Petition for an inquiry into sexual and psychological abuse at Chetham’s School of Music and other specialist institutions

Petition re-opened until May 31st – please click here.

Below is the text of a petition drafted by Paul Lewis, Tim Horton and myself, calling for an inquiry into sexual and psychological abuse in Chetham’s and other specialist music institutions. To sign, please leave a message here or e-mail me at ian@ianpace.com. It will be sent to the Guardian after midday Tuesday afternoon with the signatures we have by then, and forwarded to politicians and others. We are already amassing a considerable number of signatures both from ex-Chet’s people, other musicians, and others, but hope to get as many as possible. If you were at Chet’s or another specialist music school, do let us know which years you were there. Also, please let us know in what form you would like your name to be listed.

 

In recent weeks, the ongoing allegations of historical sexual abuse at Chetham’s School of Music have put many aspects of music education under intense public scrutiny. Following the conviction of the former director of music, Michael Brewer, the tragic death of Frances Andrade, and extensive testimonies in the press of other abuse, it is clear that there should now be a full independent inquiry into the alleged sexual and psychological abuse by Chetham’s staff since the establishment of the institution as a music school in 1969. Such an inquiry would ideally extend to other institutions as well, some of which have also been the subject of allegations of abuse.

Recent press reports have suggested that during this time many students complained to senior members of staff about the sexually abusive behaviour of a number of Chetham’s teachers, but that no satisfactory action was taken. While it is of primary concern that those who stand accused should be investigated as soon as possible, if these allegations are shown to be correct it will be important to understand the wider implications of a school culture which facilitated such abuses of trust, and afforded alleged offenders long-term protection. For this reason, we ask senior members of staff from that time to account for what appears to be the severe failure of the school system to protect its pupils from those who exploited their positions of power. The prevalence of sexual abuse which appears to have continued unhindered over many years suggests an alarming lack of responsibility and competence in the management of a school which had, above all, a duty to protect the welfare of its students and to nurture the artistic potential of every pupil. That Chetham’s appears to have failed in this respect, and with such devastating consequences for the personal and professional lives of the alleged victims, now requires some considerable explanation from those who held senior positions of authority.


398 Comments on “Petition for an inquiry into sexual and psychological abuse at Chetham’s School of Music and other specialist institutions”

  1. Cora Venus Lunny says:

    Please add my name to the petition. This stuff has got to stop!

  2. Jayne Harris says:

    I would like to add my name to this petition in memory of the bravery of my friend Fran. I was not a student at Chets, but studied along side ( and in awe) of her considerable talent and amazing personality at the RAM. RIP

  3. ianpace says:

    If any of you know anyone else who may not be on FB, Twitter, etc., but who might be interested in signing, please do let them know. The deadline has to be midday tomorrow – the letter will appear in the Guardian on Wednesday, and online probably earlier than that.

  4. leone alexander says:

    I would like to see this put on trial so that specialist music education can continue untarnished by these foul individuals.

  5. Becky Proctor says:

    Add my name to the petition please!

  6. Sanchia Norman says:

    Please add my name too.

  7. David Watkin says:

    I would like to see a proper inquiry.
    Wells 79-83
    Taught at RNCM 1999 -2002

  8. S Bordoli says:

    Bordoli

  9. Meara Cavanagh says:

    Please add my name – Chets 1986-89.

  10. Leonie Anderson says:

    Emotional, as well as sexual, abuse was rife in the ’70s and ’80s and seemed to go with the territory of being in some way ‘gifted’. It made youngsters feel anything but special and messed up far too many of them. It wasn’t just at Chets that this sort of thing happened, though it’s beginning to look as though it was almost the norm within that staffroom, which hopefully wasn’t the case elsewhere. RCM JD 1979-81; GSMD 1984-6; GSMD JD staff 1986-90.

  11. Please add my name to the petition.

  12. Ronit Ronen says:

    i will sign RCM 1986-89

  13. Graham Anthony Devine says:

    I would like to sign. Chet’s 1985-1988.

  14. Amy Collins says:

    I’ll sign

  15. Mark R Mottram says:

    Chets 84-86

  16. Pete Furniss says:

    Please add me: Pete Furniss

  17. Sarah Morgan says:

    Please add my name to the petition.

  18. Henry Tricks says:

    Please add my name to the petition

  19. Jason Lai says:

    Please add my name…

  20. Thea Spiers says:

    Please put my name down. RNCM 2000-2004.

  21. Michael de Csilléry says:

    I will sign. Chet’s 84-86.

  22. Joe Harrop says:

    This is, unfortunately, desperately needed.

  23. Rachel Beckles Willson says:

    Yes, add my name.

  24. Lisa Ridgway says:

    I will sign this. I was at Chet’s from 1989 until 1993.

  25. Adam Howard says:

    I was at Chet’s from 88-92. I will sign. Child abuse is child abuse. They can’t hide behind the curtain of “being a music teacher – you have a close relationship with your teacher”.

  26. Su-a Lee says:

    I was at Chethams School of Music from 1979-1988
    Please add my name to the petition.
    Am still reeling from Fran’s tragic death…

  27. Howard Smith says:

    I will sign. I attended Chetham’s from 1984-1988

  28. Max A. Midroit says:

    Ian, Please add my name too
    Max A. Midroit, pianist, NYC
    It is time to take a look at abuse, psychological or sexual, that takes place in an environment that was meant to nurture and develop, not damage and destroy.

  29. Clare Fraser says:

    Add my name

  30. Phil Bailey says:

    I will sign. Chet’s 1989 – 1993

  31. Jody Sapsard says:

    Please add my name to petition

  32. Kim Murphy says:

    Please put my name down on the petition.. Thank you!

  33. Jenni Britton says:

    I have no personal connection with Chet’s, but as a musician and peripatetic teacher of children, I would like to sign. There is no excuse for abusing the relationship between teacher and student.

  34. Nina Hirsch says:

    Please add my name to the petition

  35. steinwey says:

    You can count me in if you have any use for a foreigner who never studied in the UK but sympathises with your cause.

  36. Gareth Hamill says:

    I think it is only right and proper that a full investigation takes place. There is no excuse for abuse in any form.
    Gareth Hamill

  37. Gillian Fisher says:

    Please add my name

  38. Louise Williams says:

    please add my name

  39. Lou says:

    This definitely needs to be looked into. Good work guys.

  40. Amy Loveday-Hu says:

    I am a teacher and parent, it is beyond comprehension. I would like to sign even though not a Chets alumni.

  41. Helen Ella says:

    Please add my name: Helen Ella. Student at St. Mary’s Music School 1991-1997

  42. Matthew says:

    Please add my name

  43. Dave Smith says:

    Please add my name to the petition

  44. Caroline Westoby says:

    Please add my name.

  45. Naomi Thomas says:

    Please add my name to the petition

  46. Catherine lett says:

    I definitely want to add my name.
    Have been in contact with this type of emotional/sexual abuse.
    Purcell school 89-91 Guildhall school of music & drama 91-96

  47. elin edwards says:

    please add my name to the petition

  48. Patrick Jackman says:

    Please add my name – Patrick Jackman


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