact with Beechwood Children’s Home (or any other council run children’s home) or with Northways School. There has been one piece of anecdotal evidence provided by a former pupil who was spoken to during the investigation that Savile took part in a charity run for the British Heart Foundation organised by Notre Dame Grammar School in Roundhay Park. There has been no independent information found to verify this.
Current safeguarding policies and procedures for Leeds Children’s Services and Notre Dame Sixth Form College are fit for purpose, accessible to staff and training is in place on their use. The LSCB undertakes regular audits of the safeguarding arrangements of member organisations.
The report has been shared with the Executive Member for Children’s Services and the Chief Executive of Leeds City Council and accepted on behalf of Leeds City Council by the Director of Children’s Services.
The recommendations made have been discussed and accepted by the relevant agency.
To Leeds City Council and Leeds Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)
Leeds City Council and the LSCB should continue to cooperate with police enquiries and any independent inquiries into allegations against Savile and other issues arising from his association with organisations and establishments in Leeds.
Leeds City Council and Leeds LSCB should review the lessons learned from local and national investigations concerning Savile when reports are published.
Leeds LSCB should review and quality assure arrangements within partner agencies for the archiving of obsolete policies and procedures so that they are available for future historical investigations.
Leeds City Council and LSCB should undertake an exercise to audit the operation of record retention procedures, safeguarding procedures in schools and children’s homes and visiting policies to ensure that they are operating effectively and that information is easily accessible for any future investigations or enquiries.
Leeds Children’s Social Work Service should complete the update of their Recording Values and Principles and the Recording and retention policies by September 2014 and place them on their website.
Leeds Children’s Social Work Service should revise their online procedures to ensure that residential policies and procedures are more visible and accessible by December 2014.
3.17 To the Diocese of Leeds
•The Diocese of Leeds should review the issues identified around the release of press statements and information sharing which arose following the publication of the letter from the Department of Education in 2014, and will establish any lessons that can be learned for the management of media interest and any child protection enquiries in the future.
4. Approach to the investigation
4.1 The Information Access Manager, with the support and guidance of the independent consultant, undertook a review of the Leeds City Council Archive and the West Yorkshire Archive collections which house historical records for the Council. This review included searches for references to contact between the council and Savile, references to the specific establishments named in the allegations, and any previous child protection referrals or allegations in relation to Savile.
4.2 The Information Access Manager also undertook a review of local press coverage to identify any connection between Savile and the specific establishments named in the allegations.
4.3 The independent consultant who has completed enquiries and written this report spoke to the current and former staff in relation to the specific concerns/ allegations and also child protection procedures and practice. Details of individuals spoken to are given in Appendix C. Thanks are given to all the individuals who have cooperated with this investigation, including an exmember of staff from Northways School who contacted Operation Yewtree, and key people identified by Leeds City Council and Notre Dame Sixth Form College as potentially being able to assist in clarifying information in the anonymous and general concerns raised about: Leeds City Council’s knowledge of Savile and his behaviour, Savile’s contact with a children’s home and with the local authority, Northways School and also the independent Notre Dame Grammar School. The author has been greatly assisted by the Information Access Manager who researched the Leeds City Council Archive and the West Yorkshire Archive collections which house historical records for Leeds City Council.
4.4 Where information in the report relies on evidence from interviewees this has been shared and checked with the individuals concerned.
4.5 The independent consultant and the Information Access Manager have reviewed the paper social work case files relating to Young Person 1 and Young Person 2, who were reported to have spoken about visiting Savile in his flat.
4.6 There were a number of documents that were not available to the investigation. Day books, incident logs, visitor books and other records relating to Beechwood Home and Northways School have been destroyed in accordance with the Council’s record retention policy in place at that time. Current policy is consistent and complies with, the requirements of the Children’s Home Regulations 2001 and the Children’s Homes (Amendment) Regulations 2011.
Social work files about named children who attended and boarded at Northways could be located. Details of documentation searches and those reviewed are given in Appendix B.
4.7 It has not been possible to identify copies of destruction or retention policies in place in Leeds at that time for school or children’s home records. This fact, and the absence of any documents from these schools or homes from the 1970s or early 1980s, indicates that practice was not as robust and certainly not in line with current requirements and expectations.
4.8 Three of the allegations or concerns expressed about Savile and organisations’ relationships with him were made by anonymous members of the public. The exception was the concern relating to Northways School, where an ex-member of staff telephoned the Metropolitan Police, and this ex-member of staff has been spoken to by the independent consultant. Also, an ex-Head of Care at Northways School who had recently retired from Leeds City Council was identified by the Deputy Director for Safeguarding, Specialist and Targeted Services as a person who may be able to provide information about the school to this investigation.
4.9 The Order of Notre Dame who ran the Notre Dame Grammar School in Leeds until 1978 have searched their archive records but could find no reference to Savile or any allegations against him. Notre Dame Sixth Form College identified two teachers who had worked for a long time at the Grammar School before recently retiring who could provide information to this investigation. In turn, one of the ex-teachers provided details of two ex-colleagues who had worked for an even longer time at the school and all four were spoken to.
5. Background information
Allegations made against Savile since his death
5.1 Savile died on 29 November 2011. There was initially a celebration of his life as a popular entertainer and charity fund-raiser, and over 5000 people paid tribute to him along the procession to his funeral at Leeds Cathedral. However, a television documentary broadcast in October 2012 highlighted many allegations of sexual abuse against Savile, and continuing allegations led to an investigation and national enquiries into his work at the BBC and involvement with hospitals in the country.
5.2 The NSPCC and Metropolitan Police report ‘Giving Victims a Voice’ (2013) states that ‘It is now clear that Savile was hiding in plain sight and using his celebrity status and fund-raising activity to gain uncontrolled access to vulnerable people across six decades’:
- The earliest recorded Savile offence was in 1955, with the most recent in 2009.
- His offending was most frequent during the period 1966-1976, when he was between 40 and 50 years old.
- Reports of offences at the BBC spanned more than 40 years, from 1965 to 2006.
- Savile's youngest victim was an eight-year-old boy. The oldest was 47. Most were aged 13-16.
- 73% of his victims were under 18 and 82% were female.
- Offences were mainly opportunistic sexual assaults, but there are others where an element of grooming or planning was said to have occurred.
- Victims reported crimes including 126 indecent acts and 34 rape or penetration offences
5.3 Operation Newgreen, the report of Detective Chief Superintendent Knopwood’s review of West Yorkshire Police’s contact and relationship with Savile, was published in May 2013. This report stated that 72 of the crimes reported against Savile were alleged to have taken place in Leeds across the 3 policing areas in the city - North West Leeds (17 crimes), North East Leeds (14) and City and Holbeck (41).
5.4 On the 26 June 2014, whilst this investigation report was being finalised, the NHS published reports about matters in respect of Savile and NHS organisations (including Leeds General Infirmary) which has provided additional information about the extent of his abuse of children, vulnerable adults and staff.
6. The Referrals and the Findings of this Investigation
6.1 Allegation A 1: Beechwood Children’s Home (referred to as Beechcroft Children’s Home, presumably in error)
The letter from the Department for Education referred to Beechcroft Children’s Home. A message from a female caller to the Metropolitan Police stated that ‘she was at Beechcroft Children’s Home. Savile did the Xmas party. Savile had a blonde girl who sat on his leg. Did not witness anything’. There is no direct allegation and very little information in the referral.
There is no record of any establishment called Beechcroft Children’s Home in Leeds. Leeds City Council operated a Children’s Home in Leeds called Beechwood (also known as Beechwood Assessment Centre) which closed in 1984. No records have been found about the home or its residents.
The Information Access Manager undertook a review of the Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Archive collections, which house historical records for Leeds City Council, for any information that they held on Beechwood.
No records of assistance to this investigation were found.
No allegations of inappropriate or abusive conduct by Savile have been reported in relation to Beechwood Children’s Home.
The BBC reported on its website on 10 October 2012 that a woman, who wished to remain anonymous, had claimed in an interview with BBC Radio Leeds that Savile abused a young girl during a visit he made to a council-run children's home she had stayed at in Leeds in the 1970s. Due to its anonymous nature, it has not been possible for West Yorkshire Police or Leeds Children’s Social Work Services to verify this account.
Savile published an autobiography in 1974 entitled ‘As It Happens’ and he claimed to have allowed a girl who had run away from a remand home to stay at his home overnight. Residential managers report that there was no such establishment in Leeds in the 1960s or 1970s.
6.2 Allegation B: An anonymous referral from a woman who said she had been employed within Leeds Children’s Services and alleges that senior managers were aware of Savile’s exploits with under aged children of both sexes and the abuse was ‘brushed under the carpet’
Following allegations made against Savile in the ITV documentary in 2012 and the subsequent allegations identified through Operation Yewtree, Leeds Children’s Social Work Service reviewed their information systems and report that there had been no referrals to the Service about children and families in relation to Savile. This was disclosed to individuals who made information requests at the time, and also to this author by the Information Access Manager and the current
A child protection manager, who had worked in Leeds for over 25 years before leaving the authority in May 2010, recalled no allegations against Savile in Leeds. He did recall a telephone call around 2008-09 from a Local Authority Designated Officer in the South of England to inform Leeds of enquiries beginning in that authority in respect of Savile. This was at the time when Surrey Police were investigating Savile in relation to alleged offences at Duncroft. Leeds City Council was contacted because Savile’s main residence was in the area. The Leeds Child Protection Manager checked whether Leeds had received allegations in relation to Savile and informed the Surrey Children’s Services Manager and their Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) that Leeds City Council had not received any allegations regarding him.
The manager could not recall any written record about this contact or any update on the progress of the other authority’s investigations. This contact is verified in the Surrey Police report into Operation Ornament, their investigation into Savile. It notes that at a meeting on 6 August 2008 the Surrey Children’s Services Manager reported that the Leeds LADO had been contacted and had no trace of Savile and had not received any reports of concern in relation to him.
On 29 April 2008 Surrey Police had sent an e-mail to West Yorkshire Police advising them of the investigation into Savile. An intelligence report from West Yorkshire Police indicated that the only records of Savile they held were that he had been a victim of theft in November 2007. There is no record of specific contact with West Yorkshire Police being made at the conclusion of the investigation.
There was no liaison between West Yorkshire Police and Leeds Children’s
Services about their respective contact with Surrey Police and Surrey
Children’s Service; as no specific allegation was received in relation to Savile, this was consistent with procedures in place at the time.
The investigation team found that LADO arrangements in Leeds have been strengthened. An additional LADO post was created in 2013 and all contacts with the LADO are now logged and tracked.
Savile was born in Leeds and was a Leeds resident for most of his life. He was an entertainer and celebrity well known for his charity work. This included unpaid work at hospitals nationally, including Leeds General Infirmary, and fundraising activities.
When Savile died, the leader of Leeds City Council released a statement on behalf of the Council. This acknowledged Savile’s celebrity and work on behalf of charities and his roots in Leeds. There was no reference to any commercial or charity-related relationship between Savile and the Council.
In 2008, Leeds City Council awarded Savile the Leeds Award, which honours people who have made an outstanding contribution to the city. It was awarded in recognition of his services to charity, and in addition his name was inscribed on a wall at the Civic Hall. Following the allegations made after his death, a full council meeting on 14 November 2012 stripped him of the award, and councillors also agreed no other form of commemoration should be progressed. The inscription has been removed and it was agreed that there would be no work on any further possible commemorations in light of the serious allegations made against him.
There are references on the internet to Savile’s voice being used by Leeds
Safer Partnership as part of a crime prevention operation in Headingley in 2008.
A former Child Protection Manager and the current Local Authority Designated Officer do not recall any allegations being made during their time at the Council about improper behaviour by Savile. A detailed search of records, conducted over a number of weeks, was carried out by Leeds City Council when the allegations against Savile first emerged nationally. This did not uncover any allegations or information about Savile or any matters regarding his conduct or contact with children in Leeds.
Further searches of the records and press archives in relation to the specific allegations received from the Department of Education did not reveal any information that indicated that Savile had contact with the children’s home or council run school identified in the allegations.
There are ongoing enquiries into the relationship between Savile and partner agencies of the Council:
Speaking Out Leeds (an independent investigation into the activities of Savile at Leeds Hospitals established by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to investigate the allegations made against Savile by patients and staff at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s University Hospital over many years). This report published on 26 June 2014 does not implicate the Council, its staff or children in its care in any way.
In addition Kate Lampard is providing assurance for the Secretary of State about the quality and robustness of all the NHS reports published in June 2014 and in early 2015. She will also publish a lessons learned report for the NHS reports.
The circumstances of how West Yorkshire Police dealt with an anonymous letter relating to Savile forwarded by the Metropolitan Police Service in 1998 are currently subject of a voluntary Independent Police Complaints Commission referral. There is no suggestion that anyone in the Council knew about this letter.
Dame Janet Smith is leading a review into BBC culture and practices during the 41-year period in which Savile abused at the Corporation. The final date for publication has not been announced.
6.3 Allegation C: That pupils at Northways Residential School for children with behavioural difficulties visited Savile in his flat when they had good behaviour
Leeds City Council operated a Community Special School called Northways, for boys aged between 11-16 years old. It was situated in Clifford near Wetherby and closed in 1997. It had a roll of 52 boys and a boarding facility for approximately 12 boys. It has not been possible to find any day books, registers or unit logs for the school.
Mr. N1, who had been employed as a Senior Teacher at Northways School until it closed in 1997, contacted Operation Yewtree in September 2013. The referral states that ‘Savile lived in a penthouse close to the school. Mr. N1 was aware that some of the boys visited the flat when they had afforded [been rewarded for?] good behaviour. He named two boys who looking back were vulnerable. He had no information to suspect that anything untoward had occurred and he had no further information to add’.
This investigation has confirmed that both of the young people referred to were vulnerable. However, further consideration and discussion with Mr. N1 has highlighted some inaccuracies in the information from the Metropolitan Police Service:
•Northways School was approximately 11 miles away from Roundhay Park, where Savile had a penthouse flat
•Mr N1 said that the information he provided was that children were taken on trips out from Northways School for good behaviour; on one such trip to Roundhay Park, one of the young people (Young Person 1) had pointed to the flats nearby and told Mr. N1 that Savile lived there and that he (Young Person 1) had been in Savile’s flat. Another young person (Young Person 2) then said that he had been in the flat too. Mr. N1 did not think that any other member of staff heard the comments, and he did not think to record the comments or raise them further at the school. Mr N1 stated that he had contacted Operation Yewtree in 2013 in case either boy had made a complaint to the Police, and it might therefore be helpful to confirm that they had spoken previously about meeting Savile at his flat.
These inaccuracies in the information provided have been passed on by the Investigation Team to West Yorkshire Police.
Mr. N1 has provided some further information as part of this investigation about another occasion involving Savile. During a school trip to Scarborough, a group of boys including Young Person 1 had seen Savile jogging along the road. The boys had run towards Savile, who had a number of bodyguards with him, and the bodyguards quite roughly pushed the boys away.
The social work files of both Young Person 1 and Young Person 2 were obtained and reviewed. Their social work records clearly indicate that at the time both boys were vulnerable. They regularly absconded from the school. The school provided boarding during the week, and both boys had a series of other placements during the time that they attended school. Young Person 1 also spent time at the Safe House run by the Children’s Society in Leeds during the 1990s. It is conceivable that either boy could have visited Savile’s flat, but there is no information to suggest that this was through their attendance or residence at Northways School.
Ms N2 was Head of Care at Northways School between 1995 and 1997. She agreed to be interviewed as part of this investigation. Ms N2 confirmed that no celebrities visited the school whilst she worked there. There were daybooks where events were recorded. The school was in an isolated location and received few visitors. The Council closed the school in 1997. However, Ms N2 could not recall any issues or reported concerns about sexual abuse at the school. Ms N2 did not hear any discussions about sanctioned or unsanctioned visits by boys to see Savile.
No allegations of inappropriate conduct by Savile have been reported to the Police or Children’s Social Work Services in relation to Northways School.
6.4 Allegation D: That Savile picked up 13-14 year old girls from Notre Dame Grammar School in his Rolls Royce
Notre Dame Collegiate School for Girls was opened in 1904 to educate girls from 11-14 years of age. In 1946, it became an all-female direct grant grammar school. It was one of a network of girls' schools in England founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The school became known as Notre Dame Grammar School. With the cessation of direct grant schools in 1978, the school became a comprehensive school named Notre Dame High School, for girls aged 13 to 18 years of age. During the reorganisation of Catholic secondary school provision in Leeds in 1989, Notre Dame High School closed, the land and buildings were conveyanced from the ownership of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to the Diocese of Leeds. In the same year, the Diocese of Leeds established a new sixth form college on the site of the old school that was titled Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College. The College was judged to be ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2008 and their report noted that students felt safe and happy.
The Metropolitan Police have passed on an undated report from an anonymous female to the NSPCC that:
‘Savile would pick up school girls aged 13-14 years old from Notre Dame School in his Rolls Royce. He is said to have strong alliances with the school in the 1970s and was ‘untouchable’’. The caller stated that ‘Savile may have targeted girls in the ‘Alwoodley Leeds 17 area’. He also had strong connections with the ‘Faith and Light’ disability charity in Leeds and Leeds Mencap where he would be the star opening and promoting events and going on the Lourdes Pilgrimages. Nobody would have taken concerns seriously at the time as Savile was seen as a man who did a lot of charity work and was ‘untouchable’ ’.
As part of the investigation of this allegation the independent consultant contacted the Notre Dame Order of St Namur, the Diocese of Leeds and the current management and governing body of Notre Dame Sixth Form College. Details of the allegation were also passed on to Leeds Mencap and the Faith and Light disability charity to enable those organisations to make their own enquiries.
A Yorkshire paper reported a statement attributed to the Diocese of Leeds on 28 March 2014. A spokesman was reported to have said that the Diocese carried out its own investigation after the revelations first emerged about Savile. It ‘could find no evidence that Savile had any contact with the Notre Dame School or any of our (diocesan) children’s homes...He (Savile) did have contact with a children’s home that wasn’t ours but that was one where some of our children resided. It doesn’t surprise me that this investigation has been announced - the police have to follow inquiries through to their conclusion.’
The Investigation Team clarified these comments with the Diocese Press Officer to whom they were attributed. He reported that the Diocese had not made a statement to the press and that he had been clear with the reporter who called him that he did not want to make any comment. However, he had answered some questions from the reporter. The reporter asked about rumours that Savile had access to Notre Dame Grammar School. The Press Officer said that he had been told by the Order that they had no records that indicated Savile had access to the school and this formed the basis of his reply to the reporter’s question. The Press Officer was clear that the reporter had overstated his response which implied that an investigation had been conducted.
The reporter also wanted to know about contact that Savile may have had with Catholic children’s homes. Based on what he had been told by the management of Catholic Care, the Press Officer reported that Savile had not been to any of their homes, but there was a home run by the local authority that had a Catholic manager and a number of Catholic children as residents - and the rumours might have related to that home.
The Press Officer clarified that this home was called Easdale. The local authority has checked their records and there is no evidence that Savile had any contact with the home or its residents.
As part of this investigation, four ex-staff have been spoken to who worked at Notre Dame Grammar School over five decades, and there were two recollections of Mr. Savile attending an event in the school, possibly before 1975.
Former teacher S3 had a vague recollection of Savile either sponsoring a public speaking competition in the 1970s which the School won, or presenting a prize to the pupils who won the competition.
Former teacher S4, who taught in Notre Dame School between 1969 and 1979, could remember one Prize Day held in the school hall at the end of the summer term attended by Savile. He entered the hall with senior staff and sat on the stage with the Head of the School. He made a brief speech and gave out prizes. No improper behaviour towards children or staff was observed.
There was a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post on the 12 April 2014 stating that a former (unnamed) teacher from the school had contacted the newspaper to highlight an incident when Savile was invited onto the premises at the school in the early 1970s to present an award to pupils. The paper also reported that a separate comment left on its website said: “As a former Notre Dame girl I remember Savile coming to the school in about 1972/73. He came to present an award for charity fund raising so to say that he was never there is inaccurate’’.
It is possible that all these reports refer to the same event or different events. Regardless, there have been no reports from previous staff at the school of any frequent or regular association by Savile with the school.
Former teacher S1 thought that the presence of Savile or his Rolls Royce at or near the school would have been the subject of remarks in the staff room.
Two former teachers had no recollection of any links between the school and Savile. They described their time working at the school over many years as a positive and happy experience.
There has been no confirmed information to suggest that Savile had involvement with Notre Dame Grammar School or the current Sixth Form College through his involvement with charities. The school’s management have confirmed that on a few occasions in the past, students from the College have attended as volunteers to help out with events at Mencap, but no one from the charity has been into College. Similarly, individual students have helped the Faith and Light charity with fund raising efforts but there have been no formal links with the charity, and personnel from the charity have not been into College. Ex-staff could not recall significant involvement with charities during their time at the school and recalled no charitable work involving Savile. One ex-pupil spoken to during the investigation recalled the school being involved in a British Heart Foundation charity run in Roundhay Park. They had taken part in this event and recalled Savile also being present. No media reports have been found to substantiate this reference.
7. Policy, practice and procedures at the time of Savile’s reported association with homes and schools run by Leeds Council and also with Notre Dame School and current arrangements for safeguarding children
7.1 There are no clear dates in any of the recent allegations and statements of concern about Savile forwarded to Leeds City Council by the Department for Education. However, we know that Beechwood closed in 1984, that Northways closed in 1997 and that Notre Dame Grammar School where Savile attended an event in the early 1970s closed in 1989. The press have reported allegations of abuse by Savile in an unspecified children’s home in the 1970s and also his attendance at an event in Notre Dame School during the 1970s.
Leeds Children’s Services
7.2 Child protection procedures and practice in England have developed considerably since the 1970s when many of the procedures that we now consider essential for safe practice did not exist. The 1969 Children Act and associated guidance would have been operating for the first two decades under review.
7.3 A Children’s Services Delivery Manager who has worked in Leeds for over 30 years could not recall any written policy about visitors and no use of visitor books in the larger Leeds children’s homes she worked in between 1979 and 1984. She reported that there was a Children’s Procedures Manual at that time, and that:
•A note would be made in the log book of the home stating who had visited
•If councillors, senior managers, magistrates or other professionals or VIPs visited children’s homes, they would always be accompanied into the house units by the senior managers of the homes.
7.4 No staff could be identified to confirm whether the same practice operated in the smaller children’s homes. No records have been identified which could clarify practice in the 1970s. The Children’s Procedures Manual was in a paper format until the 1990s when procedures were put on line. The investigation team was told that when the Children’s Procedure Manual was updated the old section was removed and destroyed in the case of the paper records and, for electronic records, the entry was deleted. This approach was adopted to ensure that staff were not using an out of date version of the procedures. It has, therefore, not been possible for the independent investigator to establish the procedures in place during the 1970s and 1980s.
7.5 Ms N2 has also described significant improvements in the care offered to children since the 1980s and 1990s and the implementation of more robust policies and procedures.
7.6 The Children Act 1989 was introduced in October 1991 and this and subsequent legislation and related statutory guidance has informed the ongoing development of child protection and safeguarding procedures.
Retention of documents in Council establishments
7.7 Enquiries were made by Leeds Children’s Social Work Service in response to a Freedom of Information request in January 2013 which requested details of contact between Savile and a Children’s Home in Leeds between 1 January 1977 and 1 January 1998. The supporting review, which was conducted over a number of weeks, found that the log books from the individual homes had been destroyed in accordance with the legislation and regulations in place at that time.
The Council holds a minimum of 70,000 paper records on individual children, dating between 1940 and 2003. However, as these records are on paper there was no way to identify how many related to looked after children and whether a child had been placed in a children’s home without reading the individual records.
7.8 Since 2003, social care files have been held electronically. These records were reviewed when the allegations against Savile came to light, and no records relating to him could be found.
7.9 Leeds Children’s Services retain records on looked after children for 75 years from the child’s date of birth. It should be noted that where the authority was given the name of a former looked after child, as was the case for young person 1 and young person 2, they were able to locate their records.
Safeguarding policies and procedures in Leeds Children’s Homes
7.10 Safeguarding policies and procedures are in place for staff in Leeds children homes (listed below). Managers comply with the corporate recruitment and selection policy and procedure and also employ the council’s Safeguarding in
Recruitment toolkit and guidance, updated in 2013. Children’s Social Work Service recording, retention and destruction policies are currently being revised and will be published by September 2014. This investigation has provided an opportunity to review the accessibility of children home policies and procedures for the wider workforce, and they will be added to Children’s Social Work Service online procedures by September 2014 with links to relevant corporate procedures.
Procedure: Leeds City Council Children’s Homes
Recruitment and Selection
All children’s homes managers have undertaken safer recruitment training. Linked to Leeds City Council Recruitment and Selection Policy and Procedure
Children All residential staff complete LSCB Safeguarding Training and update every three years. Briefings from Integrated Safeguarding Unit take place in staff meetings.
Visitors to Children’s homes
There are clear procedures in place for visitors to Children’s homes. This includes visits by celebrities or VIPs.
- Unannounced visitors are not admitted;
- Details of all visitors are recorded in the home’s visitors log;
- Visitors are not allowed unaccompanied access to children unless:
- In the case of family members the appropriateness of contact has been assessed to ensure it is safe for the child or young person.
- In the case of professionals their identity has been checked.
Visitors are not permitted to have unaccompanied access to a child or young person in their bedroom.
Conduct and discipline
Leeds City Council Policy and Procedure
Leeds City Council Policy and Procedure
Complaints against professionals
Managing Allegations Policy LCSB.
Complaints procedure Leeds City Council/ Leeds Children’s Rights workers visit every children’s home on a regular basis.
Intervention All staff are certificated in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention with six monthly refresher training.
Risk and impact assessment Leeds City Council Toolkits Health and Wellbeing
Each child has an individual risk assessment. All activities involving children are risk assessed. Impact assessments undertaken before a new child is admitted to the home. All risk assessments are reviewed monthly or sooner as necessary.
West Yorkshire Protocol for Children Missing from
Residential Care or Home
Child Sexual Exploitation
Child Sexual Exploitation Policy LSCB
Sexually harmful behaviour
Sexually Harmful Behaviour Policy LCSB
Managing Information and Data Protection Policy Leeds City Council.
Parental advice on Facebook
Visits Every home is visited monthly by an independent person under Regulation 33 of Children’s Homes Regulations
Children’s Homes National Minimum
Standards Standard 4 Safeguarding Children
Standard 5 Children Missing from Care
Children’s Homes Regulations 2001 (amended 2011 and 2013)
Regulation 16 Arrangements for the protection of children.
Ensuring Child Protection Policies and Procedures are implemented
There are well established arrangements in place in Leeds to ensure that safeguarding policies and procedures are appropriately implemented and adhered to.
All staff working in Leeds Children’s Homes have an individual training plan and have an annual appraisal with their manager which is signed off by a senior manager.
All homes are visited monthly by an independent person who completes a regulation 33 report on the home. The findings from these visits are reported on a monthly basis to the Corporate Carers Groups. Reports are also provided to the Leeds Safeguarding Children’s Board.
The Leeds Safeguarding Children’s Board also provides external reassurance of safeguarding arrangements across Children’s Services.
Leeds recognises that ensuring that children and young people have the opportunity to be heard is the key to both safeguarding their welfare and the provision of effective services. Information on how to complain is provided to all looked after children. In 2013-14, 37 looked after young people complained about some aspect of the service they received. Any young person making a complaint has a right to an Advocate. Advocacy Services are commissioned from an external agency to ensure that they are able to provide impartial support.
Leeds has a well-established Independent Visitor Scheme. Looked after children over the age of 10 have the right to an independent visitor. All independent visitors undergo rigorous safeguarding checks, including DBS checks. Every looked after young person with an independent visitor is asked to provide feedback on the support they have received. The outcome of consultations is reported in an annual report to the Deputy Director of Children’s Services.
Ensuring that looked after children are safe is part of the ‘Leeds Promise’ to looked after children. The Promise was developed by young people and presented to Corporate Carers and Full Council. The Promise also contains details of how looked after children can contact the Deputy Director for Children’s Services directly if they are concerned that any aspect of the Promise is not being kept In the first six months of 2014 two young people raised concerns in this way.
The Independent Reviewing Officers meet with looked after children alone before review meetings to provide children and young people with the opportunity to raise any issues or concerns privately. The Independent Reviewing Officer Service is managed outside of the Children’s Social Work Service to ensure its independence. The Service provides a six monthly report on its work which is presented to both Corporate Carers and the Leeds Safeguarding Children’s Board.
Corporate Parenting and Quality Assurance
7.11 Leeds have developed and updated a Quality Assurance Framework for audit and quality assurance of services, which includes the authority’s annual report of the findings of Regulation 33 visits to children’s homes by Independent Persons, as required by the Children’s Homes Regulations 2001.
7.12 In Leeds, the Corporate Carers group is chaired by the Lead Member for Safeguarding and provides a forum for councillors to learn more about working with looked after children, and contribute to decision making. The corporate carers group meets monthly and considers details of Regulation 33 visits, Ofsted reports and other information about standards in Leeds children’s homes. The Corporate Carers group has strong links with the Children in Care Council and meets regularly with members of the Council to ensure that looked after children have voice and influence.
7.13 The Lead Member for Children’s Services and Lead Member for Safeguarding meet regularly with the Deputy Director for Safeguarding, Specialist and Targeted Services and receive and scrutinise performance and quality assurance reports in relation to the Children’s Social Work Service. These reports are also shared with Shadow Lead Members, the Chair of the Child and Families Scrutiny Committee, and the Leeds Safeguarding Children Board. The Leeds Safeguarding Children Board has also undertaken case audits of a random sample of case files of looked after children.
7.14 In 2013, Leeds invited the Leading Improvements in Looked After Care organisation (LILAC) to undertake an inspection of Leeds Children’s Services. LILAC concluded that Leeds met all seven standards, and reported positively about care experiences and practices in Leeds.
Local Authority Designated Officer Arrangements
7.15 Leeds established Local Authority Designated Officer arrangements following the publication of Working Together to Safeguard Children in 2006. Procedures had evolved during the 1990s within the authority to manage allegations against professionals, primarily foster carers at that time. A database has been developed since 2010 to record all consultations and referrals about workers and volunteers in the children’s workforce. This enables consultations and referrals to be tracked more effectively.
7.16 A second Local Authority Designated Officer post was established in Leeds in 2013.
Policies and Procedures at Notre Dame Grammar School and Notre Dame Sixth Form College
7.17 The Notre Dame Order have been unable to locate old policies and procedures for the Grammar School. The ex-staff from Notre Dame Grammar School all described their time at the school as a positive experience, and noted the development of child protection policies over the decades. The former Teacher S2 had been a designated teacher with child protection responsibilities in her final years at the school.
7.18 Notre Dame College had a very positive Ofsted inspection in 2008 and its 2012 self-assessment highlights an extremely strong safeguarding culture and effective procedures. The College has a Safeguarding Group of five nominated officers who have undertaken enhanced training and who meet every half term.
7.19 Notre Dame College have confirmed that key policies and procedures (listed below) are in place and available on the staff intranet. They feature as part of inductions for new staff and all staff are given regular training on each relevant document.
Procedure: Notre Dame Sixth Form College
Recruitment and selection
Reviewed July 2013. Safer recruitment training to be extended to include all Senior Management (SMT, CAMS and PAMS) and HR in Sept 2014.
In place. Refresher courses delivered to all staff every year (Latest course June 2014 delivered by Catholic Care). Policy last reviewed in summer 2013. New proposed policy and procedures now written and going to Governors for approval in July 2014).
In place and available on intranet for students who wish to volunteer outside of college and also for people wishing to volunteer within college. Reviewed July 2013
Conduct and discipline
Included in policy and procedures surrounding Staff Code of Conduct. Applicable to staff and students and available on Moodle (VLE).
Reviewed July 2013
Violence and aggression
Included in Staff and Student Code of Conduct. Also in H&S and Safeguarding. Reviewed July 2013
In place. Reception staff aware of procedure and their role. Reviewed July 2013
Within Safeguarding policy. All college staff receive refresher training every year on safeguarding.
In place for students, parents and carers. Available on the college Moodle site (VLE). Students taken through process on induction. Reviewed July 2013.
Policies on: Personal use of computers, social networking, and information technology in place. All data stored and used in line with regulations (DPA). Reviewed annually
Health and Safety Policy and procedure in place. Reviewed annually.
Standards of business conduct
Standing Orders and financial regulation policy and procedures in place and reviewed annually
Visitors and VIPs
Included in Safeguarding Policy and other policies such as H&S. Reviewed 2013 and presented to Governors in July 2014. Staff taken through procedures in induction and office staff aware of their responsibilities.
7.20 The Diocese of Leeds has confirmed that all their schools and colleges adopt and comply with their Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures. Churches and related groups implement the national child protection procedures which are available online at www.csas.uk.net. All employees and volunteers are screened through safer recruitment procedures including DBS record checks.
8. Overall analysis and conclusions
8.1 The referrals forwarded by the Department of Education about the involvement of Savile with children and vulnerable young people in specific homes and schools in Leeds have raised serious concerns, which have been investigated as far as possible. The absence of records has made enquiries difficult, but firm conclusions have been reached where possible.
8.2 This investigation has not established any association between Savile and Beechwood Children's Home or Northways School. Unfortunately, this investigation has been unable to establish any detailed information about Beechwood Children's Home in terms of its function and operation. No references to the home and Savile have been located in reviews of Council archives or local media.
8.3 There is no evidence of any allegations being made to, or overlooked by, the management of the home and schools in question. There is no evidence that Savile was given a formal role within the running of the home or the schools in question or that he was afforded unsupervised access to premises or unsupervised contact with children in Beechwood Children's Home, Northways School or Notre Dame Grammar School.
8.4 There is a reference to a girl missing from a remand home in the 1960s or 1970s in Savile's 1974 autobiography, but managers report that any remand home would not have been in Leeds, and that Beechwood was not a remand home.
8.5 There was a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post in 2012 which outlined a third party allegation that Savile had abused a girl in a children's home in Leeds in the 1970s. Neither Children's Social Work Service nor West Yorkshire Police have been able to identify which children's home is being referred to, or establish the identity of the young person who made the allegation or the young person who is alleged to have been abused by Savile at the home. However, West Yorkshire Police confirmed that they have received no allegations in relation to Beechwood Children’s Home.
8.6 There are concerns in respect of two young people who attended and boarded at Northways School prior to its closure in 1997 and statements they are reported to have made about contact with Savile. However, there is no evidence that Savile visited or had any connection with the school itself. No references to the school and Savile have been located in reviews of Council archives or local media and ex-staff state that there was no contact by Savile with the school
8.7 There has been significant emphasis in recent years on listening to children and ensuring that case recording reflects the child’s voice. With the benefit of hindsight, the statements by the two pupils from Northways School have added significance. It is an example of how unusual statements, particularly suggesting unsupervised contact with an adult, should be recorded and reported in case it indicates or adds to concerns about a child or particular adult.
8.8 Savile was a high profile Leeds citizen. The scale of national investigations indicates that he also travelled widely across the country. Information provided as part of this investigation has not indicated any association between Leeds City Council and Savile directly, in terms of joint ventures or routine visits to local homes or schools. There has been a report that his voice was used in a local crime prevention campaign in 2008. There has been no evidence found to support a blanket allegation that senior managers in Children’s Services in Leeds were aware of Savile’s activities and took no action.
8.9 Leeds Children’s Social Work Service undertook a full search of its records in October/November 2012 for any reference to Savile and no allegations were identified.
8.10 Savile clearly had considerable involvement with the local authority’s partner agencies and organisations. The Speaking Out Review contains important lessons for the Council and its partner agencies and these are being taken forward by the LSCB. Further lessons will be identified when Lucy Scott-Moncrieff’s report on the lessons learned for schools and children’s homes is published.
8.11 It has not been possible able to identify records about the old Notre Dame Grammar School or its pupils. This investigation has been able to confirm that Savile attended at least one school event held in the school hall during the early 1970s. There was a report in a regional newspaper that some pupils within the Diocese or from Notre Dame School lived in a children's home which Savile visited but the Notre Dame Order and the Diocese of Leeds have no information about such a connection and the Diocese dispute that they made such a statement.
8.12 The difficulties in finding, or failures to find, historical policies and procedures and children's historical residential or school records during this investigation reinforce the importance of robust recording practice and effective retention and destruction policies by organisations in line with national legislation and regulations. Also, the scale of child abuse and crimes against adults by Savile uncovered in recent national investigations has highlighted the importance of vigilance in all organisations and the need for implementation of comprehensive safeguarding policies and procedures. There is no room for complacency. Leeds City Council, Notre Dame Sixth Form College and the Catholic Diocese have provided information about their current safeguarding arrangements and procedures which would be applied should an individual seek access to children, staff or premises. These are fit for purpose and adequate to safeguard children. Also, their arrangements should ensure that information is available for any investigators who require information about and access to, policies, procedures, and records about staff and children at any point in the future. It is recommended that the LSCB undertake an exercise to audit the operation of retention procedures across member organisations.
There are still ongoing enquiries about Savile and the findings of this investigation will be reviewed should further relevant information or concerns come to light.
The recommendations made have been discussed and accepted by the relevant agency.
To Leeds City Council and Leeds Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
9.1 Leeds City Council and the LSCB should continue to cooperate with police enquiries and any independent inquiries into allegations against Savile and other issues arising from his association with organisations and establishments in Leeds.
9.2 Leeds City Council and Leeds LSCB should review the lessons learned from local and national investigations concerning Savile when reports are published.
9.3 Leeds LSCB should review and quality assure arrangements within partner agencies for the archiving of obsolete policies and procedures so that they are available for future historical investigations.
9.4 Leeds City Council and LSCB should undertake an exercise to audit the operation of record retention procedures, safeguarding procedures in schools and children's homes and visiting policies to ensure that they are operating effectively and that information is easily accessible for any future investigations or enquiries.
9.5 Leeds Children's Social Work Service should complete the update of their recording values and principles and the recording and retention policies by September 2014 and place them on their website.
9.6 Leeds Children's Social Work Service should revise their online procedures to ensure that residential policies and procedures are more visible and accessible by December 2014.
To the Diocese of Leeds
The Diocese of Leeds should review the issues identified around the release of press statements and information sharing which arose following the publication of the letter from the Department of Education in 2014 and will establish any lessons that can be learned for the management of media interest and any child protection enquiries in the future.
Author: Jim Stewart, Independent Social Work Consultant
Date: 19 September 2014
This report was considered by the Investigation Planning Group on 27 June 2014, where final amendments were agreed.
The report has been shared with the Executive Member for Children's Services and the Chief Executive of Leeds City Council and signed off on their behalf by the Director of Children's Services.
Legal advice was provided about the content of the report including the executive summary on 30 June 2014.
Date 19 September 2014
Information about the Author and the Investigation Planning Group Members
Jim Stewart has been commissioned by Leeds City Council as the lead investigator and report author. He is an independent social work consultant with over 24 years’ experience of working in children’s services, child protection practice and management, including coordination of complex case investigations and conduct of serious case reviews. He qualified as a social worker in 1986 and is registered with the HCPC.
Nicola Palmer, Information Access Manager, Leeds City Council
Steve Walker, Deputy Director, Safeguarding, Specialist and Targeted Services, Leeds City Council
Ophelia Rix, Service Delivery Manager, Integrated Safeguarding Unit
Paul Sharkey, Assistant Manager, Leeds Safeguarding Children Board
Paul Harris, Deputy Head of Human Resources, Children’s Services, Leeds City Council
Angela Cox, Principal Education Officer, Diocese of Leeds City Council
Rebecca Roberts, Principal Legal Officer, Legal Services, Leeds City Council
Steve Boorman, Section Head Legal Services (Social Care), Leeds City Council Appendix B
Searches for documents
Enquiries of Leeds City Council archives and West Yorkshire Archives for any records in respect of Savile, Beechwood Children’s Home, Northways School and Notre Dame Grammar School.
Enquiries of Leeds Library Services and Leeds City Council Communication Team of records relating to Savile .
Searches of the internet using Google have been made in respect of Savile and
Leeds, Beechcroft and Beechwood Children’s homes, Northways School, Notre Dame Schools and Sixth Form College.
Sister Patricia O’Brien organised searches of archive records for the Notre Dame Order.
List of documents reviewed
Case files for Young Person 1
Case files for Young Person 2
Ofsted Report for Notre Dame Sixth Form College 2008
Self-assessment for Notre Dame Sixth Form College 2012
Contact with Individuals
Telephone interviews have taken place with:
Mr. CPM 1 who was a child protection manager in Leeds for over 20 years before his retirement in 2010;
Mr. N1, an ex-member of staff at Northways School until it closed in 1997;
Ms S1, a retired former teacher at Notre Dame School who taught there between 1975 and 2012;
Ms S2, a retired former teacher at Notre Dame School who taught there between 1976 and 2013;
Ms S3, a retired former teacher at Notre Dame School;
Ms S4, a retired former teacher at Notre Dame School who taught there between 1969-79;
Headteacher of Notre Dame Sixth Form College;
Press Officer, Diocese of Leeds
Safeguarding Coordinator, Diocese of Leeds
Sister 1, Provincial Moderator, Notre Dame Order
Interviews in person
Ms N2 - Head of Care at Northways School between 1995 and 1997 when the school closed.
The author also had brief discussions with the current Leeds Local Authority Designated Officer, Leeds Safeguarding Children Board Manager and the Chair of Leeds Safeguarding Children Board during this investigation.
Giving children a Voice NSPCC and Metropolitan Police (January 2013)
Levitt report: In the matter of the late Savile: Report to the Director of Public Prosecutions by Alison Levitt Q.C (January 2013)
Mistakes were made: HMIC's review into allegations and intelligence material concerning Savile between 1964 and 2012 HMIC/NSPCC (March 2013)
Operation Newgreen, a report of Detective Chief Superintendent Knopwood's review of West Yorkshire Police's contact and relationship with Savile (May 2013)
Report into matters relating to Savile and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Report into Operation Ornament DS J Savell, Surrey Police (11.01.13)
Keeping Children Safe Department for Education (April 2014)
Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 5: Children's Homes
Children's Homes National Minimum Standards 2011
Care Standards Act 2000
Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 2 Care Planning, Placement and Case Review
The Children's Homes (Amendment) Regulations 2011
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013)