Chetham’s: alumni memories and reflections following the IICSA hearings

It has been clear through many private forums and discussions that the hearings at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) on 1-2 October 2019 into Chetham’s School of Music (see this page for links to the videos and transcripts) have generated many powerful reactions and also wider thoughts on reflections on the school and individuals’ time there. I feel it is important that these be preserved, and so am posting here a series of sections of text sent to me, all presented anonymously (unless people request otherwise), to which I will keep adding more as I receive them. The only editing done will be for legal reasons or to preserve anonymity. I am not personally going to express a view publicly until after the end of the hearings, other than to point out that while John Vallins claimed in the hearings that I was at Chetham’s for 4 years, I was actually there for 8, from 1978 (in Junior A) to 1986 (upper sixth), and also a story related to me by my mother, which I am sharing with her permission.

There had been a time when one of the PE teachers (I think) had been taunting some boys including me by bending their fingers back (for obvious reasons, definitely not something you should do to instrumentalists, though I think this teacher disliked musicians, thinking all the boys to be gay and not ‘hard’ enough). I told my parents about this, and they mentioned it when they came to meet John Vallins next, who was very down on me at the time. He said in response ‘Mrs Pace, I didn’t hear you say that’ [Corrected from earlier wording], and suddenly his behaviour towards them and me changed quite considerably, much more positive (I went on to get the best A-Levels anyone had yet got at the school, with 6 Grade As, and a place at Oxford, also later studying at the Juilliard School as a Fulbright Scholar). Make of that story what you will.

I am numbering the testimonies AL1 (Alumnus 1), etc, and will continue to add to them. Anyone who has any thoughts they would like to be posted (which can be as short as a sentence, or much more extended) should e-mail them to me at ian AT ianpace DOT com. I can attest that I know who every individual is who has supplied testimony, and when they attended the school, but would not disclose any of this information without their express permission.

WARNING: some may find some of the material below distressing or triggering.

 

AL1

I found the collective amnesia and abdication of responsibility displayed by Vallins, Hullah and Moreland at the inquiry as utterly repulsive and cowardly as I found the testimonies of those who spoke of abuse to be both horrific and awe-inspiringly courageous. Vallins in particular made my blood boil as I was able, by dint of having been there at the time (1975 to 1981) although a child, to contrast his account with the reality of life as a boarder. It is a matter of deep regret that the history books cannot be rewritten to show that he and others never existed. May the Chet’s of today flourish and prosper under sound governance whilst at the same time being aware not only of its proud past, but also of its obligations to those who saw its darker side. May those who suffered find peace, and may those who wish to do so but have hitherto remained silent find the courage to speak out and expose these animals for what they were and possibly still are. May Vallins, Hullah, Moreland and any staff whose voices have not yet been heard devoid themselves of whatever misplaced sense of loyalty or plain arrogance has thus far held them back and – dare one say it? – tell the truth.

 

AL2

The lady who interjected 5 hours 47 minutes into the Inquiry, and who was asked to leave the room, said it all. Whilst giving evidence at the Inquiry, John Vallins displayed an arrogance that was deeply shocking. He showed scant remorse for failing to protect vulnerable children in his care. It was disingenuous of him to suggest that the music and academic departments were separate entities and that he had no knowledge of, or control over, what was happening in certain parts of the school. He was Headteacher, with responsibility for the whole school. If he did not know about the abuse, he was incompetent. If he did, then he turned a blind eye to it. Although there were humble, kind and compassionate members of staff, I hold John Vallins responsible for an abject failure to provide a safe and happy place in which to learn.

 

AL3

My dear friend A1 [anonymised name as used in the IICSA hearings] was giving live evidence , who I’ve been in contact with for a few years now and have had the pleasure of a few visits to my house… the subject of Chets was always at the forefront of our conversations – which after 30 years is alarming at how fast time has passed , along with regret that during these years, the torment of the school still lives with us. 

[After a phone call from Operation Kiso] I froze – I remember it clearly, I burnt my wrist taking the croissant out the oven – I was alarmed to think that the past wasn’t in the past … and I refused to comment…. It’s disturbing to think that the Chetham’s mess has been carried with us for so long.

I was terribly disappointed to find that my friend A1 had several minutes missing , that were removed to protect her anonymity , which is of course understandable , but at the same time distressing to know that these comments were all about [houseparent]’s appalling behaviour.

When A1 returned from America , we were all called into the ‘common room’, as it was known then, by [houseparent], to be told that A1 is returning and no one must ask her any questions or ask her why, and that we had to pretend everything was normal. Everyone knew anyway ! We all knew they had to get naked … so I’ll never understand why Vallins said he had no idea at the time. .   In my knowledge, we all know rumours spread fast in any industry … so to hear him admit this , was rather alarming. The head after him – what a disaster. Terribly dismissive on all matters regarding Brewer. I could have hit him. Retirement a typo for Resigning ???  – none of my iMacs could have done that ! !

The main thing at the time for me , is the tremendous strain [houseparent] and Vallins put my parents through – the impact of their behaviour leaves deep scars. I went to [houseparent], and asked her if she was aware that [redacted] was shagging most of his students. She accused me of being a Liar, and explained that this is Libel and I should be worried and will suffer for the consequence of my actions.

My parents were called up the school immediately, which was a 6 hour round trip for them, where they met with Vallins, [redacted] and [redacted].  The torment this caused my family is unforgiving. They were told that this could be a Libel case, and therefore my parents were worried sick – they could lose everything, including the house , if this were to be a sue-able case which [houseparent] threatened it would be.

How can you do that to someone?

I cannot tell you how much impact this has had on our lives. Nor can I understand why [houseparent] can’t be called into this investigation. I feel so terribly angry at her and ended up subsequently with major depression, a lot of medication, and an alcohol dependency.

They were only ever concerned about the school’s status – and never once considered the vulnerability of, and long term damage to the child.

In Loco Parentis ? ? ? LIARS.

 

AL4

Overall, I thought the questioning at the inquiry was well done, though I would have liked it to have been made clearer that the abuse referred to by different perpetrators was only a fraction of the abuse experienced by students at Chetham’s. Vallins came across initially as a genteel old man, who was shocked at findings. This impression quickly departed. The head of a school is ultimately the one responsible for the safety and welfare of all within the school. It is their duty to be aware of what is going on throughout their school. What became evident is that there was simply little, if any, main staff responsibility for what went on in Palatine House. Children and teachers alike were completely unsupervised, creating an easy environment for perpetrators to commit their crimes. Even in the Junior School (7-11) there was little if any supervision at break times, leaving young vulnerable children free to roam the corridors and rooms of Palatine House unchecked. No child, of any age, should walk in fear as to when the next assault might take place.

That there was little if any formal training in safeguarding available at that time is totally irrelevant. This is about common sense caring. Making sure children and young people are safe.

Chetham’s was anything but safe in the 1970s (and beyond) and far too many of us carry scars from our time there.

Jenny Terras.

 

AL5

School for me when I entered in 1981 for my sixth form appeared a wonderfully free arena. I enjoyed my music making tremendously and the freedom I had to meet boyfriends, go to pubs, get drunk and sneak out for whole nights at times whilst at school. Luckily I was a very sensible person who didn’t get into any trouble but looking back as an adult, I am horrified that I had these chances. The pastoral care was lax – I survived.I heard all about Fran Shorney and Brewer even though I arrived in the September of the July she left. I learnt all about Malcolm Layfield and his behaviour with girls in my year and above. It was so open I cannot believe that teachers and Vallins did not know. I went on the Venezuelan Chamber Choir Trip In 1983 where alcohol was available on several occasions – to excess. Mrs Brewer engaged in kissing one of the sixth formers in front of many of us and a party was held in the Hilton Hotel where a sixth form boy was pulled up from hanging over the 17th floor balcony under the influence of booze by other boys while Brewer and other staff were inside and unaware. Pastoral care???

I also have close knowledge of abuse (which started in school) on a summer tour where [name redacted] was in cahoots with Brewer on a Chet’s Summer tour to take a girl away from the rest of the group. This tour was organised by Chet’s and not on a Free Weekend when Vallins could wash his hands of responsibility. ‘Not knowing’ about this is not an excuse. Those involved have been affected for the rest of their lives.

 

AL6

I think the very least the new regime can do is write a full letter of apology on behalf of the school and the way it’s predecessors acted. It should for the current pupils outline any proposals and why they are so important, much in the same way Germany and Japan did with its youth following the war. They should all be aware. A guidance counsellor should also be set up should the same problems ever occur again. The pupils must know there is someone they can go to almost independent from the school, who will take any accusation seriously. A final one may be for the school to have a former pupil to go and speak to the pupils once a year about what went on and what they should and shouldn’t do. Also pointing out how easy it is to be groomed or worse. The overall message to all at the school is even if you just hear about something which is not right, regardless who you think is right or wrong, report it. I just think that a lot of those things would have helped those who needed it and also been of use to people like me. Had the attitude at school that it was girls trying to further their careers by sleeping their way to the top. Only on leaving did I realise how wrong I had it. This was further reinforced at [music college] where I met others messed up by the same things at different institutions. There were also those from Chet’s who quit music after finding out the same teacher from Chet’s would be teaching them at [music college] too.

 

AL7

With Chethams in the news again I thought again about my conflicting feelings about the place. It has taken 2 decades to build up self esteem after being there for ten years, and I know that if I had not gone there I would have had no career in music and I would not have met all the wonderful friends, who are still supportive and lovely after many years, friends for life.

I was one of the lucky ones, though, I was not exposed to the worst crimes there.

I have always remembered this though..

‘there are kids out on the streets of Manchester who have more talent in their little finger than you have in the whole of your body’

Did I make this up? Was it said? It is of course true.

 

AL8

I entered Chet’s at 11 as a happy child who was considered to be bright at primary school. By the time I was 12, I was so depressed that I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I felt like a complete failure, especially academically. This has stayed with me my whole life.

I came out of my 2nd study piano lessons crying every week for 4 years. The teacher used words that I did not understand and then used to yell and call me hopeless and useless.

In my end of year assessment when I was 14, the assessor told me I had no musicality. I’ve found it very difficult to perform to anybody since.

I feel like Chet’s failed to prepare me for an ordinary life outside music. It took me a long time to adjust after leaving music college.

 

AL9

I started at Chets around 1960 as a six or seven year old. I left in 1969 at the end of the first year of the school becoming a music school and becoming co-ed. I had recently been orphaned but prior to that had lived in a very loving environment. The shock of being at Chets and my abject unhappiness there affects me to this day. I know that the hard environment there added hugely to my state of mind and deep unhappiness.

When I arrived and for all but the final year, corporal punishment was meted out not by the staff, but by prefects. Effectively by seventeen year olds.

Many of these prefects were inarguably sadists ( I could name them even now ) who prided themselves on how much pain they could inflict on young children. Those children could be guilty of nothing more than wanting to go to the toilet after lights out in the dormitory. This would involve knowing that you were going to be ‘slippered’ in the morning and having to therefore spend the night in fear and dread, followed by attending the study block for punishment in the morning.

The ‘slippering’ involved not a slipper but a size twelve plimsoll. The child being assaulted would then have to bend down with an audience of a number of six form sadists whilst the hero administering the ‘ slippering’ would often take a run up in order to inflict as much pain as possible three or six times. The pain was dreadful, causing you to even feel sick.

The audience of sadists thought that this was hilarious.

I often wonder how they, as adults, would react to their own children being assaulted in this way

This punishment was carried out on a trial without jury basis. In other words, sixth formers could decide who would be slippered without any redress or need of explanation or real justification.

Some kids even wore their ability to take slipperings with some sort of warped pride. That in itself paints a picture of a very strange place indeed.

All the staff, and the governor (Harry Vickers ) knew all about this brutality. Some, I know were sickened by it, but I only ever remember a decent PE teacher named Eric Stevens ever trying to do anything about it but being ignored. He was prompted by seeing horrific bruising on young children during swimming lessons.

To me, it is little wonder that an environment where physical assault was actually encouraged, would lead to a culture where sexual assault would also be tolerated by those in positions of trust and authority.

Many of the staff who were in charge during the era that I describe above were still at the school when the sexual assault began to take place. I actually know that they swept it under the carpet for the sake of the school and there own private world.

Also, on reflection, the lack of pastoral or emotional care during my time there now looks astounding. To run a school on a military basis plus condoned violence reflects on the type of people ( or person ) whose influence was overpowering in the extreme.

Is it really any wonder that the previous regime morphed into the disgusting and damaging one that followed?

Finally, I should say that during all my years at the school, I saw no evidence or heard anything about any sexual assault taking place. Of course, this does not mean that it was not happening.

One male teacher did take an unhealthy interest in me and orchestrated an uncomfortable extra- curricular outing with me which to my alarm was allowed by my family ( innocent souls ). But, although I knew his likely motivation, nothing actually happened despite his offer of cider. Back then, I would have been quite capable of flattening him anyway !

I met privately over coffee a few years ago with a retired formerly very senior member of Chets staff. That person had been in post throughout what seems to have been the worst of the abuse issues.

Whilst I cannot remember the precise wording of our conversation, I do remember gaining the strong impression that he and those others at the very top were aware of what was happening and had brushed the issue under the carpet.

There seemed to be an environment where the managers of the school had put the reputation of the school and their positions within the school ahead of justice and the well-being of its pupils.

Perhaps an environment of collective self-importance ?

 

AL10

The scale of the abuse has been way beyond anything I realised. What I HAVE realised is that so many of us little people were at the mercy of big egos whose main agenda was the glorification of themselves with no real awareness of the consequences… I teach in SUCH a different way to how I was “drilled” – hopefully in a climate of care and positivity as opposed to fear and negativity… But I consider myself as a survivor!! I’m well, happy and have an extraordinarily rich musical life…

 

AL11

My male personal tutor told me when I was 15 and feeling upset about a disagreement with my dad. ‘you don’t need your family now, you have us… When you go home you don’t need to talk to them, don’t you have a pet you can hang out with? just stay in your room.’

I know these were the words, I can’t forget them… So horribly controlling and potentially worse. Luckily I realised this was not normal behaviour. But I remember years later doing compulsory child protection training and being in tears after reading the grooming section…. I still wish, in some ways, I could approach him and challenge him about it.

 

AL12

I’ve suffered from asthma since I was two. I can remember [gym teacher] scaring the life out of me when she would tell us nearly every lesson how we were all suffering from sheer ignorance and would end up in wheelchairs by the time we are 30 because we were so all unfit. I remember [another gym teacher] as well yelling at me to carry on running in the PE hall even when I begged to stop. That resulted in me having an asthma attack and staying in hospital. Sooo many teachers back then were cruel. House staff telling us we’re not academics, even though we did well in academic exams. I remember being told by a member of the boarding staff at the sixth form leavers party I probably won’t have passed my German A level as I’m not academic. I got a grade A in that subject for the A level exam. I remember house staff telling other students they weren’t academics yet they went to Oxford and Cambridge. What was it at that place with all the confidence bashing?! There are so many horror stories, way worse than I’ve mentioned just now that happened in the 8 years I was there. I was very glad to leave that school and I’ve not wanted to ever consider sending my child to a boarding school because of it. That and the fact there has never been any need for my children to be boarders anyway.

I still remember the science teachers making kids stand on desks in lessons as punishment. Then wiping the chalk board markers over kids faces and telling them if they see them walking around school without the chalk they will be in trouble. These kids would then walk into lunch with it on their faces; nothing was said! Totally illegal to do that as teachers were not allowed to physically abuse kids at that time. I was hit over the head countless times by [teacher] in Junior A for things like forgetting my glasses. Again, she wasn’t allowed to do that but she got away with it plus her abuse of other kids in her class; emptying boys bags in front of the whole class and mocking them. [Instrumental teacher] (I think [another instrumental teacher] before that) who would tell me I was a useless bassoonist. Then when I won the BBC TV Young musician of the year woodwind section, she came up to me in the bathroom and said ‘Well I’m shocked! You must have improved!’ I remember amazing teachers like Mr and Mrs Hatfield, Mrs Peak, Mr Little and some others. But there were far too many bullies. I too was taught violin by Mr Ling. He scared the crap out of me so I gave up the violin because of him. Just as well. Maybe I would have ended up one of his victims. [House parent] who made little juniors hold pillows at arms length for ages as punishment for talking after lights out. Often we were talking as we were just little kids or felt homesick. Yes we had great opportunities there, but they came at a huge emotional cost to many of us. I gave up the bassoon and never played it again the day I left the RAM. I felt burnt out and didn’t want a life that Chet’s had made me feel I would lead. A life of constant pressure. I have good and bad memories of Chet’s. But it is true. What happens when you’re a kid has a big impact as to the person you become as an adult.

 

AL13

As a day student, much of this passed me by, but as a young 14 year old I knew my good friend was emotionally destroyed by a ‘relationship’ with Layfield. If you weren’t there, I imagine its hard to believe that, to many of us, this behaviour was ‘normal’. At least it was all normalized. I remember envying those girls in the ‘in’ groups, wishing I could be as good as them. I do also have another memory which never really made sense, or at least I used to find rather funny, until the Brewer trial. My teacher was away for a week and during that time, Brewer had me in his office, asking me to try a viola on for size. Weird experience, he was too close, etc. etc.. (every woman reading this knows what I mean). It was too big for me and I was a violin snob so I just didn’t want to continue and left his office. I told my teacher when he got back. My lesson was at the foot of the stairs. He stormed out (this was not a guy who stormed. Instead he was exceedingly zen and calm at all times), went through two fire doors and into Brewers office and I heard him yell ‘Keep your hands off my student’. At the time, I thought it was about the viola. They all knew.

 

AL14

I was at Chet’s 1987-91. Looking back, I feel sad for the vulnerable girl I was, that loved ( and still do) music. I held my teacher in such high esteem..if he said jump, I jumped. At 15 I was given an opportunity to study piano with Bakst and I remember feeling so excited. That was soon to change. A naive, country girl – I couldn’t understand why I felt so uncomfortable during my lessons. Surely, he couldn’t be touching my private parts whilst I was trying to play..it must be my imagination I thought. However, I soon stopped the lessons through feeling scared. My house parent questioned me why I stopped lessons with Bakst and after he asked the question, ‘has he done something’ I reluctantly told him about the way he touched me. I remember my house parent shaking his head and saying, ‘not again’. I was told by a member of staff that it would ruin the career of the very talented male students who were taught by Bakst if it was reported. Naturally, I could not have lived with myself if I was deemed responsible for this. I wondered why Bakst didn’t have any female students back then except one Chinese girl I think. Some piano teachers at Chets were old pupils of Bakst and they referred their talented students to Bakst. If my house parent knew what was going on, surely the other staff knew?! This ‘blind eye’ was endemic in the piano department. We were children and no one cared enough.. shame on all of them. By 17, I had been groomed by my first piano teacher, prior to Bakst, and had regular trips to his house where intimacy occurred. Still 17, I had a nervous breakdown..2 suicide attempts and was unable to complete my last yr at school. I taught myself my A levels and locked myself away in my tiny bedroom for months. I loathed myself. I couldn’t be the ultra slim student that my teacher wanted me to be ..he continuously made remarks about my weight. I developed a serious eating disorder and this subsequently destroyed years of my life and any career prospects. BUT, I survived! Whenever I think back to those darkest days, I break down. I was a kind, loving, trusting girl. It broke me.

Although my experience is one of deep sadness, I feel it is now time for Chetham’s to grow into the best school it can be. I have witnessed changes and I have seen how happy the children are. With the right, strong leadership, Chetham’s can be an amazing experience for so many children. Friends who have recently worked at Chets and current pupils I know there, feel it is now a happy and safe environment and this is all I could wish for the future. Knowing this, has helped me deal with my past.

 

AL15

I was 14 when I was groomed and sexually abused by Ling during my time studying at at Chethams. Ling gave us letters to take home about the courses at his house, they were like the typical school trip letter with a slip to fill in at the bottom and information on how much the course cost and date. They were printed out. There were often other letters from school about tours and trips. This was just like one of those.

From my parents point of view, this was a letter from Chethams because it came from the school and from one of the teachers who worked there.

Chetham’s responded to my civil case by disputing whether I’d even attended the school during that year and asking me to provide proof. This is the only communication I’ve had from them, no apologies or letters or emails or in fact ANY acknowledgement of what happened.

Since op Kiso started seven years ago I’ve been looking towards being able to formally address the abuses of trust that I suffered whilst a student at Chethams in a legal manner.

This still hasn’t hasn’t been possible and I couldn’t be more disappointed that victims voices have been silenced and that there has been no apology or acknowledgement from the school.

I hope that the inquiry has taken into account the devastating and destabilising effect childhood sexual abuse has at such a critical point in life. I’d also point out that a boarding school setting makes it even more isolating when all the power resides with the teachers who were also the abusers and family support is a very long way away

 

AL16

Unfortunately I have few positive feelings about my time there. I, also was not exposed to the worst crimes but the emotional abuse that was inflicted on us has left us with demons and scars that last a lifetime. We were commoditised as children and love and praise was determined/ conditional on our a ability to perform on cue. I did not take up a career in music but that toxic environment shaped the early years of my adult life.

 

AL17

I have made it public that I was abused from 1971-1977. I was shocked to the core, when I turned on the News last Tuesday teatime and heard the names Brewer and Ling being mentioned. I knew nothing about this inquiry and would very much have liked to have been present. Why were we not informed?

I was the first girl to report sexual abuse in 1971 and would have appreciated that being recognised. I felt that my existence hadn’t mattered and this has really affected me very badly this last week.

It was only after my mother telling me the day after my father died, that I had been the biggest disappointment in their lives, was I then able to tell her about the abuse and the reason for me returning to [place of abode]. My father died, never knowing.

If only Chet’s had thrown Professor Bakst out of the school in 1971 and not 1991/2, how many other poor girls could have been saved.

The RNCM also knew that Bakst was abusing. Clifton Helliwell (Head of Keyboard) invited Bakst’s students to his office and offered us a different teacher, if we so wished.

My life path changed for good, thanks to Professor Bakst… why isn’t he getting the same mentioning as Brewer and Ling? I am seething about this.

Bakst abused not only sexually and mentally (when I tried to stop him, he would sulk and sit and read his Polish newspaper during my ‘lesson’) but also physically. On one occasion he insisted I repeat a certain part of Rachmaninoff’s G minor Prelude over and over and over. I told him several times that my right hand was paining… he wouldn’t allow me to stop. It resulted in me seeing 2 specialists and not being able to use my right hand for a year! I still have problems with it, to this day.

 

AL18

Reading this has made me realise FOR THE FIRST TIME that many of the repeating anxieties in my life (no talent, wrong appearance, not thin enough, etc.) stem from the way that various staff members at Chet’s got into my head and have never left. [String teacher] told me I wasn’t pretty enough to be a cellist. [Houseparent] often criticised my weight. I was told by Mike Brewer that I would have to requisition to keep my place had I not been in Fast Set Music…. Somehow all these years I have believed all these things, and believed that they only applied to me and that everyone else was entitled to be at Chet’s, just not me. To read of such wonderful musicians that I look up to and respect receiving similar comments has surprised me to my core and made be reassess just how much insidious damage was done to me and to many other pupils. And that is before you even come to the sexual abuse and the generally toxic culture that made us believe that this was the reality of life in the music business.

 

AL19

I was at Chets from 1986-1991.  I was one of the “lucky” ones; I was a woodwind first study and the wind tutors seemed to have mainly been able to behave appropriately and professionally.

However, I wanted to write and say how let down and angry I feel towards all the staff at the school at the time, but especially the houseparents and headteacher.   We all knew that something wrong was going on – most of us didn’t know the whole story, but rumours abounded about playing naked and “dares” (or punishments) at the house gatherings at Ling’s house.   Yet in our young impressionable minds, somehow, despite the fact that we were aware our friends and peers were being abused, the reactions around us and the fact that the people who were in loco parentis – who we also knew were aware and did NOTHING to stop it or to prevent it happening again, meant that we accepted it as normal, and worse, something to be envied.   Ling’s Strings, were – in our minds – a group of special chosen ones.  They had the cool teacher that drove around in the sports car and leather trousers, they got to go offsite to gatherings that were secret and grown up.  We envied them.   How utterly messed up and wrong is that?

I feel a massive sense of guilt towards my friends.   That we didn’t speak up on their behalf more, that we left them feeling isolated and vulnerable to more abuse because there was no guidance from the adults looking after us that these vile men were doing anything wrong.

I am aware of at least one close friend approaching [houseparent] detailing an unthinkable situation of abuse and her response was to minimise and dismiss.   That left this vulnerable teenager in unbelievable turmoil.

There was no morality amongst the staff – the reputation of the school was the only thing that mattered.   Threats about libel, threats about ruining people’s careers, dismissals of horrendous situations with phrases like “silly girls, making everything so dramatic” abounded.   There was no-one to go to for advice and guidance.

So I want to say to all the staff there in that very long period where Brewer, Ling, Bakst, Layfield et al abused at will and without remorse, if you were there and you knew and you didn’t speak up, SHAME ON YOU.   SHAME ON YOU ALL. You all knew, we know you knew.   How do you live with yourselves?

My mum was very concerned about one of my incredibly vulnerable friends, and tried to intercede with Vallins on her behalf.   She was dismissed and her offers of help were rejected – she was made to feel like an interfering busybody.   She, along with another parent, petitioned the school to try and set up some kind of parent consultation group to enable the parents to have more input to what was going on in the school – this was not allowed.

She was told by a wind tutor that there were bad things going on and that they would never send their own kids there.   My parents agonised over whether to withdraw, but as none of us were encouraged to talk to our parents, they presumed that if something was wrong we would tell them.   Yet we perpetrated the veil of secrecy and silence, because we knew that’s what we had to do to protect the school.

My own story is minimal compared to most – I was lucky.  [Houseparent] was a monster behind her smiley exterior.   She encouraged so many of us to be worried about our weight and appearance – often telling me I was too chubby and needed to lose weight.  She made many hurtful comments in public and private about it.  At the time I weighed 9.5 stone and was 5ft 4.  She wasn’t approachable, everything was dismissed as we were being silly and needed to get over it.   She once told me I was a monster and would never amount to anything in “decent society” because I borrowed an unsuitable video off one of the boys and showed it in the common room. Yet, we were left unsupervised long enough to show a whole film.   We were rarely checked on until it was time for lights out.  The assistant houseparent was having a relationship with the head of strings, and so wasn’t approachable either, although she was kinder.

My experience of Brewer was twisted.   He didn’t like me and used to play mind games with me.  He withheld coveted positions in the orchestra deliberately and taunted me about it.   My very worst time was when I was in Upper Sixth and he summoned me for a private chat in his office at night.   When I went in he was wearing those tiny shorts he often wore that left nothing to the imagination.   He sat behind his desk and regarded me with amusement; I was clearly nervous as I didn’t know what he wanted.   He wrote something on a piece of paper and then put it in the top drawer of his desk, locked it and laid the key on the desk.   Then he stood up, put one foot on a chair, so his genitals were exposed, and said to me “I know what you’re going to be”.   I had no idea what was going on or what he meant.   He gestured to the drawer “that piece of paper says what will happen after you leave school.  Do you want to know what it says?”  I didn’t know what to do, and stood there frozen.   He regarded me with contempt, put his leg down, and shooed me away, saying “you can go”.   I escaped.   I didn’t tell anyone; what was the point and who should I tell?

When I left I went to one of the most prestigious universities in the UK to read music.  Despite this, I was seen as a failure by the music department and the fact I’d rejected a place at the RAM to go down a more academic route was seen as a disappointment.

I want the staff of the time, those that are alive, to know about our stories, and for them to acknowledge how wrong their decisions were and to apologise without reservation.  [Comments about veracity of testimony of former head teachers in the inquiry]  Claire Moreland claimed that a letter was sent to the alumni informing them of the police investigation – but nearly 200 people have responded to say that they’ve never received any such letter.

If the present head is serious about helping the alumni affected, he should be seeking out those members of staff and asking them to write public letters of acknowledgement and apology.   I think it’s outrageous that none of them have been called to account for themselves during these proceedings, especially the [houseparents mentioned in evidence to inquiry].   It’s even more appalling that members of their family have held prominent positions of authority at Chets until very recently.

 

AL20

After two years at Chetham’s my parents had seen enough and took me out.This was in ’76. My dad (a teacher himself) told me later that he had been to see Vallins and told him-based solely on their experience of my treatment there- that in his opinion there were serious problems with how the school was being run, both in the music AND in boarding and academic. He said that he may as well have been talking to himself. Not interested.

 

AL21

I attended Chet’s as a boarder `70-`73.

I remember the physical abuse meted out to younger boys by the 6th form boys.

There was `slipper` treatment, where the 6th form boys stood in rows down either side of their narrow corridor of the 6th form rooms and the child had to run down the corridor between them as they hit the child with slippers. This wasn’t too bad. The worst was the `pillow` treatment. The child was held by arms and feet and dropped on their back onto a pillow on the floor.

Generally, they were not supposed to punish girls, but my friend and I were once locked in a cupboard in the 6th form block and incense sticks were lit through the key-hole until we were coughing so much, and screaming, that the head boy at the time [name redacted] let us out. I have always been a severe asthmatic but they thought it hilarious. [Head boy] refused to take part in any abuse.

I also remember being so hungry that one night, myself and 2 other girls crept into the kitchens and stole all the stale bread. (Naughty but desperate!) We developed quite a taste for it!

My personal sadness was that I had a boyfriend in the school. There was no sex education so we were both very naive. I fell pregnant at 15 yrs old, had a termination and we were both promptly expelled. I suppose back in those days they didn’t know how to handle the situation. At the time, Mrs Littler (house mother) supported me in every way she possibly could. My hopes of becoming a concert pianist died. My teachers, Anthony Goldstone, Pat Shackleton and Fanny Waterman all encouraged me not to give up, but my heart and soul died too. I became a nurse and taught in my spare time.

I hold no animosity whatsoever towards Chet’s. In fact, I have a pupil there now, and another on the way next year.

I only learned of other horrors at an alumni meet a few years ago. [X] told me her story and scorned the hypocrisy relating to my being expelled. [Y] was a few years younger than me. I used to put her to bed and read bedtime stories. She told me that my departure led her to depression, and another friend told me she subsequently developed an eating disorder as she couldn’t believe how badly my predicament was handled. [Y] had other awful tales to tell but it is not my place to relate them.

 

AL22

I was not sexually abused at Chet’s. However, my 1st instrumental teacher told me I was ‘rubbish’ and would not allow me to play in the senior orchestra. After hearing me play about a year later, Brewer told me I was ‘nowhere near as bad as my teacher had told him’. He allowed me in the orch. After that I played in everything (not a common instrument). I had a very difficult time in the 6th form and left with an eating disorder and a habit of self harm. I did not go on to music college, due to my illness, but always felt a total failure.

Addendum: Reading the other testimonies I just recollected an occasion where we were all dressed up in the summer. It was some kind of open day I think. I was wearing a ‘gypsy’ style dress, tight around the bust and lacy. I can vividly remember Brewer leering at my chest and saying what a lovely dress it was. The other member of staff did likewise and said ‘ it’s what’s underneath that counts’ I was 14 at most. Bastards!!! After I left Chets (ill with an eating disorder), I was groomed and raped. No connection I know but just one more fucked up ex Chets pupil…

 

AL23

It has been difficult to watch Mr Vallins, Mr Hullah and Mrs Moreland all apparently not knowing anything about anything. No authentic compassion was visible from any of them either.

Memories of Chetham’s:

String section rehearsals on a Saturday: being asked to play passages by myself because the conductor thought I couldn’t play it. He was right. Incredible shame in front of peers.

Science classes: I was so frightened of one teacher’s sarcastic cruelty. He could tell when you didn’t know something, and would choose you on purpose to explain it, so that you were shamed in front of the whole class. Because I was so nervous I couldn’t concentrate, and had to rely on copying another student’s answers whenever I could.

In another science class, the teacher became angry because people kept saying “What? when we were learning about watts. He called a boy up to the front of the class and punched him in the face.

Maths: a teacher saw me writing in my text book in pencil, he crept up behind my desk and put his arm across my shoulders and pushed me down onto the desk until I was crushed. My chest was very painful and had bruising afterwards.

Another teacher threw a very fat text book at me because I was talking in class. It missed.

Boarding house life: Being patted on the bottom by the housemaster as I was speaking on the public phone in our girls house.

Being put off alcohol forever when I was 13 and new at the school, when I went into the communal toilets and several drunk students were throwing up in there!!

Nurses: only advice available: take 2 paracetamols.

Mr Brewer: he stared at my breasts whenever he spoke to me, and licked his lips. His lips were always cracked and dry, with horrible white deposits at each side.

 

Good things:

The friends I made.

Being in the orchestra when Christopher Adey came to be a guest conductor.

 

AL24

During my School years at Chets I felt abandoned to a place where the staff took very little notice of me. The House Parents barely seemed to register who I was, and I felt uninspired by my violin teacher, so I coasted, doing the minimum I could get away with academically and musically. Having started the school lauded by Brewer as a ‘star talent’, my violin playing was falling behind and so consequently I was called into his office. He proceeded to belittle and humiliate me instead of offering solutions.

After several meetings he concluded I should either leave the school in perceived disgrace, or be transferred to a new teacher who would turn me around. So without any choice I started lessons with Ling.

This was, of course, a disaster.

In my final year I tried to fight back and I threatened to report him. (It had suddenly become clear it wasn’t just me he was ‘picking on’). In response he vowed he would make sure I never played the violin professionally, would ruin my reputation, and would absolutely bar me from getting a place at any music college. We came to a hideous truce where he agreed he would leave me alone if I stayed silent, and I was to pretend to still be continuing my weekly lessons.

I spent that last year facing my music college auditions with no violin teacher (they couldn’t understand why I hadn’t prepared the set scales etc having come from Chets), whilst he still got paid, and continuously bullied and undermined me, in order to keep me toeing his line.

I was by this time withdrawn, painfully thin, often tearful and deeply stressed. My friends tried their hardest to shield me but none of the staff seemed to even notice. In fact my house parent described me to my room-mate as a misery who needed to pull herself together. I wondered why she never once thought to ask me what was wrong, but on reflection I suspect she either knew outright or had, at the very least, heard the rumours, that were rife, of what was going on on the string corridor.

After leaving Chets I buried everything that had happened.

I had barely heard of child abuse and certainly didn’t realise the term might apply in my case. To be clear, Ling manipulated, threatened and isolated me. It was never once consenting – he made my skin crawl. But the atmosphere that pervaded the string department; cello teachers ‘dating’ pupils, violin pupils being ‘girlfriends’, teachers generally sleazing over us girls, making crude comments and unwanted advances, had normalised what I had suffered. Horrifyingly I thought I had just been more unlucky than most, and that it was our lot to be treated as sexual game.

In light of reading the reports from the inquiry, and especially Vallins’ testimony I would like to add some final thoughts.

It was absolutely common knowledge at Chets during my time there, and subsequently, that there were ‘relationships’ happening between staff members and the children. This included the Head of Music  and many of the string staff. Ling was known for being the most blatant; taking girls out for drinks, keeping them late in practice rooms, taking them off site in his car etc.

If we all knew, and Vallins had his ‘ear to the ground’ as he claimed, and yes he lived on site, how, at the very least,  did he not suspect there was inappropriate behaviour going on? Why did he not question and investigate the rumours, as ultimately it was his job to know the goings-on of the school?

The answer is – because he absolutely did know. A close friend reported the abuse to him shortly after I left. She was squashed by him and [houseparent], and a cover-up ensued.

Appallingly it was during these miserable years that Vallins received his OBE.

 

AL25

I was at Chets from 1973 to ‘81. I entered as a fat 10 year old in Junior A and I well remember the bullying and fear liberally meted out by Boss. He even removed the bedroom doors in Palatine as a punishment for some girls talking after lights out- completely unacceptable on every level!  I also remember being called fat in front of the class by Brian Gee and the humiliation of being put on a diet and having to eat crispbread and tinned tomatoes whist everyone else around me ate the normal food. I remember being horribly homesick and having no pastoral care from any member of staff to help me to deal with that.

Academic teaching varied hugely in standard and whilst there were some really inspirational teachers there, having a board duster chucked at one’s head in maths or being called an imbecile was seen as a joke, which it clearly was not. I even set fire to the sleeve of my blouse in chemistry once but there was very little reaction from the teacher and I believe that the Geography teacher either left or  was sacked weeks before our Geography O level, meaning that the majority of my class failed the exam.

As I got older, my status as a fat, average pianist protected me from some of the worst abuses from the teaching staff, as I was largely just ignored, although I do remember feeling very hurt that I was deemed almost irrelevant in terms of the hierarchy so prevalent in Chets society. The sexual liberties allowed during weekend tv times in the 6th form centre were legendary and yet I look back now in horror as to how little parental supervision and care we received then. I was in Millgate House looking after the juniors and one of my room mates frequently had sex in our room during the day with her boyfriend with no awareness from the house staff. As I entered the 6th form, I lost a lot of weight and eventually ended up becoming anorexic, which no one on the staff could cope with. I had my first sexual relationship with another 6th form boy and we had a key to an abandoned classroom which we used for sex, which had been given to us by a leaver and which we subsequently passed to another 6th former when we left. I was put on the Pill by the school doc, with no questions about my medical history, despite the fact that my mother had died young of a heart attack due to being on the Pill. My dramatic weight loss was questioned by him, but it was easy to lie my way out of it and I had no follow up or any ongoing care or monitoring of my weight. My piano teacher changed too during this time  and my new one was emotionally abusive and demanding and acted inappropriately in her lessons. I’m pretty sure that she was an ex pupil of Bakst. I was terrified of her and although I became a much better pianist, it came at a huge price. Around this time, I also found out from a 6th form friend about the sexual relationship she was in with a member of staff, which, as far as I know, she still hasn’t disclosed publicly and may never do so. By this time, it was public knowledge that there were a group of girls, mainly string players, who were involved in sexual relationships with Brewer et al. This was almost seen as a joke and the girls perceived as flaky slappers, which is more a comment on how groomed we all were in accepting such behaviour than the girls themselves. Alcohol featured regularly and the 6th form boys brewed their own beer and cider. It was commonplace to leave school to drink illicitly at several city centre pubs, the Mitre being the most popular one. I can remember drinking there before I reached the age of 18, with staff members present and ignoring us. I also remember the pop up brothels on Long Millgate, the prostitutes’ clients fighting in the street and the Yorkshire Ripper… all of which made leaving school in the evenings a profoundly unsafe experience. Competition amongst pupils in terms of lunchtime concert appearances and orchestral seating was seen as ordinary and yet now, can be viewed as being undermining  and abusive. When I was awarded a place at all of the four music colleges I applied to, I can’t remember a single Well Done coming from anyone! As an adult, I married another ex-Chets pupil who eventually became emotionally very unwell and my marriage to him broke down. This was partly a result of him having had a short lived affair on tour with another ex-Chets pupil who was herself a victim of Layfield and who had, in my belief, grown up with the consequential emotional vulnerabilities which allowed her to engage in such a way towards a married man. So her experience affected my husband and myself so many years later.

I left my dad on his own to go to Chets for 8 years and although it undoubtedly gave me social and musical opportunities I would not have had otherwise, it was not a good place to be. After the RCM, I got a post grad place at the RAM but I never went. I was seriously ill with an eating disorder at College and despite being a prize winner there , I could never slough off the legacy of Chets and the way it made me feel like a complete and utter failure. Instead, I gave up playing for almost a decade and only really returned to it by training to be a music therapist. I’m now a piano teacher but as a single mother, have never been able to have the time to give to a performing career; lack of confidence and the shadows of the reasons my marriage broke down in terms of my ex-husband’s mental health issues have prevented it. I have had a string of failed relationships, all fuelled by the profound lack of parental guidance I received at Chets where none of us were raised with an adequate sense of Self. Egos were either inflated or decimated and most of us were emotionally chaotic and unsafe and have grown up to carry unhappy legacies of our time there.

 

AL26

Chet’s alumnus 1982-1990.

Chet’s was a fiercely competitive environment where prizes defined you: being chosen to play in a masterclass, winning the concerto competition, where you sat in orchestra, scholarships to music colleges etc. Ling’s pupils were outstanding, winning internal and external competitions, leading the school orchestras etc. What we now realise is that they were coerced into accepting their abuse by him because they believed that that is what it took to promote their status.

It makes me feel sick that my friends suffered this abuse behind closed doors; my closest friend never spoke to me about what she endured, it was a secret. This secrecy has wrecked lives and it is now time for a redressing.

I also suffered abuse from Bakst. Most lessons he would put his hand at the top of my thigh when I played. At the time I didn’t consider this abuse, although I knew that it shouldn’t be happening.

When the Head of Keyboard asked me about Bakst’s behaviour during my lessons, I denied that anything untoward had ever happened as I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.

This is the first time that I’m talking about this incident. I suspect that I’m not the only one with untold Chet’s memories.

#metoo

From the school: I would like counselling available for all Chet’s alumni from that period – no questions asked, just foot the bill. Also, Vallins to be stripped of his OBE and the Vallins building renamed.

 

AL27

In one of the boy’s dormitories, there was a cupboard/wardrobe, on which was written ‘X’s house’ (‘X’ was the name, extremely demeaning, give to one boy by many bullies and many others). What some of the bullies would do was force him into this, so he would be forced into a half-bent-over position, the width practically no greater than his one, so he wouldn’t be able to move, and leave him there for hours, calling and crying. They took great pleasure from this, and other boys found it terribly amusing. Other boys (this boy was a target for many) used to literally ride this boy like a horse around the pool table area in the Millgate building, laughing and cheering while he was crying.

There was the boy who wanted to prove his status over another (both would have been about 16-17 at the time) by delivering him the most pathologically awful hit in the face, so that he lost several teeth, swallowing one of them. Talk of this spread through the house, and the appropriate status was gained.

There was the group of older boys who set on one younger boy who was placed in boy’s house. Amongst the things they did was put sellotape over his mouth and hold his nose so he thought he was going to asphyxiate, or fill his mouth with washing-up liquid, and make him near-choke on it so it come up out of his nose. This as well as kicking him and punching him all over – a whole group of older boys setting on one defenceless boy like this. It was seen as a type of rite of passage, and the test was that he wouldn’t tell the housemaster. There’s more – it is only through talking through these sorts of events in therapy that I have been able to understand that this was not normal behaviour in a school.

And then there was the fact that every single boy in Boy’s House called the house master ‘Prole’. An alternative name was ‘Harry’, also seen as a name which would mock his working-class origins.

All sorts can happen in a brutalised environment. I’m not blaming the boys (they were children) so much as the environment which made this all possible.

I will tell just one story of my own. This concerns the teacher in junior school who made a point of singling out everyone else in the class for praise for what they had done, then holding me up alone in front of them all with that poisonous hatred behind her eyes just to ridicule me in comparison with everyone else. Now I also know that this same teacher, at school camp, actually slept with a sixth-form boy.

This school was a cesspit. It is a disgrace that John Vallins was ever let anywhere near a school, and he should feel nothing but shame and guilt for the rest of his days.

 

AL28

I was one of the lucky ones. I always felt that Chet’s was my home and the staff and pupils my family. I had never had a close relationship with my family and Chet’s became a sort of foster family for me. I was never aware of the terrible things that were going on but there were a lot of rumours about Brewer and Ling. I am devastated by everything that has come to light and my heart goes out to every child who was affected and those adults who continue to be. For anyone who was in a similar position to me, we are feeling a huge sense of loss at the moment. All those happy memories, what was lying beneath? What was true? Who was genuine? All those close relationships we developed with the teachers ([list of some names]), were they a lie? It is so terribly sad and I am absolutely devastated. To all those children who I grew up with – you were the most special, wonderful family to grow up with and none of you are to blame.

Just to add: I would like the school to find all past teachers and find out what they knew. They owe it to us.

 

AL29

It’s only after reading some of the impact statements from my fellow Chetham’s students in and around the 1980’s that the rather dysfunctional pattern of my life has become clearer.

I went to Chetham’s excited about the opportunities to be in a musical environment and develop my full potential. I left with shattered self-confidence and disillusioned not just with music, but with life.

In a nutshell,, I was taught by Bakst. Although I didn’t suffer sexual abuse as badly as some of the girls I knew who were taught by him, he bullied and intimidated me. This culminated in me walking out of a lesson – from which there was no way back as ‘nobody walked out of Bakst’s lessons’. I then took a step back and was taught by my first teacher at Chetham’s, losing all sense of direction.

In the sixth form after this had happened, I was close to leaving Chethams for the local grammar school back home. But I stayed. I seem to remember my parents talking to John Vallins, who encouraged me to stay

I’d never really understood why I dropped out of my first year of university straight after leaving Chets – and I tried to run away to France (but didn’t quite succeed due to a ferry strike at the time!!). I was desperately unhappy but thought it was just ‘me’.

I then went on to another university to do a languages degree and became obsessed with sport because the particular sport I pursued made me feel ‘strong’ and ‘respected’ for what I could do and achieve. I barely studied as I was constantly training, but somehow managed to get a decent degree despite failing a year and having to repeat it.

I couldn’t face the university careers service when I graduated – the sheer thought of any ‘structure’ being imposed on me in the form of a proper job and authority from above scared me rigid. Hence, I ended up working for 6 years in a cycle shop. A waste of my various talents, in my opinion.

I haven’t really played the piano since leaving Chetham’s. In fact, the piano my parents bought me when I started Chetham’s is in my garage.

Fast-forward to 2010 and I finally found the opportunity to become self-employed thanks to the rise of the Internet and entrepreneurial activities.
.
I am starting to look at my past, especially my teens, twenties and thirties, in a totally different light….

 

AL30

I remember also being bullied by the female junior school teacher with hatred in her eyes. At least I can’t imagine it being anyone else. Is there any reason we shouldn’t name her? She was called [X]. Perhaps her name can be redacted if needed. She is long dead I believe. She was in my experience a very opinionated, forceful, bitter person, very wrapped up in herself and without the maturity required of a teacher. She openly declared frequently that she hated girls and wished they had never been allowed in to the school. Her tenure dated back to before they were.

As with other teachers, ex pupils had mixed experience of her and some thought and still think she was marvellous. It is important to realise that abusers don’t abuse everyone and can present as quite charming to others. Nor do bullies bully everyone. They pick on people who seem vulnerable or who annoy or discomfort them for whatever reason. Teachers ought to be able and willing to rise above these feelings, be the adult and treat their pupils reasonably equally and decently, even in the face of provocation. She didn’t and in an environment where bullying was quite normal, she was a law unto herself. Perhaps, being conditioned into this environment, those who weren’t the targets also overlooked that others were. We all accepted our lot and that of others as normal. Playing favourites and targets is also of course a great way to gain the collusion of the class and make the bullying more painful for the target.

She had those she hated and those who were her favourites. She also had her figure of fun boy in my time who she liked to ridicule and dismiss in a seemingly affectionate but demeaning way. She made him the class joke. I believe, having heard since, that he was also badly bullied by other boys. No doubt her behaviour towards him fed into this if not causing it. She took a dislike to me, and I think a couple of my friends. She launched an ongoing bullying campaign against me that lasted the entirety of my time within her reach, which I think was two years due to lack of teachers. It was usually verbal although she hit me across the head once. She would ridicule my appearance daily as a matter of course in front of the class and would take any other opportunity going to try to undermine or humiliate me. I tried to ignore, resist or fight back in minor ways, but at age nine and ten being subject to a concerted daily hate campaign by an adult in front of my peers was hard to deal with. It made my life at school a misery and profoundly affected my self-esteem. I know I wasn’t the only one.

I didn’t know about her allegedly sleeping with a sixth former at camp, though I do remember her openly singing the praises of and fawning over a man who used to go to camp. He was no longer involved with the school. He might have been an ex pupil or ex teacher I’m not sure. She would often talk about herself and her opinions at length in class, so telling us how marvellous this man was and how much she was looking forward to seeing him at camp was par for the course. As I attended camp, I saw her flirting with him and we all assumed there was an affair or would be if it was up to her.

One disgusting practice that hasn’t yet been discussed was the ‘staking out’ ritual at school camp, where a group of adults or older large pupils would grab someone, overpower them and tie them spread-eagled to the ground with tent pegs. People would then gather around them to taunt them, laugh at them, poke them, throw things over them (I remember cold water and pig-swill being favourites). This was all treated as a marvellous joke and was expected to be laughed off by the victim. This was pretty much the approach to all public assaults and bullying, like the beatings with a huge plimsoll meted out by a games teacher ([Y], still alive) amongst others and perhaps his ‘red hand gang’, which boys from the late seventies/early eighties might throw more light on. I also know of at least one occasion when several junior school girls were assaulted by a female games teacher with a plimsoll. Like with corporal punishment it was usually the boys who were victims of staking out but not always.

One day at school camp a group of men, including the one that [X] had a thing for, grabbed me, dragged me somewhere and started trying to tie me down. I was told this was under instruction from [X]. They actually looked a bit sheepish like they knew they were doing something wrong and that even in a world where ‘staking pupils out’ for japes was normalised, they realised that this was crossing a line (big adult men, small girl, obvious, open animosity from the person instructing them to do it, obviously not a joke on either side). [X] came to survey what was happening and to openly gloat. I fought the men and didn’t give up until I managed to get away. I ran away and was gone for the rest of the day. I don’t remember any search parties being sent for me. I remember sitting on top of a hill with another friend who had run away to the same place, looking down at a view of several people being staked out. It looked like a crucifixion scene. We didn’t want to go back. I also remember a very large boy/man being staked out and quietly going along with it saying that he had health problems (asthma being one) and had to be careful. He was clearly struggling physically and afraid while they carried on regardless.

Another junior school teacher in the late seventies was Brian Gee, again remembered fondly by many, but not all. He once made a lengthy public speech to the whole junior school about what a despicable person the child was who had been stealing money from coat pickets in the cloakroom. He finished off by revealing the identity of the child. She was there. Was this an appropriate way to deal with the situation?

Funnily enough, in informal chat amongst alumni, the person who most viciously defended these teachers and attacked anyone who said anything against them, is someone who I remember as the chief bully in the junior school. He was the biggest boy and used to beat up the others at break times. He is now apparently in a senior position in education. I am not blaming him, certainly not the child that he was. It was the culture of the place from the teachers down. There was a lot of ‘fighting’ amongst the boys, certainly at junior school. That seemed to be what boys did at the time, and maybe it is, but from what ex pupils have said subsequently I think many boys were being physically bullied and assaulted and it wasn’t all in good fun. It wasn’t stopped by the teachers and in some cases it was modelled.

Some of us knew or subsequently worked out that the violence, bullying and abuse was wrong and some didn’t and haven’t. Some don’t want to think about it at all. Whilst there was a lot of useful discussion and support in alumni discussions and chat after Fran’s death there were also those who were very protective of the school and hostile to critics or abuse victims. Discussion could degenerate to a very low and abusive level as if we were going back in time and some shocking defence of predators and undermining of victims took place. Some of the defenders of the schools and abusers were still involved with the school as parents or teachers or were still friends and colleagues of sexual abuse perpetrators. So the toxic legacy and pain for unacknowledged victims goes on.

From the music side, some of my school friends were routinely bullied by instrumental teachers. Some of these people were seemingly quite disturbed and volatile, if not out and out sadistic or physically and sexually abusive, and were not suited to teaching. I didn’t know about the sexual abuse until recent years, but there was much undermining, criticism and whittling away at the children’s self esteem. I had plenty of this from my first piano teacher, [Z], who may have been mentioned earlier and was a pupil of Bakst. She would shout and verbally abuse and write heavy scrawled notes in my practice book with underlined capitals and lots of exclamation marks. The general drift was that I was not good enough and must try harder. She might storm out. She also advised her pupils to skip meals so they could practice more. She entered me into a competition once, which I hated and which terrified me. The result of going through it all was to be in the doghouse because I had played a wrong note. Apparently, according to [X], it was a matter of common courtesy to manage not to do that. So I was the lowest of the low. I was an eight-year-old child.

Another piano teacher of a friend ripped up her music threw it on the floor and jumped up and down on it when she was unhappy with her progress. In each case our parents eventually got our teachers changed, but there was no question of the teachers being challenged on their behaviour or stopped from doing it to the next poor kid.

I wasn’t the most conscientious, endlessly practising pupil, mainly because I was really unwillingly conscripted into this rarefied environment and this classical music ‘career’. I know some did have a real vocation and others probably bought wholesale into the ambitions of those around them. Even then, I’m not sure that a school like that is the appropriate vehicle for such an interest. It certainly seems inappropriate for children of such a tender age, even if all the abuse could be eradicated, which I doubt. Many who did have passion and dedication had it sucked out of them by their experience there, or had so many negative issues tacked on to it.

Whatever interest I had in music was certainly eclipsed by the verbal abuse, pressure, oppressive atmosphere, unwanted responsibilities and stress. I was told I had a gift that I had a duty to serve, and in a very specific, prescribed way. I didn’t want to dedicate my young life from age eight to a classical music ‘career’. I wanted to lead the normal life of a kid. I didn’t want to spend my free time sitting in a room on my own in front of a piano practising pieces I didn’t like for hours. I wanted to be out playing with my friends.

If I hadn’t practised as much as my first teacher wanted I would sometimes stand outside the door of the room where my lesson was to take place. Although I knew it would only incur her wrath further, I could stand there for ten minutes or more getting later and later for my lesson feeling unable to face going in.

Even when I got nicer teachers, the fact remained that I was being forced, as a child, to devote my whole life and being to something I didn’t want to do. All the pressure to unwillingly practice, perform, take exams, enter competitions, etc, just made me into a very stressed kid. Nobody ever seemed to pick this up, though it must have been clear to anyone with any emotional intelligence, something that was and I believe still is, sadly lacking in these places.

A subsequent relatively nicer piano teacher I had turned out to marry a choir master and music teacher who could be entertaining and was liked by some, but could also be quite a bully. That was [AA]. He once found himself accidentally giving me a compliment by bemoaning my recent absence and saying I was useful in the choir. Realising what he had done he quickly qualified this by insisting ‘not good, but useful’. This was a shame because the choir, and even performing with the choir in public, was the one musical thing I enjoyed there, and I might even have pursued and enjoyed singing as a second instrument if I had not been convinced of my inadequacy. Singing is something that I did do many years later and I know now that I do have a good voice. Of course [AA] delivered this put down in front of the rest of the choir and, whether he really thought it or not, it is hard to know what positive outcome he could have wanted to achieve by saying it and doing it in that way.

Once [AA] had married my teacher he took to telling me off, again in front of the rest of the class, if I was deemed not to have been practising enough. This destroyed any feeling of trust and safety I had with her. For reasons I can’t remember I changed to a third and final teacher who was nice, and even tried to find music I liked, but I think the damage had been done by then and there were so many other reasons to be stressed and unhappy at the school, so this didn’t salvage things for me there and I continued to lobby to leave.

It never seemed to be an issue what the kids did or didn’t want to do or what our interests in music were. We were there to get with the programme and be sacrificed at the alter of the almighty music, as selected by those in charge, the plaudits and reputation of the teachers and school and presumably keeping the revenue coming in the gravy train running.

I remember finding Michael Brewer creepy and immediately guessing his name when my husband told me a Chet’s teacher had been convicted of child abuse. I had some contact with him and he led my audition, but I didn’t have a lot of contact with him. I managed to leave in the early stages of puberty so I was probably not on his radar. I don’t remember Fran but she was there when I was, a couple of years above me. What happened to her was so tragic and now that Brewer and his wife are long out of prison, her husband and kids still live with her loss and it’s legacy. One thing is for sure, her death brought hundreds of ex pupils together, largely online, to share and better understand experiences and in some cases prosecute those who abused them. The chain reaction has been immense and affected far more people than those who have publicly testified.

I’m so glad I managed to persuade my parents to let me leave, a process that took 5 years, with every summer holiday an oasis that may or may not end with me having to go back there again. Come that day, like many others, I turned my back on the piano and any involvement in music for ten years. Later I did manage to enjoy getting involved in music I liked for fun, but the instruments I had played at Chet’s always had negative connotations, as did classical music which I was turned off for life. I also had to overcome as best I could a lot of associated insecurity and anxiety, including severe and crippling self-criticism, all of which dated back to Chet’s.

I thought I was the only one who carried the burden of not feeling good enough and feeling I was letting the side down, which was regularly reinforced by the adults around me at Chet’s. Little did I know that this was almost a standard part of the conditioning of pupils at Chet’s. I think the pupil who was confident in their abilities, felt nurtured and supported and enjoyed their music must have been rare. It is only by sharing stories that many of us have probably realised this.

Whilst my time at the school was unhappy, I fully realise that my stories pale in comparison to the horrendous accounts of abuse we now know. My heart goes out to all those who were sexually abused. It also goes out to those who were physically assaulted, bullied and otherwise abused and who were negatively affected by the toxic atmosphere and regime of Chet’s, as you would be. That would include me I suppose and I realise now would bring it to a very large number, perhaps even the majority of ex pupils. What is worse there seems to have been a similar culture in many other schools and colleges.

Although my memories are quite trivial in comparison to the worst excesses, I think they all form part of the context and culture within which the worst things happened. Even the things I remember and went through there were unacceptable and not something a child should have to deal with. I would certainly never send any child of mine to a place like that or accept them being treated in any of those ways.

I think that the accounts and memories from the past are still very relevant today, because there is no real evidence to show that all the welfare concerns are behind us and that the culture of Chet’s and elsewhere carries none of these negative issues. Even the concept of these schools and sending kids there has to be in question. Is it healthy to convince children they should embark upon a ‘career’ and adult responsibilities to which they should devote most of their time? Even if it is, is it actually being done in a healthy way?

Whilst it is a positive step that the latest head has apologised for past abuses and will communicate with ex pupils, this does not allay all concerns. The apology was after all given under extreme duress and this head has still stuck to the mantra that all these bad things were bad but are firmly in the past and everything is different now. There still isn’t enough humility or self-reflection. I also doubt that all the old guard and old attitudes have been completely shed.

Addendum: I forgot to mention that one music theory teacher, [AB], used to call kids up to the front who had displeased him and hit them over the head with an enormous book. Again, laughed off by him and most of the kids (usually boys), but a really silly, dangerous and violent thing to do in retrospect, not to mention the bullying aspect.

It should also be noted that for the boarders, the bullying and assaults from adults in charge continued into the evening and night by a fair few accounts, including more corporal punishment. I remember visiting a dorm with my boarding friend when we were eight and her telling me about being given ‘apple pie beds’ and how she hated boarding and really missed home. That sounded miserable enough, but I realise it wasn’t the half of it. Needless to say, led by the example of the adults or left unchecked, fellow pupils could also be brutal to boarders within their accommodation.

That has to be another scenario of dubious benefit in addition to the whole music hothouse / sweatshop idea: sending kids as young as seven away from their homes and families to live full time in an institution, for no good reason other than to apparently further their education and their musical ‘careers’ with little thought of their physical and emotional development and wellbeing. In this case this was frequently with bullying and uncaring ‘house parents’. How much more vulnerable those boarders were to sexual abuse as well, far away from their parents, under almost complete control of the school and unable to escape. It was the boarders who had it the worst. They were the most seriously let down.

Even the kind house parents wouldn’t love and care for the kids like their own parents would. How does this set kids up for happy, healthy young lives or indeed adult ones? A really silly, misguided practice in my view. I refuse to accept that this is a healthy way to bring up kids at the best of times, and the best of times it surely wasn’t for Chet’s boarders in the past. Research has been done on the emotional damage done to displaced kids in boarding schools, so I’m not the only one with misgivings and accounts from Chet’s ex-boarders are not the only evidence available on the folly of this.

 

AL31

I started Chet’s in lower sixth and having come from a normal comprehensive school in Greater London I felt very privileged to be a student there. Around the time of my audition I attended one of Chris Ling’s pupils concerts in London. I can remember being blown away by the standard of playing. Chris Ling was sitting in the front row being very flamboyant. In my final violin lesson before I left to go onto Chet’s my violin teacher had a long chat with me. She explained that Chet’s would be a fantastic place for me to blossom, but that I should be wary of some of the male members of staff. No plunging necklines or short skirts she said. Of course being 16 I didn’t pay much attention!

Within a few weeks of starting it became apparent that there had been many inappropriate things going on. Chris Ling had just left, everyone was talking about him and there were many rumours of relationships between pupils and teachers particularly in the string department.

During my first year I got taken out for drinks with another student by one of the violin teachers on many occasion. To be honest I’m not really sure why I went, maybe it was the free booze! He wasn’t even my violin teacher. I guess I felt lucky to be asked in some weird way. I can also remember returning from a night out very scantily dressed with another girl. It must have been late maybe 10.30pm. I walked through the string corridor to fetch my violin to take it up to my dorm and I saw Mike Brewer. I panicked, he looked really sweaty and had this big grin on his face and was looking up and down at us. We started to run off, we were giggling but feeling a bit freaked out to see Brewer at that time of night. He started chasing after us, he was laughing. We ran up the stairs and managed to get back into Palatine through the main door. We had a laugh about it afterwards, Mike Brewer being a pervert as usual! Looking back it seems so wrong!

But I was truly one of the lucky ones and remained unharmed at Chet’s. My playing did blossom, I made some lovely friends, some of which I am still in touch with. I went on to music college and now enjoy a successful career in music. My heart goes out to those who have been so badly affected and had a truly dreadful time at Chet’s.

 

AL32

I’m so sickened reading and hearing all of these reports. I was there from 1990-1996 (from memory).

I don’t remember much of my time there, just snippets? Not sure why this is.

However, I know what I’ve not heard anything about is the other house parents & other staff.. particularly [houseparent] from the [one of the houses in the school] who was in relationships with students. He wasn’t the only one, this was common knowledge across school that relationships between staff and students were happening! Brewer was one of them too in my time. He was in a relationship with the head girl who was in sixth form! I was 2 years below at the time!

Now that I’ve listened and read all of these reports I can remember some awful experiences of staff, for example, throwing a heavy text book at me Cos I had hiccups [name redacted] English teacher telling me I’ll never pass my gcse because I’m too stupid then accusing me of slamming a door in face (I hadn’t seen her behind me?!) – I got an A btw, the same comment from the science teacher – I got a B!

I went on chamber choir tours with Brewer! Did the staff know about the allegations of abuse against him before we went? Therefore putting us at risk! I’d really like to know? All of the staff there should be held accountable not just the few we are hearing about! All the house parents! All teachers…. everyone.

I’m actually a senior safeguarding officer with Manchester City council based in a large primary now!

 

AL33

I was not sexually abused while at Chet’s in the 1970s but my story is just another example of the neglect which was prevalent at the time.

From 1973/4 I had several symptoms, all relating to primary hypothyroidism, which were never picked up on. I had bald patches in my hair, I became increasingly tired (some of my reports said that I was lethargic), I became very depressed and just shut myself off from things so that I have very patchy memories of that time. I suffered such severe constipation that my bowel closed up. This involved me having to go to hospital and have really horrible procedures (completely on my own). My broken hip (a slipped epiphysis which was also related to an undiagnosed underactive thyroid) was not picked up on for 2-3 years; I was treated for a pulled muscle and given some cream to rub on until eventually I was sent for an x-ray. While in hospital I had various other symptoms which indicated that I had had an underactive thyroid for several years. Over this time I had become convinced that I was probably a bit of a hypochondriac and not so good at coping with aches and pains: the opposite turned out to be the case.

There was an utter lack of any pastoral care or creation of a safe and secure environment at Chet’s in the 70s. I could not share with my family how miserable I felt at school as they had enough problems of their own.

When I returned to the sixth form I was inexplicably boarded out to live with the PE teacher and his wife, an experience which further isolated me and for which I have been unable to get any explanation.

After all that has happened, and especially as I am now a mother, I feel so sorry for the girl I was back then. Totally alone and thinking that there was no place for her in the world because she was simply not good enough to exist.

 

AL34

I was at Chets 1970-72 then again 75-77 – I have very fond memories of a lot of that time and some of the freedom we were afforded as teenagers growing up together as a family. I still maintain some of those friendships now.

I just want to share an incident that happened at the end of the Easter term 1976 which took on greater significance when the trial of Michael Brewer became public.

It was the end of the Easter term and for some reason a few girls stayed behind an extra night before going home – there was a party in Miss Woodruff’s flat (Housemistress) which we went to – teachers were also there. A group went off to get pizza and I went to bed. Later that night I woke up to see a figure standing in the doorway of my room – and with dread realised I was the only girl on the corridor. We were in the centre of Manchester and I was the most terrified I’d ever been in my life up to that point – I pretended to be asleep and out of the corner of my eye I recognised it was one of the teachers, not music staff but an academic teacher who was in boys boarding at that time. He stood there for a long time and then came to sit on my bed – I don’t know if he knew I was awake and I can remember very confused feelings, mainly wondering why on earth he was there.. I could smell alcohol on his breath – as long as I feigned sleep we could maintain the status quo. As far as I remember he sat there for a long time – eventually I did pretend to wake up and at that point he got up and left. I can remember the courage it took for me to get out of bed, run down the corridor, through the glass doors, up the stairs to my friends’ room on the top floor. In the morning we went to see Miss Woodruff – all she said was, oh yes- he was a bit drunk last night… Instead of getting the train home I went to tell my then boyfriend – as I was leaving school she came up to me and said, ‘are you absolutely sure it happened?…’

The next term the teacher had left boarding but continued to teach at the school for many years. Nothing was ever said to me about it, although I remember JV coming to talk to me at supper in the Baronial Hall, which was unusual.

I’ve managed to piece all this together with the aid of my teenage diary – we’re talking 40 years ago! Gary Glitter, Jimmy Savile were up there as role models..

Around 2011 the teacher in question sent me a message on Facebook which must have been when Brewers trial started – it was quite breezy and I just thought it was a Facebook weirdo! Of course, later I realised he was watching his own back – I didn’t reply. He seems to have removed his profile now.

It has a significance as this was prior to some of the dreadful abuse that took place in subsequent years and surely JV must have known there was a culture at the school.. Bakst was reported as far back as 1971.

I listened to the live streaming of the Inquiry and cried at the evidence of women in their 40s describing their ordeals –

I actually hated the salacious way the trial and Fran’s suicide were reported and the sensationalism surrounding the ‘story’. However, it had a profound effect on me personally – not only did it make me question the situation I was in at the time relationship-wise, (probably a good thing), it certainly impacted on my teaching job at a private school – somehow, I felt I was tainted by being associated with Chets even though I had been a pupil there, not a member of staff.

 

AL35

Chet’s student 1989-1998.

On watching the inquiry and reading it. I am appalled at Vallins, Hullah and Moreland. Still using cloak and dagger methods (relaying blame elsewhere) to sweep things under the carpet and cover things up. I do not understand why Mrs Rhind or people from the board of governors at the time have also not been called up and made to answer questions. It is quite plain to see they all failed in their duty and the rest of staff there that knew or heard rumours (they were probably scared not to speak up as would lose their own reputation in the music world or job if academic staff).

It is the truth that there was another cover up around the time Brewer left and that was of another housemaster/[academic subject] teacher who had relationships with students.

The school failed massively in its pastoral care and welfare of its students. The whole culture was a toxic environment to grow up in. I myself suffered greatly with anorexia and in adult life have depression/anxiety with the root cause of life at Chet’s that my psychologist/psychiatrist can confirm.

The friends I made and the few staff who really did care about our welfare are the positives and I received an education and piano teaching and musicianship I wouldn’t have received back home. That is no compensation for the awful culture the school thrived on.

I want to see Vallins stripped of his OBE and the Vallins building renamed.

 

AL36

As a wind player, I feel that I was lucky during my time at Chet’s. However, even writing that feels so wrong. Why should there have been pupils who were ‘lucky’ enough to avoid the direct and immediate effects of the culture of abuse that existed there? As with many of my mid-80s contemporaries, there was always gossip about who in the Sixth Form Mike Brewer was involved with, Ling’s Strings and Bakst (to mention just a few) but this was normalised amongst pupils – and in some ways was seen as something to be emulated. From the distance we are now, and as a teacher myself in a boarding school, I’m staggered to consider that this could in any way have seemed to be acceptable.

Pastoral care was essentially lacking – why was it possible for us to spend nights in the boys’ boarding house, spend evenings at the pubs (often with member of staff turning a blind eye) and even be able to spend whole nights out in Manchester? We were essentially left to our own devices in the boarding house with little care or consideration being shown to us.

The testimony of John Vallins in which he simply abdicated all knowledge and responsibility sickened me. I fail to believe that there was no way he knew of this – and if that holds even a grain of truth, then at the very least, he proves himself to have been incompetent as a Headmaster. The complete lack of compassion from him even now is something that I just can’t forgive. I have questions also about how many other members of staff knew what was happening and chose to ignore it – I fail to believe that other senior members of staff were unaware, yet did nothing to address the many concerns.

As with many other ex-pupils, I feel an enormous sense of guilt that I didn’t act upon any of this at the time when friends spoke about such things, but the normalisation of the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse allied with the poor pastoral care meant that there was little understanding and the reputation of the school mattered above all else. That strikes me as such a poor excuse now and I wish I’d been braver at the time – but then, reading others’ comments, would anyone have taken any notice even then?

 

AL37

I arrived at Chetham’s when I was 14, in time to study for my GCSEs and A-levels. I spent my last 4 years of school there, from 1988-92. For my first two years I shared a dormitory first with 4, then with 3 other Chris Ling pupils. I could tell I was different but I didn’t know why. I had arrived at the same time as one of the girls and was really good friends to start with but then she drifted and got closer to the others. As time progressed, I noticed they were much more ‘advanced’ than me (this is what my 14 year old mind called it). They were experimenting with make-up, really extravagant sexy underwear. I always felt a bit of a frump but of course, that’s because I didn’t know what was happening to them. Once the news came out a few years ago, everything immediately made sense to me. I re-connected and found they had been affected, personally and directly, by this horrendous man. Suddenly their premature sexualisation made complete sense. As an adult I was horrified to look back and realise that was why they were so attractive, making such an effort, wearing these underwear garments. It was utterly devastating to learn what happened to them. And to learn that many pupils tried to tell staff and they were ignored or told to be quiet. I am shocked to learn that the very people who were meant to protect us were aiding and abetting abuse on a very large scale. I am fortunate to not have got caught up in anything directly but the school was known to be a chronically unhappy place. For years people teased me, saying everyone who came out of Chet’s was messed up. I thought it was because they practised too much. The other point to make here is I know the boys were very violent towards each other. I can’t help wondering if it was all part of the same terrible dereliction of duty. My friend said the others regularly beat him up. No staff stood in. I would like finally to underline that we were NEVER written to, invited to make statements, offered counselling or any other support. The school has NEVER contacted me about this matter. I am shocked that the school has behaved as it has and then claimed to have involved us. I am lucky to have a great career as a musician but many of my friends have been destroyed by the school. When will it face up to the lives lost to mental and physical ill-health (very serious in the 3 cases I know of)? When will it offer proper compensation to these people?

 

AL38

I was at Chet’s at the time of the Michael Brewer trial and through the subsequent press revelations about the school. Possibly the biggest issue is that my memory is still accompanied by the feelings of a 16-18 year old… a young person in a potentially vulnerable position. It is only when I look back that I realise that I was still very vulnerable at that age and that my understanding of the world was still generally very naive. Naturally the main concern for students at the time was protecting the reputation of the school. This was seen in the online conflicts on Slipped Disc every time a new article was published about Chet’s.

After many years those feelings still exist (though diluted), and I now realise that Chet’s didn’t do anything to support students who were at the school when all this was happening. There was no guidance on how to tackle news reports; no formal discussion about who had been affected or when; no acknowledgement of wrongdoing to the students, or reassurance that we were all safe. The only pieces of guidance we ever received were in the form of Ms Moreland standing up in assembly to tell us the school was being investigated but not to worry and carry on as normal. Ms Moreland was largely out of the picture the rest of the time.

 

AL39

JUNIOR SCHOOL

Good:

Small class sizes, rigorous curriculum and homework from age seven.

Daily spelling tests, punctuation lessons. We were always encouraged to take books from the extensive library, take care of small rodents. Science with Mr Gee, art with [X], charity awareness from Mrs. Mainprize.

Someone who really stands out from this time was the exceptional music teacher Cecilia Vadja, a Hungarian émigré and pupil of Zoltan Kodaly. She hated and struggled with the ethos of the school which is saying something, coming as she did from behind the iron curtain. I learned so much from her.

 

Bad:

There were only six girls in juniors in 1969. Until age eleven I was called only by my surname by my classmates. I developed an aggressive, tomboyish personality as a defence mechanism.

In the early days the only option was to play football in PE. The PE teacher Mr Pessel (before [Y] joined) solved this by allowing myself and two other girls to go to the swimming pool totally unsupervised during double games. Usually a boy would appear to tell us it was time for us to change and return to lessons after morning break. On one occasion this did not happen and we appeared with wet hair much later. For this we were severely punished and made an example of in assembly when it was simply not our fault.

Mr Gee was prone to episodes of mania. I remember the whole Junior A class being forced to write lines for a whole day for some minor misdemeanour by a few pupils.

Mr Vickers acted likewise. You could be bawled at crossing the yard and summoned to his office for a uniform inspection. Offences included not having all your cardigan buttons done up or unpolished shoes.

The Matron (Mrs. Vickers) had designed the girls’ uniform. Picture ‘Call the Midwife’ circa 1955. Originally only available from Henry Barrie, it was all wool and very expensive. You could easily spot a boarding girl because this uniform was ruined, washed out in the school laundry. There was also a school cape which made it impossible to carry anything while wearing it. Imagine on public transport hauling a satchel, violin case and duffel bag with hands protruding through the two small holes in front. All topped off by a blue beret. Losing or not wearing the beret had consequences.

From the time I started in Junior B, every breaktime we played cards in the class room. The game was Beggar my Neighbour. The loser of each round had to remove an item of clothing or show their genitals for an increasing amount of time. A ‘sentry’ on the door alerted us when the teachers were returning from the staff room.

Around age ten, swimming lessons consisted of us playing underwater kiss chase in full view of the staff supervisor.

 

 

School Camp – Around 1972

Good:

The school bus driven by Mr Tyler!

Cocoa in the marquee.

Complete freedom of movement.

It was run on strict military lines by Brian Raby, with accommodation which consisted of canvas army tents.

Communal cricket and rounders.

One night I organised a group of girls to sing in a seaside talent competition in Llandudno. What the trippers made of four part Kodaly folk songs is anybody’s guess!

 

Bad:

A bizarre holiday that quickly progressed from ‘St. Trinian’s’ to ‘Lord of the Flies’.

All previous testimony about camp is true. ‘Staking Out’ could be done in the field or worse case, ‘suspended over the bog pit’. The game ‘Split the Kipper’ was played where your legs were progressively extended to the splits position. It was played with penknives or even larger lethal knives. There was no supervision.

There were a couple of boys, who had probably just left Upper Sixth, with whom [X] spent a lot of time. Every day one of them would rub suntan cream all over her on Deganwy beach. There was a lot of tinkering with her sports car as well. In retrospect I think there was a lot more to it than this…

At night the tents became orgies as the sexes mingled. I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time as I was very young. My father paid a visit and interrupted a daytime tryst on arrival. That was the last time I was allowed to attend.

In the day we fished for crabs. At night we walked them over the top of the nearby quarry and cheered.

I wore the same clothes including underwear for ten days. Nobody noticed or cared.

 

SENIOR SCHOOL

Good:

I encountered some exceptional and inspiring teachers, including Mr Richie, Mr McFarlane (a true eccentric), Mr Leach (15th century polyphony anyone? & Peter Sellers comedy records), Penry Williams and Mrs James, both of whom taught history.

 

Misguided:

I would put many of the staff in this category, including my first teacher who sent me for a trial lesson with Bakst when I was thirteen. I commented ‘He looks frigid’ and she said ‘Don’t you believe it’.

 

Bad:

[Z]. A horrible bully (and I think a former policeman) who called me arrogant and always addressed me as Mozzzzzzzart after a mispronunciation with my Lancashire accent. There was a kind of show and tell in his lesson, every week we were encouraged to bring in our favourite recordings. My Brandenburg Concerto was abruptly turned off with the comment ‘terrible recording’. This was the sort of thing that destroyed confidence in a moment. I was terribly humiliated.

[AA].  A PE teacher and Housemistress. Straight from the cast of Prisoner Cell Block H. She would drag us into the showers by our bra straps, insist we undress and watch. I remember her forcing anti-smoking medication down a girl I knew. She was a sadist.

Nobody took much notice of me musically until I was about 13. I hated practising and gradually my inbuilt talent was eroded by the daily grind. All that changed when I became a Bakst pupil. Once on this fast track my playing improved. At the same time the sex abuse started. The worst of it was lessons at his house in Prestwich, ostensibly extra work before a concert. He would put on a record, sit close on the chaise longue, grasp my hand and place it on his lap. He had a peculiar odour, a sweet sickly mixture of cologne and sweat. All the while with his (much younger, stunning) Polish wife and infant child downstairs.

At school, he did the same sort of thing but would leave the room and return ten minutes later! I won’t elaborate further, as you already know about this from other testimonies.

The point about it is that by the age of sixteen I was being encouraged by Bakst to devote myself completely to the piano. So I went to Vallins and asked if I could give up all academic work and concentrate only on performing. Amazingly he and other members of staff agreed to this despite me having done well at ‘O’ level. So for the whole of the sixth form that’s what I did, only walking into the ‘A’ level music exam on the day. What I didn’t realise was that without two ‘A’ levels I couldn’t get a grant to continue at music college. Finally my local authority relented on condition that I did another A’ level which I did at night school. This is an example of the lack of knowledge and care that occurred on Vallins’ watch.

 

LATER YEARS – OUT OF HOURS

Here is a description of boarding life at the time. We all smoked, every lunch and breaktime in the toilets in Girls’ Boarding House.

Sometimes there were Saturday night parties at day pupil’s houses. The school presumably imagined birthday cakes and candles but they always degenerated into a drunken sexual free for all. Liberal seventies parents often disappeared for the duration.

Some sixth form boy boarders slept in a block of classrooms with the traditional storeroom at the back of each room. This is where the home brew was made. By this time we had keys to every door in the school and at night (after a swim) we would raid the kitchen for coffee, butter, bread and many more things that would also be kept in suitcases in the storeroom. At night I often used to sleep with my boyfriend at the top of Millgate House under the eaves. Several years later Vallins found our sleeping bags up there and there was a big investigation – too late. We also used my BF’s tuba case to transport bedding and booze if we wanted to meet up in Palatine in the evening. Sometmes we would be disturbed by David Usher, Brewer’s deputy. He would rattle the door handle in frustration but could do nothing.  But he was one of the good guys….

As were [House parents AA and AB], Junior House. They made a real effort to understand and help me in the sixth form but I was off the rails by then. When the school doctor put me on the pill [AB] commented “how convenient”.

At weekends I used to tell school I was visiting my father. In fact I was attending parties all over the country with my boyfriend.

 

Malcolm Layfield

He knew the date of the sixteenth birthdays of all his female students. They were always invited to celebrate outside school on that day!  He struck me as a weak and repulsive individual but there was no interaction with him as I was not a string player.

 

Michael Brewer

His camper van was always conveniently parked outside Palatine House. I was not in his ‘clique’ so never got to know anything of his crimes.

 

SUMMARY

I agree with previous comments made about the ethos of music education. I could have been good at many things given the ten thousand hours theory. Instead I was narrowcast in a musical educational experiment. I believe music is an adult emotion and that the process of cauterisation, instilling Western sonata form in young brains is a destructive act. It is the opposite of creativity. The very best can survive and flourish as musicians. The rest are gradually deprived of the thing that originally gave them joy.

I have not played the piano since 1984.

 

AL40

As a former Chetham’s pupil (border for six years) in the era of both H. Vickers and the then moderniser JV , I feel in a position to say how I saw the writing on the wall for the situation that is now so evident. In my early days bullying was endemic at Chetham’s, in the way it probably was in the armed forces and any other closed institution.

The school had limited resources for control of children unseen, and it was left to a hierarchical system of older boys and the staff to be the ones in charge of the micromanagement on a day to day basis.

Examples:

I was slippered in the sixth form study block surrounded by onlooking prefects. The flashman of the day was warming the sole on the side of a door to make it malleable and  more effective, while the prefects ate sandwiches and laughed. They even threw one at me as I waited for my punishment.

A boy sitting in an armchair on the school yard outside in winter at very low temperatures with a dressing gown only. He had been talking after lights out and this was his punishment. I sent him back to bed and an argument ensued with the staff member because I  had undermined his authority!

I was threatened with a knife by a member of staff who, incorrectly,  said I had been spreading rumours about him having an affair with one of the sixth form. There was absolutely no possibility to share this threat because I knew, as we all did, that stories like that would undermine the schools public image. It would be denied !! I had to live with that threat  24/7.

I could write a complete book but you get the idea…….

As JV went about his business as a moderniser he took his eye off the ball. His suggestions that the music department had autonomy is consistent with his denial of the issues for which he is responsible.

As a prefect there myself I had many occasions on which to question the suitability of the house staff.

John Vallins walked up to me as we waited on the yard one day before I left and said out of earshot of anyone else “I told you to get your bloody haircut and if you weren’t leaving in three days I would throw you out”. The venom took me aback . I had put more of my life into that place than he could imagine and it almost destroyed my feelings for the the school. His only objective was to be totally in charge. I represented the old Chethams and he wanted to expunge that establishment and for it to become a new order under his stewardship.

To conclude! If Chethams had spent more of its energy looking after its children and less after its oh so inflated status in the world of music education people like Brewer and Ling would never had been allowed to flourish. It was a breeding ground for the swamp life below the surface. The school were so busy producing brochures and fundraising new buildings to they had lost their sense of priority!

I feel ashamed to be associated with the place now. When I was there I don’t believe the grooming had started . Brewer was there in my last year but had not achieved a position of power at that time. His presence seemed minimal it seemed.

My sincere sympathies to all those young people who were affected by what became an evil regime. There were some good people working there, and this diminishes their efforts and their memories.

 

AL41

I was at Chet’s in the early-mid 90s. I flourished musically and academically, and was given many performance opportunities, so I was one of the lucky ones.

However, I have memories of the overly sexualised environment, and also of the prevalence of eating disorders, self-harm and even suicide attempts, particularly amongst the girls.

I was a member of Chamber Choir, and also had aural classes with Brewer, so I spent quite a lot of time with him, and remember his pervy ways. He liked the chamber choir kids, we were his pet students i think. Lots of people thought he was having a relationship with a girl in the Chamber Choir, then when she left, he moved onto RS187, which led to his dismissal in 1994.

He used to get me to sort out piles of choir music in his office in the evening after dinner, and he used to come up behind me and massage my shoulders. He was usually in school until late, probably 10 pm.

He had a copy of Madonna’s book “Sex”, which was a sort of coffee table book of soft porn photos. He seemed to be delighted to have acquired this book, and invited me to have a look at it with him. I was really embarrassed. I think he also used to go on about what a good book it was in chamber choir rehearsals, or perhaps in our aural class.

He used to sprawl on a deckchair near the entrance to Palatine House, bare-chested with these green shorts, and leer at the girls as we walked into Palatine.

In choir, he took every opportunity to be smutty and crude, and used to make innuendos all the time. We used to sing a madrigal called “Hard by a crystal fountain” and he would make a big innuendo out of this. He was really excessive about it.

We were working on Kodaly Psalmus Hungaricus, and he wanted us to be expressive on the words “este könyörgök” so he said “Have you achieved “nyörgök” today?” Nearly everything he did was framed in terms of sex.

We were well aware that he was perverted, and we used to call him Screwer Brewer. I remember being in Palatine near the string corridor, telling a friend “Oh my God, Brewer was so perverted today” then he suddenly appeared from round the corner. He had heard me, and made a big deal of me having hurt his feelings. I don’t think he was really hurt though, he was smiling at me. I just felt really awkward.

There was also amazing music-making and some wonderful academic teaching. Mr. Little was a superb, inspiring English teacher. Academic music with John Leach, Robert MacFarlane, Stuart Beer and Sam King was excellent. Brewer, although deeply flawed and predatory, was an inspiring and charismatic choir conductor, and his aural classes were fun and challenging. I think that was partly why he got away with it all for so long, and why some girls fell for his advances.

 

AL42

I was the first and only junior boarding girl for some time in 1969. I was 8. I arrived a couple of weeks later than the other girls and was put in a room with 3 other girls older than me. I was violently sick the first day there and totally confused by everything. I wet my bed in the first few weeks and my mattress was paraded by the housemistress Mrs Stevens, in front of the other girls.

My first memory of complete isolation when I first went there, was standing in the middle of the yard and there seemed to be no one there in the whole school. I stood there crying not knowing what to do. Eventually a woman came up and asked me what was wrong. Apparently everyone was doing prep somewhere. She sent me to the refectory and there was all the bigger children there. I sat and did some work and only days later found that I was supposed to go to the junior school for it. I’ve never forgotten that feeling of being completely abandoned.

My Mother sent me some money at one stage, there wasn’t ever a lot in our family but the same person told my Mother not to send any more as I spent it in sweets. The two day girls in the two younger junior years had been going up to ‘Matron’ for tea and biscuits when I came along. They took me with them. After I had been there twice, Matron announced that I shouldn’t come anymore as I only came for the biscuits. ( Did I mention I was starving?) I’ve never forgotten the solidarity from the other two girls, they decided to stop going too.

My Mother told me that after my first half term, I came home with a suitcase full of diarrhoea covered clothes and everything fastened with safety pins. I fainted in church one Sunday morning because I was starving, I used to go to the 9 o’clock service as well as the other one we had to go to. I would go because we got tea and toast with butter afterwards. I had dry bread at school for 5 years as the ‘axle grease’ made me violently sick.  Nobody looked after me at all that first year until Mrs. Littler came. She was strict but kind and tried to be a bit of a mother to me, when my beloved Grandfather died, she took me up to her flat and also another time when I had a suspected appendix, she let me sleep in her flat to keep an eye on me.

There was also an incident with the swimming pool that was mentioned in an earlier post. We were left down in the pool 7 and 8 year olds unsupervised, whilst the boys played football , a boy would come and get us and the end of games. One time we were left down there and admonished in front of the whole school, not the master who always left us there.

There was a doctor who came to inspect the girls, only the younger ones as I remember. We would be told to strip to our pants only and lined up waiting to go into the staff common room. Matron would be standing behind the doctor and we would file forward for our “ check up” and he would look down our pants and send us on our way.

Harry Vickers and Matron were vile to me the whole time and Boss would put me down constantly and ask me why I couldn’t hold up my viola like everyone else and other comments whenever he saw me. She was almost worse, so bitchy and uncaring.   Musically it was great the first year, my violin teacher was Colin Callow and he treated me really well and used to make me play little things to some of the older pupils. He left after a year( I was very sad) and I went to David Usher and I told him I wanted to swap to Viola. He was a nice man but he sacked me after 3 years as I didn’t practice enough. He couldn’t even remember teaching me in later years and remembered me as a horn player in his wind ensembles. My horn teacher was wonderful, Andrew Jones, sadly no longer with us.

Later on there was an occasion when an older girl returned to say hello and came down our corridor to see us. Mrs Orchard came up and said “ Who are you” and it was said back to her by the girl. She was told to leave and I and two others saw her out.

Later that week we were called to the common room where Mrs Orchard and Harry Vickers were. They told us off for talking behind Mrs Orchard’s back. We hadn’t.

Boss pulled down my pants, over his knee and smacked me. After that incident Boss ordered all the doors to be taken of our dorms. He would come down our corridor unannounced quite often.

I also ran away with another girl , very unsuccessfully, we laugh about it now but I was told by boss if I did it again I’d be expelled. I was deeply depressed for the rest of my time there.  My form teacher in my first year in the senior school , William Clarke, otherwise known as WC or bog face, gave a report that said ‘[Redacted]’s attitude to school and life is deplorable’. I have had a complete block to do with maths and French since then because of him.

There are more stories but too many to put here. The other children were pretty great and I have really close friends from there still. One older girl was lovely to me in my first couple of terms and tried to look after me though she was young herself. She knows who she is and I am forever grateful. There was one boy I won’t forgive for bullying me, he knows who he is.

Chetham’s made me fiercely independent to start with and gave me a huge contempt for authority. It also made me hate any sort of injustice.

I gave up playing finally a few years ago after a pretty successful orchestral career but complete burn out in the end.  I had been playing professionally since the age of 15. When I gave up I heaved a huge sigh of relief, I realised that I’d always done it for someone else. I still teach amongst other things. I’ve found my voice since freeing myself. I left in 74.

 

AL43

In my first piano lesson as a homesick twelve-year-old the teacher asked me to play a piece. When I had finished he leaned his head back in a supercilious fashion and said ‘Oh dear, what a poor admission’. He then paced around the room repeating it several times. I’m not sure that my self-esteem/confidence as a musician ever completely recovered from that moment and occasionally, I still dream about it 45 years later. It was not, however, the only instance when I was made to feel like a second rate musician who really shouldn’t have been at Chet’s. It took some time after I left to realise that my worth as a person was not inextricably linked to my merit as a musician.

 

AL44

I was a boarder at the school between 1982-1987. I’ll cover three areas – how much I knew in the 80’s about the abuse and the culture in general, Mr. Vallins, and [houseparent from group A].

In my first term, I was warned by older girls never to accept a ‘babysitting’ invitation from Michael Brewer for extra pocket money. When students went to his house, ostensibly to watch his kids, he didn’t go out, instead made sexual advances once the children were asleep with promises of helping their careers.

He had a camper van permanently parked on the middle of the playground and no-one on the staff questioned it. It was an open secret that he had affairs with female students.

[Cello teacher X] repeatedly asked my room-mate (aged 13) to practice naked and masturbate and to tell him how she felt. She never did and as a result he lost interest in her as a student, she begged to be a first study singer. She reported him, Brewer did nothing. [X] was an alcoholic who drank vodka in lessons then sipped men’s cologne to hide it – you could smell where [X] had been, the Palatine corridors reeked of alcohol and cheap cologne.

Two of my other life-long friends were molested by Bakst from the age of 11. One unnecessary hand under an arm to ‘assist’ fingering so he could rub a breast, on the floor to ‘help’ pedalling, hand up skirt – shall I go on? Not isolated events, but continuous. They spoke openly of it at the time. They felt they couldn’t ask for another teacher – in a culture where ‘best’ was all, he was at the top of the pedagogic tree in the piano department and Brewer couldn’t care less about harm.

Even a relatively green teenager from [redacted] who didn’t study the violin realised Chris Ling was ‘wrong’, so the claim by Vallins that academic and music staff were separate, therefore didn’t know anything about him, is ridiculous. Ling announced his arrival at school with an almighty horn tune emanating from his naff white Mazda as he passed under the Gatehouse, in front of the staff room (door always open, staff watching). His chest hair and medallions were never out of view. If that spelled wrong to a teenager, how come it didn’t to adults who were supposed to be protecting minors?

Pip Clarke, his widow, was in my class. She was showing off her engagement ring (to Ling) when she was 16. She wasn’t exactly a retiring violet, very garrulous. No teacher spotted that, heard anything?

My piano teachers were [Y] (for 2 years) and [Z] (for 3 years). [Z] was immaculate in every respect as a teacher. [Y] – in thrall to Bakst – was a horror. I learned my place at Chethams from Brewer. [Y]’s tantrums were simply proof of her exceptional ability as a teacher, she was emotional and would bring out the emotion in me.

Having bruises on an arm where you’ve been hit repeatedly with a volume of Bach’s 48, screamed at for one wrong note, my music case (bought by my father, he didn’t have much money) thrown around the room, Beethoven sonatas thrown at you, then ‘I didn’t mean it, lets go to Chloe and you can help me choose my dress for my concert comeback’ was standard fare with [Y].

John Vallins tutored me on a one-to-one basis before my Oxford Entrance exams and was my teacher for A level English. He was a misogynist of the first order and never missed an opportunity to belittle women with a plethora of Shakespearean quotes to back his argument during lessons. A girl wearing eyeshadow was a ‘concubine’, and once our texts were Anthony and Cleopatra and Lear, he was in vituperative heaven – the women were to blame for everything, the men led astray. He would examine our fingernails for signs of paint/degeneracy as he wafted through the room with halitosis, then unleash his skewed interpretations, never at fault, never to be questioned.

Aged 17, I knew him to be morally stupid, but very aware. So fixated by sex would have made him doubly aware of anyone else enjoying it on his territory. By the Upper Sixth Form, [houseparents B] requested I be Head of House and Head Girl. When [houseparents A] arrived they behaved as if royalty from the first day, [redacted information]. They took one look at me, it was a case of mutual detestation. I think they knew I saw through them instantly.

Within a week, my having a period so bad I was bent double, according to them meant I was unfit to lead. I was stripped of head girl, prefect and head of house titles.  My parents phoned – Vallins ‘it’s not up to me.’ The [houseparents A] never accepted phone calls from my parents and never responded. I had never broken a school rule.

Twice weekly, [houseparent A] would find me to humiliate me, always when no-one else was present, sitting on the end of my bed. That it was such a pity I had no class, that my clothes were so poor, and that was why I’d never understand that Oxford was beyond me.

When it came to my Oxford entrance exam, on a Monday, given permission by Vallins to go home early the previous Friday, I found my suitcase had disappeared from my room when I was about to go home. There was no note. I thought it had been stolen, all my notes in it, I ran up to the [houseparents A]’ flat to report it. I was asked to step inside with a smile.

The [houseparents A] had removed it. Because I’d been given permission to go home early by Vallins, they didn’t approve of. it They kept me there for two hours, instructed me in humility, Mr [houseparent A]’s low-brow effort was:

‘Do you know what an anarchist is?’

‘Yes – ‘

‘You’re a failed one as long as we are here.’

In the interim, my father, 66, waiting for 4 hours at the unmanned [redacted] Station, which not seeing me arrive from a train, began to panic. No mobile phones. Mother beginning to panic. My father had had two cardiac arrests. I arrived home, having left Manchester at 7pm instead of 3pm, around midnight. For no reason other than cruelty and schadenfreude.

Why didn’t my parents complain? For the same reason no-one else did – Vallins could be threatening by doing nothing.

[Houseparent A] continued to bully me on my academic achievement, music, my appearance, my parents’ class throughout my final year. Mainly by using her daughter as a comparison.

‘You know why [daughter] will always be a success?’

‘No. I’m not sure.’

‘[Daughter] is special. You have to be special to go to Oxford. You are not – the sooner you accept this, the sooner you will be happy. [Daughter] has a something you’ll never understand.’

This happened every week during my last year. On the edge of my bed with an insincere smile wishing me ill.

How I dealt with that was to leave Chethams every weekend. The [houseparents A] were thick, they refused to accept that the people they bullied were far brighter than they were.I spent every Saturday in London – an early train, The Tate, The British Museum, a Simon Gray matinee – or Yorkshire, in Top Withens, that walk from Emily Bronte’s Parsonnage. Anyone notice I was gone? No. So how did the [houseparents A] notice who was harmed?

My mother is a retired secondary school literature teacher, now 83, who had a mini stroke a few weeks ago and is still far from well. She sacrificed much to make up the difference in the fees not covered by my government grant. Listening to the evidence given about [houseparent A] made her BP shoot through the roof (I have to check it several times a day). She felt it was necessary to listen to it as she had entrusted me to her care and knew how cruelly I’d been treated by her.

Thirty-two years on, [houseparent A]’s odious neglect of student welfare is still causing harm and distress. She and her husband were utterly unfit to be house parents. I understand [daughter of houseparent A] is no longer Deputy Head. That is a source of some comfort; I cannot believe the apple fell so far from its poisoned branch given the culture of entitlement that existed in that family while at the school.

I am only one of hundreds of students seriously hurt by staff at Chethams.

 

AL45

I was in year 5 at Chetham’s in 1962, which is the year the bullying and abuse became unbearable, and I walked out. The bullying began on my first day, before registration, when I was singled out by Arthur George for negative comments, including being called Phyllis. The bullying became worse, escalating to sexual abuse, and Operation Kiso, (to whom many thanks) recorded two crimes as having been committed against me, by Arthur George and Donald Clarke. No further action could be taken, as both are deceased. One of my peers in year 5 has remained in continuous contact with the school, until recently being involved with the governance of the school. For the school to deny that abuse has happened, continuously, since the 1950’s is deceitful and hugely personally distressing.

 

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The IICSA Hearings into Specialist Music Schools: Videos, Transcripts, Documents

TRIGGER WARNING: This blog contains links to disturbing material relating to the sexual abuse of children.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) held their hearings into specialist music schools this past week (30 November – 4 October 2019). As one who gave evidence to this inquiry (on 1 October) I do not wish to post any comments on this until after the reports have been produced (which will not be until 2020). However, I would like to post links to all the appropriate videos, transcripts and other documents which are now public.

The first day saw, amongst other things, important opening statements from Counsel to the Inquiry Fiona Scolding QC, and lawyer Richard Scorer, representing various former students at Chetham’s and myself. The following is the video (with this as with all videos, one may need to scroll forward through some blank screen).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The transcript of Day One can be read and downloaded in two parts, here and here.

Day Two saw the testimonies of A1 and A2, former students of Chris Ling at Chetham’s, then that of former Head Teacher (1974-1992) John Vallins, then my own testimony (at around 4h in), then more from Vallins, and that from his successor (1992-99), Peter Hullah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The transcript from Day Two can be read here.

Day Three saw evidence from another Chetham’s head (1999-2016), Clare Moreland, then from Independent Educational Consultant Elizabeth Coley and Chief Inspector of ISI, Kate Richards, followed by Specialist advisor for residential care, OFSTED, Helen Humphreys. The afternoon saw Helen Bennett, former DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) at Wells Cathedral School, and Alastair Tighe, Head Teacher at the school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The transcript from Day Three is here.

Day Four saw evidence from Richard Hillier, former Head Teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School, and Joanne Field, the current DSL at the school. In the afternoon, there was evidence from Peter Crook, former Principal of the Purcell School, and Graham Smallbone, former Chair of Governors for the school.

 

 

 

 

The transcript from Day Four is here.

Day Five saw evidence from former Purcell School teacher and whistleblower Margaret Moore, and current principal Paul Bambrough. The afternoon saw evidence from Yasemin Wigglesworth, Executive Officer of AEGIS, and Dale Wilkins, Head of Safeguarding for the Boarding Schools Association.

 

 

 

 

The transcript from Day Five is here.

Day Nine also saw mention of Chetham’s in the context of questions about DBS checks claimed not have been undertaken upon one teacher in 2008 until three months after she began teaching. Here is the video of this day.

 

 

 

The transcript from Day Nine is here.

And the afternoon session of Day Ten saw the closing statement by Kim Harrison of Slater and Gordon, relating to Chetham’s, and also a statement from Chetham’s lawyer. This begins at around 4h 32m 50′ here:

 

 

The transcript from Day Ten is here. More on this day’s statements can be foud in the Guardian article by Nazia Parveen linked to below.

 

The inquiry has also published some sections from the numerous written statements and documents submitted to the inquiry. These can be accessed here . I am hoping that a full set of complete documents will be published on the website in due course.

This series of hearings, and those for next week (7-11 October 2019, looking at different schools, though with concluding statements on Friday 11 October which will refer back to this week’s hearings), constitute Phase One of the Investigation into Residential Schools. Phase Two will take place during 11-22 May 2020. The inquiry is urging all survivors and victims of child sexual abuse to share their experiences, and a link is given on this page.

Presently I will also add links to the bottom of this page of media and online reports of the hearings.

Chetham’s issued the following statement just preceding (27 September 2019) the week of the hearings:

Statement regarding the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)
27 September 2019

Chetham’s School of Music is giving its full co-operation into the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

It is a matter of deep and profound regret to Chetham’s that former teachers at our School betrayed and manipulated the trust that had been placed in them in order to harm children for which we are truly sorry.

Chetham’s Principal Alun Jones ensured Chetham’s applied for Core Participant status so it could participate as fully as possible in the Inquiry. He has made it clear that the School will help the Inquiry as much as it possibly can.

Chetham’s will be one of four residential music schools providing evidence to the Inquiry due to the police investigations and convictions of child sexual abuse relating to the School. These include the conviction of its former Director of Music in 2013 and the high profile police investigation into child sexual abuse by a former violin teacher.

The School overhauled its building and safeguarding practices and procedures. Chetham’s is sorry it did not do more to provide emotional support to the victims and survivors of abuse and their families.

Mr Jones said: “I inherited a school with a troubled past, but which thankfully was in exceptional health when I arrived. In terms of the School building and safeguarding procedures we’ve made huge improvements and continue to keep them under review.

“I welcome this Inquiry. Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse need to know that they are being listened to and that changes happen as a result of what they say. As Principal of Chetham’s I have a duty of care to our current and future students to make sure we also do everything possible to learn from victims and survivors’ experiences.”

Further enquiries: Alun Jones, Principal
Via Lesley Haslam, PA: lesleyhaslam@chethams.com, 0161 838 7214

 

Following the hearings on 1 October, the Principal, Alun Jones then issued the following:

Comment from Chetham’s Principal Alun Jones after attending Day Two of the Residential Schools Hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA)
01 October 2019

“What I have heard today has been shocking and distressing and it is clear that serious errors of judgement were made at our School.

“My task as the current Principal of Chetham’s is to make sure we learn all possible lessons from what we heard today.

“I am deeply and truly sorry that teachers at our School abused their position of trust to hurt young people. Current parents and students would not recognise what was said at the Inquiry today as the School they know – but this is of no consolation to victims and survivors.

“As the head of a school you have responsibility for what happens under your leadership. No amount of musical ability comes before the wellbeing of my students. I regularly speak to students about the importance of speaking up and out if they believe something is wrong. Parents, staff and students know Chetham’s is a telling school where everyone looks out for each other. This was clearly not the case at the School in the past – as we heard today. Students should have been supported and listened to and their concerns acted upon.

“I am deeply sorry the School did not do more to provide emotional support to the victims and survivors of abuse and their families. I would welcome any victims and survivors of abuse at Chetham’s getting in touch with me if they feel it can help to rectify some of the appalling mistakes of the past.”

Please follow this link for the preceding IICSA statement, published by Chetham’s on 27.09.19

Further enquiries: Alun Jones, Principal
Via Lesley Haslam, PA: lesleyhaslam@chethams.com, 0161 838 7214

 

I have assembled a range of testimonies from former Chetham’s students who have watched and read about the hearings, often with incredulity. I will continue to add to this as others send their own reflections.

 

The following articles relating to the hearings have been published during the course of this week:

Helen Pidd, ‘CPS could and should have extradited paedophile music teacher’, The Guardian, 30 September 2019.

‘Inquiry into child sex abuse at local schools has first day – as it happened’, Somerset Live, 30 September 2019.

Elise Britten, ‘Wells Cathedral School offers “full apology” to sex abuse victims’, Somerset Live, 30 September 2019.

Judith Burns, ‘Music school pupil abused by violin teacher at 15’, BBC News, 1 October 2019.

Nigel Barlow, ‘Witnesses tell of sexual abuse by Chetham’s Violin teacher’, About Manchester, 2 October 2019.

‘Chetham’s principal apologises for historic sexual abuse’, BBC News, 2 October 2019.

Damon Wilkinson and Pat Hurst, ‘Chetham’s principal apologises for “appalling mistakes of the past” after inquiry hears details of teachers’ sexual abuse of pupils’, Manchester Evening News, 2 October 2019.

Hattie Williams, ‘Hallmarks of grooming “overlooked” by staff at Wells Cathedral School’, Church Times, 3 October 2019 (this article also includes significant material relating to Chetham’s).

‘Inquiry hears Wells paedophile teacher had ‘duped staff’, BBC News, 3 October 2019.

Nazia Parveen, ‘Former Chetham’s headteachers accused of ignoring abuse’, The Guardian, 11 October 2019.

 

There have also been several short pieces by Norman Lebrecht for the Slipped Disc blog:

‘Distressing Evidence at Sex-Abuse Inquiry into English Music Schools’, 2 October 2019.

‘Chetham’s regrets past abuse, Wells says ‘We couldn’t see’, 3 October 2019.

‘Menuhin and Purcell Schools under scrutiny in child sex inquiry’, 4 October 2019.

‘A guide to the child abuse inquiry at English music schools’, 6 October 2019.

‘Chetham students add horror to sex abuse hearings’, 10 October 2019.

‘More testimonies of hell at English music school’, 11 October 2019.

At some point in the future, I will try and collate all links to articles about Chetham’s since the Michael Brewer trial in 2013 in one blog post. In the meantime, many links can be found in the following earlier articles:

Reported Cases of Abuse in Musical Education, 1990-2012, and Issues for a Public Inquiry (30 December 2013) (this post is in need of some updating to mention other cases during the period in question).

New stories and convictions of abuse in musical education, and the film of the Institute of Ideas debate (11 January 2014) (also in need of updating)

The Trial of Michael and Kay Brewer and the Death of Frances Andrade, and the Aftermath, 2013 (12 August 2014)

Petition for an inquiry into sexual and psychological abuse at Chetham’s School of Music and other specialist institutions (original version – each version has a different long list of comments) (16 February 2013).

Petition for an Inquiry into Sexual and other Abuse at Specialist Music Schools – The List of Signatories (19 February 2013).

Re-opened until May 31st, 2013 – Petition for an Inquiry into Abuse in Specialist Music Education (9 May 2013) (the final version).

A further call to write to MPs to support an inquiry into abuse in musical education (26 November 2013).

In the Aftermath of the Brewer Sentencing – A Few Short Thoughts and Pieces of Information (27 March 2013).

Michael Brewer – a powerful Director of Music, not just a provincial choirmaster or music teacher (28 March 2013).

Reports from the Malcolm Layfield Trial (2 June 2015).

Chris Ling’s Views on Sexing Up Classical Music (11 February 2013).

Robert Waddington, Former Dean of Manchester Cathedral, and Chetham’s School of Music (12 May 2013).

The 1980 Department of Education and Science Report into Chetham’s School of Music, National Archives ED 172/598/2 (20 September 2015).

Publication of Reports into Chetham’s by ISI and MCC – Senior Management and Governors should consider their position (3 April 2013).

New Surrey Safeguarding Report on suicide of Frances Andrade draws attention to dangers of music education (10 April 2014).

Alun Jones to be new Head of Chetham’s – and a list of SMS Heads and Music Directors (13 December 2015).

Marcel Gazelle and the Culture of the Early Yehudi Menuhin School (7 May 2013).

Craig Edward Johnson, the Yehudi Menuhin School, Adrian Stark, and wider networks? (8 April 2014).

Philip Pickett arrested on 15 charges, and interview with Clare Moreland in The Times (14 February 2014).

Abuse minimisation as an example of the writing of history as kitsch (14 July 2013).

New article in Times Educational Supplement on abuse in musical education – and public debate on October 19th, Barbican Centre (3 October 2013).

A message from another victim of abuse at a UK music school, calling for others to come forward (25 November 2013)

 

 

Some other earlier articles I published may also be of interest:

‘The culture of music education lends itself to abuse’, Times Educational Supplement, 8 May 2013.

‘Does elite music teaching leave pupils open to abuse?’, The Telegraph, 20 February 2015.

‘Music teacher sentenced to 11 years in prison as abuse film Whiplash prepares for Oscars’, The Conversation, 20 February 2015.

‘Safeguarding’, Music Teacher, April 2015.

 

 


Alun Jones to be new Head of Chetham’s – and a list of SMS Heads and Music Directors

The following letter sent to Chetham’s students has been posted on the blog of Norman Lebrecht, and I reproduce it here.

 

chethams-school-of-music

Dear Students,

The School is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Alun Jones as the new Head of Chetham’s School of Music.  Mr Jones will take up his post from 1st September 2016, following the retirement of Mrs Claire Moreland after 17 years’ exceptional service to the School.

Mr Jones has been the Head of St. Gabriel’s School, Newbury since 2001 and is the current President of the Girls’ Schools Association,  representing the heads of many of the top performing day and boarding schools in the UK independent schools sector.  A former Choral Scholar, freelance singer and ad-hoc member of BBC Singers, Mr Jones began his teaching career at The Cathedral School, Llandaff and The United College of the Atlantic, St Donats Castle.  Following positions as a Music Master & Choirmaster, Director of Studies and Deputy Headmaster in GSA boarding and day schools, Mr Jones was appointed Principal at St Gabriel’s, Newbury in 2001.  Alongside headship, Mr Jones has been a Team Inspector for the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI) since 2002 and is a Director on the ISI Board.

Mr Jones said “I am looking forward tremendously to joining Chetham’s School of Music in September and was thrilled to be appointed to the rôle.  It will be a privilege to join a school with such a fine reputation nationally and internationally and I relish the challenges that the job will bring.”

Dame Sandra Burslem, the Chair of Governors, said “Our recruitment process was extensive and thorough and the School has appointed an outstanding Head to lead Chetham’s through the next stages of the School’s exciting developments.  I know that the whole School community will join with me in welcoming Mr Jones.”

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

chethams 3

Mrs Sarah Newman
Bursar

In general, Head Teachers of Specialist Music Schools (SMSs) have often not themselves been musicians (with a few exceptions); Jones is the first musician to occupy this position at Chetham’s. I have compiled a list of both Head Teachers and Directors of Music at all the five SMSs in the UK, and reproduce this below for reference purposes. If there are any errors here that anyone notices, I would be most grateful if they could let me know, and I will correct them.


THE PURCELL SCHOOL
Founded: 1962 as The Central Tutorial School for Young Musicians, renamed in 1973

Head Teachers: (‘Principals’):
Irene Forster (1962-1968) – cellist, co-founder of the school
Rufus Vanderspar (Acting Principal, 1968-1969?)
Doris Burchell (1969-1970) – previously Headmistress of Camden School for Girls, 1946-1969
Rufus Vanderspar (Acting Principal, 1970-1971)
Richard Taylor (1971-1983)
John Bain (1983-1999) – formerly Housemaster at Cranleigh School
John Tolputt (1999-2007) – formerly Headmaster at Rendcomb School
Peter Crook (2007-2011)
David Thomas (2012-present) – formerly Headmaster at Reigate Grammar School

Directors of Music:
John Bate (1962?-1969)
Graham Treacher (1969-1972)
Lenore Reynell (1972-c. 1982)
Colin Howard (c. 1982-1985)
Colin Durrant (1985-1987)
David Vinden (1988-1995)
Jeffrey Sharkey (1996-2001)
Quentin Poole (2001-post abolished in 2013)

 

THE YEHUDI MENUHIN SCHOOL
Founded: 1963

Head Teachers:
Anthony Brackenbury (1963-1975) – from Bryanston School and a London comprehensive
Peter Renshaw (1975-1983) – formerly Education Lecturer, University of Leeds
Three short-term heads between 1984 and 1987: Dr. John Lazarus, Mary Henderson, Kevin Jones
Nicholas Chisholm (1987-2010) – previously Head of Classics and Housemaster at Hurstpierpoint College
Richard Hillier (2010-present) – previously Headmaster at Oratory Preparatory School, Oxfordshire

Directors of Music:
Marcel Gazelle (1963-1969)
Robert Masters (1969-1981)
Peter Norris (1980-1987)
Stephen Potts (1988-1998)
Malcolm Singer (1998-present)

 

CHETHAM’S SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Founded: 1969 (as specialist music school)

Head Teachers:
Harry Vickers (1969-1974) – House Governor for Chetham’s Hospital School since 1949
John Vallins (1974-1992) – formerly Housemaster and Head of English at Cranleigh School
Peter Hullah (1992-1999) – formerly Chaplain at The King’s School, Canterbury. Later Bishop of Ramsbury
Claire Moreland (1999-2016) – formerly Deputy Head and Housemistress of Rugby School
Alun Jones (2016-)

Directors of Music:
Gerald Littlewood (1969-1975)
Michael Brewer (1975-1994)
Stephen Threlfall (1994-present day)

 

WELLS CATHEDRAL SCHOOL
Founded: 1970 (specialist music scheme)

Head Teachers:
Alan Quilter (1972-1986)
John Baxter (1986-2000)
Elizabeth Cairncross (2000-present) – formerly Deputy Head at Christ’s Hospital School

Directors of Music:
William Whittle (1963-1981)
Richard Hickman (1981-1985)
Timothy Goulter (1985-1989)
Angus Watson (1989- before 1999)
Dorothy Nancekievill (at least since 1999-2015)
Mark Stringer (2015-present)

 

ST MARY’S MUSIC SCHOOL
Founded: 1972 (as specialist music school)

Head Teachers
The Revd J.F. Styles (1972-1973) – Precentor of St Mary’s Cathedral
Reynold Elder (1973-1976)
Carolyn Coxon (1976-1979) – professional singer
Philip Allison (1979-1995)
Jennifer Rimer (1996-2012) – formerly principal music teacher at St David’s High, Dalkeith
Kenneth Taylor (2013-present) – formerly Deputy Head, Biggar High School

Directors of Music:
Dennis Townhill (1972-1976)
Carolyn Coxon (1976-1980)
Nigel Murray (1980-1996)
John Grundy (1996-2007)
Francis Cummings (2007-2011)
Paul Stubbings (2011-present)

 


Reports from the Malcolm Layfield Trial

In this blog post, which I will update regularly, I will be posting all available reports from the rape trial of former Chetham’s violin teacher and Head of Strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, Malcolm Layfield. As this is a live trial at the time of posting, there will be no comment whatsoever, and any comments posted below which would be even remotely prejudicial will be instantly removed. There are also several reporters live tweeting from the trial, and I will endeavour to include their tweets here too.


Day 1: Monday June 1st, 2015

Tweets from @helenpidd , Northern Editor of The Guardian

I’m in Manchester crown court to report on the rape trial of former Chetham’s and Royal College of Music teacher, Malcolm Layfield.

Apologies: Malcolm Layfield was head of strings at the RNCM until February 2013.

Malcolm Layfield’s rape trial has not begun yet. A jury should be empanelled this afternoon and the prosecution will open the case.

Malcolm Layfield admits “inappropriate sexual relationships” with a number of pupils, including the complainant, but denies 1 count of rape.

One of Malcolm Layfield’s pupils claims he plied her with drink and drove her to “the middle of nowhere” and raped her when she was 18.

A police video interview given by Layfield’s alleged victim is shown to the jury. Supervision “woefully inadequate” at Chetham’s in 1982.

Victim says Layfield groomed her by confiding in her about an affair he was having with a woman in London. “I was his confidante.”

After the rape the victim went to the RNCM where she had consensual sex with Layfield for a 6 week period, usually in the back of his car…

“He called it an affair but it wasn’t. There was no affection, no romance. It was him abusing his power to get sex.” Layfield’s complainant.

…but once he instigated sex at his house in Didsbury, South Manchester, when his wife and children were home:” absolutely disgusting”.



Tweets from @mrdaveguest , BBC Northwest Tonight chief reporter

Former head of strings at Royal Northern College of music in court accused of raping a student in 1982.

Malcolm Layfield denies the allegation but prosecution claim he used his power and influence to get what he wanted from the teenager.

In video interview Mr Layfield’s accuser says: “He was going to have sex with me and there was nothing I could do about it.”

Accuser says she told RNCM about Mr Layfield in 2001 when he was promoted to Head of Strings.

She added: “it was absolutely disgraceful that he was made Head of Strings.”

Malcolm Layfield’s accuser says they had sexual relationship when she was student at RNCM and he worked there but she says”it was sordid.”


Press Association Mediapoint
, June 1st, 2015
Kim Pilling, ‘Violin Teacher ‘Used Power to Rape”

A violin teacher improperly used his “power and influence” to rape an 18-year-old female student, a jury has heard.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have committed the offence in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall after he plied his alleged victim with alcohol.
Jurors at Manchester Crown Court were told it was a case about “abuse of power” in the early 1980s by the defendant who worked at the “world renowned” Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, both in Manchester.
Prosecutor Peter Cadwallader said: “He was a fine teacher with power and influence. He taught highly gifted students, many of whom had ambitions to go with their talent.
“It is alleged, in short, that he used his power and influence improperly.
“He admits that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with a number of female students.
“The complainant in this case was one such student.”
He told the jury that the pair did have a consensual sexual relationship which lasted for about six weeks but that the first occasion they had sex was rape.
Mr Cadwallader said: “For the ambitious student, her violin teacher was critical.
“Not only for her progress at those two institutions, Chetham’s and the Royal Northern College of Music, but also for his influence on her future music career.
“We suggest that he used that power and influence in an improper and inappropriate way, in essence, to obtain sex.”
Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies rape.
Mr Cadwallader said the complainant accepted she “went along” with the sexual relationship “however reluctant she may have been”, but the exception was the first encounter.
The complainant was among a number of students who attended a summer course run by Layfield and his wife.
Layfield was said to have provided “a strong alcoholic punch” for the group and plied his accuser with whisky, the court heard.
His alleged victim escaped his attentions as she got into her sleeping bag upstairs but recalled him telling her to get up.
Mr Cadwallader said: “She remembers getting into his car but cannot really remember how she got there. She was very drunk by that time.
“It is the prosecution case that he (Layfield) knew full well that she was very drunk. Indeed the Crown say he was largely responsible for that.
“In her befuddled drunken state she thought he wanted to talk to her as he did in the past.
“She soon realised that it was not the case because he took her in his car to an isolated spot and got into the back of the car.
“By then she realised he was going to have sex with her, come what may, and she felt she could do nothing about it.
“She tried moving away from him, to no avail. She was frightened, she gave in.
“Submission, members of the jury, is not necessarily consent. The Crown say he knew full well at that time she was not consenting.”
He said the early 1980s was “a very different world” in which the Crown suggested that no-one would have believed her.
He said this was “perhaps illustrated” in 2001 when the complainant and others complained to the Royal Northern College of Music about Layfield’s inappropriate relationships with female pupils.
Mr Cadwallader said: “The result? He was made head of strings at the college. Promoted.
“So, members of the jury, why did she then – however reluctantly – have a consensual sexual relationship with him after the incident in Cornwall?
“The answer, the prosecution say, is power and influence.
“He had power over her progress at the college and influence over her future career within the music world.”
The jury was played a video of the police interview with the complainant.
She said she had studied at Chetham’s from the age of 14 where supervision was “woefully inadequate” and students were allowed to “run riot”.
She told a detective: “Malcolm went out of his way to cultivate a relationship where he was the mentor, the father figure.
“He always wanted to know what everyone was doing … inappropriate conversations. He wanted to be extra-friendly.”
She said he bought alcohol in the pub for under-age students on a previous school trip.
During the Cornwall trip, she said, he confided in her that he was cheating on his wife with a woman in London.
Recalling the alleged rape, she said: “There was no violence but he was using his strength.
“I suppose I just gave in and I have hated myself for that ever since. In some ways I was protecting him … how could he do that to someone? He clearly had no respect for women. He clearly targets women. I was a target.
“He knew he was going to do this. I couldn’t deal with it.”
She said she went on have sex with him in the back of his car in disused areas after lessons at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
The complainant said Layfield initiated sex with her on one occasion at his former home in Didsbury while his wife and children were in the house.
She said: “I was just going along with it. I didn’t want it. I didn’t fancy him.
“I was just not equipped to deal with it.
“He called them affairs. It was not an affair for me. There was no romance. It was just him abusing his power to get sex.”
She said he later told her that if she changed teachers at the college he would take all her freelance work away from her.
“Again, I was under his influence,” she said. “I really thought he was going to do that.
“He was a real bully as well. He was only interested in his own career and getting on in the music business.”
She said she would cry during lessons with him before the relationship eventually fizzled out.
The complainant said her memories of the alleged incident were later “triggered” when Layfield was appointed head of strings at the college, which she found “absolutely disgraceful”.
She said she rang Professor Edward Gregson, then principal of the RNCM, but said she got the impression that unless she was prepared to “cry rape” and go to court then Layfield would not have the job taken away from him.
The complainant said she felt “fobbed off” and she was not prepared to take it any further legally at that stage.
Asked by the interviewing officer how the alleged rape affected her life, she replied: “I never like being a victim. I am not that sort of person.
“I really hate him. I have spent far too long thinking about it. What I really, really want is closure.”
The trial continues tomorrow when the complainant will give evidence.


Slipped Disc
, June 1st, 2015
Norman Lebrecht, ‘The Third Chetham’s Sex Abuse Trial Begins’

The rape trial has opened at Manchester Crown Court of Malcolm Layfield, former violin teacher at Chethams School and head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
Layfield is an internationally known teacher and performer. Founder of the Goldberg Ensemble, he has appeared at New York’s international Bang on a Can festival and claims to have played as concertmaster at the Carmel Bach Festival in California*. He was also leader of the London Bach Orchestra.
According to prosecution statements tweeted from the court by the Guardian’s Helen Pidd:
– In the summer of 1982 Malcolm Layfield raped an 18-year-old pupil he taught the violin, Manchester crown court hears.
– Malcolm Layfield admits “inappropriate sexual relationships” with a number of pupils, including the complainant, but denies 1 count of rape.

– One of Malcolm Layfield’s pupils claims he plied her with drink and drove her to “the middle of nowhere” and raped her when she was 18.
– A police video interview given by Layfield’s alleged victim is shown to the jury. Supervision “woefully inadequate” at Chetham’s in 1982.
The BBC’s Dave Guest adds:
– In video interview Mr Layfield’s accuser says: “He was going to have sex with me and there was nothing I could do about it.”
For updates on the trial follow @helenpidd and @mrdaveguest.
This is the third of five likely trials exposing allegations of decades of sexual abuse at Chetham’s and RNCM.
Michael Brewer, Chetham’s former Director of Music, was jailed for six years for assaults on a 14 year-old girl; his accuser, Frances Andrade, killed herself during the course of the trial.
Nicholas Smith, a conducting teacher, was jailed last year for eight months.
After Layfield, trials are expected of Wen Zhou Li and Chris Ling, both ex-Chet’s teachers.
The present head of Chet’s, Claire Moreland, who was not there at the time of the alleged offences, has announced her early retirement.

Here’s a PA report on the trial’s first day.
* Update: we are informed by the Carmel Bach Festival that he participated once, in 1994, as second chair in the first violins, not as concertmaster.


Mail Online
, June 1st, 2015
Khaleda Rahman, ‘Violin teacher at world famous music school ‘used his power and influence to rape female student, 18, on trip to Cornwall”

Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have committed offence in back of his car
The jury were told it was a case about ‘abuse of power’ by the defendant
He worked at ‘world renowned’ Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester
Court told the pair did have a six-month consensual sexual relationship
A violin teacher at a world famous music school allegedly used his ‘power and influence’ to rape an 18-year-old female student during a trip to Cornwall, a court has heard.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have committed the offence in the back of his car during the trip after he plied his alleged victim with alcohol in the early 1980s.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court were told it was a case about an ‘abuse of power’ by the defendant who worked at the ‘world renowned’ Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, both in Manchester.
Prosecutor Peter Cadwallader said: ‘He was a fine teacher with power and influence. He taught highly gifted students, many of whom had ambitions to go with their talent.
‘It is alleged, in short, that he used his power and influence improperly.
‘He admits that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with a number of female students.
‘The complainant in this case was one such student.’
He told the jury that the pair did have a consensual sexual relationship which lasted for about six weeks, but that the first occasion they had sex was rape.
Mr Cadwallader said: ‘For the ambitious student, her violin teacher was critical.
‘Not only for her progress at those two institutions, Chetham’s and the Royal Northern College of Music, but also for his influence on her future music career.
‘We suggest that he used that power and influence in an improper and inappropriate way, in essence, to obtain sex.’
Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies rape. The trial continues.


Manchester Evening News
, June 1st, 2015
Chris Osuh, ‘Chetham’s School abuse case: Violin teacher Malcolm Layfield acused of raping vulnerable pupil in the 1980s; The respected tutor is accused of attacking a teenage girl during school trip. He denies rape’

A respected violin tutor ‘raped’ a teenage girl while working at the city’s ‘world-renowned’ Chetham’s School of Music, a court has been told.
Malcolm Layfield is alleged to have gone on to work as head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2001 – despite management learning of the allegation against him.
A Manchester Crown Court sex trial has been told he raped a ‘vulnerable’ Chetham’s pupil in the back of his car on a school trip during the 1980s.
In a video of a March 2013 police interview played to the jury the complainant, now a middle-aged woman, said: “I didn’t want it – I was plied with drink, I was in the middle of nowhere.”
Mr Layfield, 63, of Victoria Pit Marina, Higher Poynton, Cheshire, who is also known as John Layfield, denies rape.
The jury has been told it may be asked to consider whether there was ‘an element of the casting couch involved’ in the case.
The court heard the complainant went on to have consensual sex with the teacher for six weeks.
“There was no affection, there was no romance, nothing. It was just him abusing his power to get sex… nothing apart from stiff drinks in the bar and sordid sex in the back of his car. My self-esteem was at rock bottom – I was Malcolm’s bit on the side,” the woman said.
The woman told police that when she was at at Chetham’s Mr Layfield was ‘very friendly’ and the ‘teacher to be with’.
Describing the alleged rape that led to the ‘affair’, she claimed he ‘targeted’ her on a summer school event organised by him and his wife, confiding in her about an ‘affair’ he was conducting in London.
On the last night of the trip, its alleged, Mr Layfield ‘plied’ the victim with whisky during a party game of ‘sardines’.
“At this point I was staring to get worried”, she said, “but I still thought it’s not going to happen to me.”
He is later alleged to have ordered the pupil into his car, where the alleged attack took place.
The woman said: “He was going to have sex with me and there was not a thing I could do about it… I was in danger. There was no violence but he was using his strength. I suppose I just gave in and I have hated myself for that ever since… he’s a real bully… I hate him.” Proceeding


The Guardian
, June 1st, 2015
Helen Pidd, ‘Violin teacher raped former student, court hears; Malcolm Layfield admits ‘inappropriate sexual relationships’ but denies abusing his power to assault former Chetham’s school of music pupil’

A violin teacher abused his power and influence to rape a pupil from a world-renowned music school in Manchester, a court has heard.
Malcolm Layfield, former head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and a one-time violin tutor at Chetham’s school of music in Manchester, admits having “inappropriate sexual relationships” with a number of his former students, including the rape complainant, a jury at Manchester crown court was told.
But the 63-year-old denies raping her in the back of his car at a summer camp in the early 1980s, when she was 18 and he was a married father in his early 30s.
Layfield’s alleged victim claims the rape took place the summer she left Chetham’s, where she had been a boarder.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Peter Cadwallader told the jury that the case involved “abuse of power”. Layfield was a “fine teacher with power and influence” who taught “highly gifted” and ambitious students, said the barrister.
“It is alleged, in short, that he used his power and influence improperly. He admits that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with a number of his former students. [The complainant, who cannot be named,] was one such student,” said Cadwallader, adding: “It will be a matter for you to consider whether there was something of the casting couch involved.”
In a police video interview played to the jury, the complainant described how Layfield groomed her by offering her lifts back from rehearsals. During the journey, he would confide in her about an affair he was having with a woman in London. “He asked me whether he should tell his wife. I was the confidante,” the witness said. “He did this, very calculated, so I was the person he would talk to.”
He would also make inappropriate remarks during their lessons, once commenting that she looked like she had “no clothes on” when she turned up in white dungarees.
Layfield also acted as a “father figure”. But he had a reputation for lavishing inappropriate attention on female pupils, said the woman. Chetham’s, said the complainant, was a place where supervision was “wholly inadequate” and children “ran riot”.
The woman described the evening leading up to the alleged rape at a summer camp in Cornwall where he plied her with whiskey. It was organised by Layfield and his wife at a cottage where they were staying with their young children.
After going to bed, she remembers waking up hearing Layfield saying “let’s get [her] up” and pulling her out of her sleeping bag with the help of two male pupils. She then recalled him driving her “to the middle of nowhere” and forcing himself on her in the back seat of the car. She described trying to pull away from him as he used his strength to rape her, before driving them back to the cottage, where his wife was up and making breakfast for his children.
Later that year, he would have sex with her after drinks at a college bar, usually in the back of his car in an abandoned car park. Once he instigated sex in the front room of his house in Didsbury, south Manchester, while his wife and children were home, she said. He was “disgusting”, the woman said, insisting that while she consented on these later occasions, she never wanted to sleep with him but felt she had to.
“He called it an affair. But it wasn’t an affair. There was no affection, no romance. It was him abusing his power to get sex. That’s what it was,” she said. “He was only interested in his own career and getting on in the music business.”
She said he once threatened to stop her getting freelance work as a musician and said she felt humiliated by being “Malcolm’s bit on the side”.
The court heard the woman first made an official complaint about Layfield in 2001, when he was promoted to head of strings at the RNCM. She described writing a letter to the then principal, Edward Gregson, telling him what Layfield had done to her and others and urging him to reconsider the appointment.
Layfield got the job and only resigned in February 2013 after Greater Manchester police began investigating him for rape.
The case continues.


BreakingNews.ie
, June 1st, 2015
‘Violin teacher ‘used power to rape”

A violin teacher in the UK improperly used his “power and influence” to rape an 18-year-old female student, a jury has heard.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have committed the offence in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall after he plied his alleged victim with alcohol.
Jurors at Manchester Crown Court were told it was a case about “abuse of power” in the early 1980s by the defendant who worked at the “world renowned” Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, both in Manchester.
Prosecutor Peter Cadwallader said: “He was a fine teacher with power and influence. He taught highly gifted students, many of whom had ambitions to go with their talent.
“It is alleged, in short, that he used his power and influence improperly.
“He admits that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with a number of female students.
“The complainant in this case was one such student.”
He told the jury that the pair did have a consensual sexual relationship which lasted for about six weeks but that the first occasion they had sex was rape.
Mr Cadwallader said: “For the ambitious student, her violin teacher was critical.
“Not only for her progress at those two institutions, Chetham’s and the Royal Northern College of Music, but also for his influence on her future music career.
“We suggest that he used that power and influence in an improper and inappropriate way, in essence, to obtain sex.”
Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies rape.
The jury was played a video of the police interview with the complainant.
She said she had studied at Chetham’s from the age of 14 where supervision was “woefully inadequate” and students were allowed to “run riot”.
She told a detective: “Malcolm went out of his way to cultivate a relationship where he was the mentor, the father figure.
“He always wanted to know what everyone was doing … inappropriate conversations. He wanted to be extra-friendly.”
She said he bought alcohol in the pub for under-age students on a previous school trip.
During the Cornwall trip, she said, he confided in her that he was cheating on his wife with a woman in London.
Recalling the alleged rape, she said: “There was no violence but he was using his strength.
“I suppose I just gave in and I have hated myself for that ever since. In some ways I was protecting him … how could he do that to someone? He clearly had no respect for women. He clearly targets women. I was a target.
“He knew he was going to do this. I couldn’t deal with it.”
She said she went on to have sex with him in the back of his car in disused areas after lessons at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
The complainant said Layfield initiated sex with her on one occasion at his former home in Didsbury while his wife and children were in the house.
She said: “I was just going along with it. I didn’t want it. I didn’t fancy him.
“I was just not equipped to deal with it.
“He called them affairs. It was not an affair for me. There was no romance. It was just him abusing his power to get sex.”
She said he later told her that if she changed teachers at the college he would take all her freelance work away from her.
“Again, I was under his influence,” she said. “I really thought he was going to do that.
“He was a real bully as well. He was only interested in his own career and getting on in the music business.”
She said she would cry during lessons with him before the relationship eventually fizzled out.
The complainant said her memories of the alleged incident were later “triggered” when Layfield was appointed head of strings at the college, which she found “absolutely disgraceful”.
She said she rang Professor Edward Gregson, then principal of the RNCM, but said she got the impression that unless she was prepared to “cry rape” and go to court then Layfield would not have the job taken away from him.
The complainant said she felt “fobbed off” and she was not prepared to take it any further legally at that stage.
Asked by the interviewing officer how the alleged rape affected her life, she replied: “I never like being a victim. I am not that sort of person.
“I really hate him. I have spent far too long thinking about it. What I really, really want is closure.”
The trial continues tomorrow when the complainant will give evidence.


BBC News
, June 1st, 2015
‘Chetham’s music professor ‘raped student in car’, court hears’

A former professor at a prestigious music school used his “power and influence” in order to rape a female student, a court has heard.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, denies raping an 18-year-old from Chetham’s School of Music in the early 1980s.
Manchester Crown Court heard the attack occurred during a trip to Cornwall.
Prosecutor David Cadwallader said the alleged victim didn’t complain at the time “because nobody would have believed her back then.”
She said Mr Layfield plied her with drink, took her to a remote spot in his car and raped her.
The court heard the student went on to have a consensual relationship with Mr Layfield.
‘I didn’t fancy him’
But Mr Cadwallader said she only “went along” with it despite her reluctance, because the teacher was “critical” to her success at the school and future career.
“It is alleged, in short, that he used his power and influence improperly,” the prosecutor said.
“He admits that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with a number of female students.
“The complainant in this case was one such student.”
During a filmed interview shown to the jury, the woman described the encounter alleged to have taken place in Mr Layfield’s car.
“He was going to have sex with me and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.
“I gave in and I have hated myself for that ever since.”
Mr Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, also taught at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
In 2001, the woman wrote to RNCM alleging Mr Layfield had been involved in inappropriate relationships with students.
He was later promoted to head of strings, Mr Cadwallader said.
The trial continues.


The Times
, June 2nd, 2015
‘Music teacher ‘abused power to rape student, 18”

A violin teacher improperly used his power and influence to rape a female student, a jury has been told. Malcolm Layfield, 63, who worked at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, allegedly raped the 18-year-old student in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall in the early 1980s.
Peter Cadwallader, for the prosecution, told Manchester crown court that the teenager had been on a summer course organised by Mr Layfield and his wife, where he had plied her with whisky. “She remembers getting into his car but cannot really remember how she got there. She was very drunk by that time,” Mr Cadwallader said. “She realised he was going to have sex with her, and she felt she could do nothing about it.”
Mr Layfield, of Castlefield, Manchester, denies rape. He has admitted inappropriate relationships with several female students, the court was told. He went on to have a six-week affair with his alleged victim, although Mr Cadwallader said that the first time they had sex it was rape. He added: “We suggest he used that power and influence in an improper and inappropriate way, in essence, to obtain sex.” The trial continues.


The Daily Telegraph
, June 2nd, 2015
‘Music school teacher ‘plied student with drink and raped her”

A VIOLIN teacher improperly used his power and influence to rape an 18-yearold female student, a jury has heard. Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have committed the offence in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall after he plied his alleged victim with alcohol.
Jurors at Manchester Crown Court were told it was a case about “abuse of power” in the early 1980s by the defendant who worked at the “world renowned” Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, both in the city.
Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said: “He was a fine teacher with power and influence. He taught highly gifted students, many of whom had ambitions to go with their talent. It is alleged, in short, that he used his power and influence improperly.”
Mr Cadwallader told the jury the pair did have a consensual sexual relationship which lasted for about six weeks but that the first occasion they had sex was rape.
Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies rape. The case continues.


Daily Mail
, June 2nd, 2015
James Tozer, ‘Violin Teacher got Pupil, 18, Drunk before Raping Her’

A LEADING violin teacher plied a teenage pupil with whisky during an alcohol-fuelled game of sardines then forced her to have sex with him in the back of his car, a jury heard yesterday.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, abused his power as a tutor at the renowned Chetham’s School of Music to rape the 18-year-old, knowing his ability to influence her career prospects would ensure she did not speak out, it was claimed.
She only came forward two decades later in protest at his appointment as head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, but did not want to go to court.
More than ten years on, however, she changed her mind, and the teacher went on trial yesterday accused of attacking her in the early 1980s.
Layfield admits having inappropriate’ relationships with a number of students, the jury was told, but insists his six-week affair with his accuser was consensual throughout. The promising young violinist had been taught by Layfield at the Manchester music school from her mid-teens, the court heard, leaving Chetham’s when she was 18.
But that summer she and a number of fellow pupils went to a cottage in Cornwall for a summer school organised by Layfield and his wife.
On the final day Layfield prepared a strong, alcoholic punch’, Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, told Manchester Crown Court.
He then suggested they played the party game sardines – squeezing into confined spaces around the cottage – the court heard. Alarm bells began ringing when she realised that wherever she tended to end up, the defendant ended up, and at the same time he was plying her with whisky from a bottle that he was carrying,’ Mr Cadwallader said.
Layfield then used her befuddled’ state to persuade her to get into his car, drove her to an isolated spot and attacked her, Mr Cadwallader said.
The woman told police: There was no violence but he was using his strength. I suppose I just gave in and I’ve hated myself for that ever since.’
Mr Cadwallader said Layfield knew perfectly well’ that she was not consenting to sex, but went ahead anyway.
The following term, he said, she began studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, also in Manchester, and still taught by Layfield.
She reluctantly’ had sex with him consensually on a number of occasions, said Mr Cadwallader, adding: He had power over her progress at the college and influence over her future career within the music world.’
Layfield, of Manchester, denies one count of rape.
The trial continues.


The Strad
, June 2nd, 2015
‘Rape trial of former head of strings Malcolm Layfield begins in Manchester’

The violinist, who denies the charge, was formerly head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music and taught at Chetham’s

The trial of former Royal Northern College of Music head of strings Malcolm Layfield has begun at Manchester crown court. The musician is accused of raping an 18-year-old pupil when he was a violin teacher at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, UK.

Layfield has admitted having ‘inappropriate sexual relationships’ with several former students, including his accuser, but denies the rape – said to have happened in the back of his car at a camp in Cornwall, the summer after she left the school in the early 1980s.

The alleged victim claims Layfield, then married and in his 30s, groomed her during lifts from rehearsals. Following the initial incident, the two had a consensual relationship, but according to prosecutor David Cadwallader the accuser ‘went along’ with the affair as Layfield was ‘critical’ to the success of her career, writes the BBC.

The alleged victim wrote to the RNCM in 2001 when Layfield was promoted to head of strings urging them to reconsider his appointment. Layfield resigned from that role in 2013 after police began investigating allegations made against him as part of Operation Kiso.

The inquiry into sex abuse at Chetham’s and the RNCM began in February 2013, following the conviction of former Chetham’s head of music Michael Brewer, who was jailed for six years and stripped of his OBE. His victim was violinist Frances Andrade, who killed herself after giving evidence at his trial.


Day 2: Tuesday June 1st

Tweets from @helenpidd

The woman who accuses Chetham’s/Royal Northern teacher Malcolm Layfield of raping her when she was 18 is about to give evidence in court.

She is to give evidence behind a curtain, screened from Malcolm Layfield but visible to judge and jury.

Layfield’s QC, Ben Myers, suggests to the complainant that Layfield “took advantage” of students who wanted to impress him…

Myers says Layfield admits “inappropriate” relationships with pupils before & after that with the rape complainant. She uses term “abusive”.

Layfield’s QC accuses the complainant of “cultivating” Layfield’s interest in her, knowing he had “form” for sleeping with his students.

She denies it, saying she wasn’t dressing deliberately provocatively in black dress and fishnets the night of the alleged rape.

Complainant: “it doesn’t matter what young people sing or what they wear. It’s not an invitation to rape.” (She sang The Masochism Tango).

Malcolm Layfield’s barrister has just produced a jewellery box containing cuff links he says the complainant bought Layfield as a thank you

The complainant says she can’t remember buying the gift.

Layfield’s barrister asks the complainant if she gave me an interview, which was published in the guardian. She says she did.

A school friend of the woman who accuses Malcolm Layfield of rape says it was “the norm” for teachers to have sex with students at Chetham’s

The friend says she met Layfield at a party some years after the alleged rape and he said he still masturbated thinking of the complainant.

His wife was also at the party.

Another friend of the complainant says there was a “very strong culture” of underage drinking alcohol at Chetham’s. Layfield “encouraged” it

The friend (a man) says Layfield would tell him about having sex with other pupils and in lessons would talk about students’ big breasts.



Tweets from @clarefallon, BBC Reporter in the North:

Defence cross examine alleged victim at trial of violin teacher Malcolm Layfield. he denies raping her. He worked at Chets & RNCM

Witness under cross examination: “It doesn’t matter what young people sing or chose to wear. it’s not an invitation to rape”

She’d been asked by the defence about a cabaret performance she gave on last night of a school summer camp – when she says she was raped

She was 18 at time. Defence asking her about a performance she – and other students – gave of “the masachism tango”

Defence points out that she was wearing fishnets and a black dress. She tells court “young people can wear whatever they like”

witness says she was plied with alcohol before alleged rape “he had a bottle of whisky… he was thrusting it in our faces”

She has told court Mr Layfield would “pressure” students to go to his summer camps. “there was pressure on you to go… that’s how i saw it”

Malcolm Layfield denies rape. But says he did have inappropriate relationships with students.

asked about why she went on to have consensual sex with her tutor: “i didn’t even fancy him. i found him disgusting.”

asked why she didn’t ask to switch tutors: “u have to say why & then u’ve got a rape to deal with. I just couldn’t deal with the situation”

Defence has shown the jury cufflinks – claiming alleged victim gave them to Mr Layfield. She says it’s possible but she doesn’t remember.

witness now being re-examed by prosecution. she’s asked why she got in the car (before she says she was raped by Malcolm Layfield)

witness: “i was a bit frightened of him.
he had a side to him that could turn.”

asked about why she didn’t complain at the time – and what impact she thought complaining would have on future career…..

“I thought they wouldn’t believe me. I’d given in. You’ve got to remember that I didn’t realise I’d been raped..
I thought it was my fault.”

Another former pupil giving evidence. He also went to summer camp in Cornwall. Says Mr Layfield took them on ‘booze runs’ to buy alcohol.

witness asked about recollection of alleged victim ending up in the car with Malcolm Layfield on the night she says she was raped….

witness says: ‘malcolm would manipulate situations. we were very young and he wasn’t. he was probably organising us without us realising it’



Tweets from @amywelchitv , Correspondent for ITV Granada.

Jury in trial of music teacher Malcolm Layfield have heard evidence from alleged rape victim. She claims she was 18 when he abused her.

Defence in trial of Malcolm Layfield tells court the alleged rape victim ‘could read the signals and was ready to cultivate his interest.’

Allegedly rape victim in Layfield trial says: ‘it doesn’t matter what young people say or choose to wear…it’s not an invitation to rape.’

Alleged rape victim in trial of Malcolm Layfield tells court ‘I was frightened of him and his influence. I felt like it was my fault.’


The Guardian, June 2nd, 2015
Helen Pidd, ‘Violin teacher’s accuser cultivated relationship, court told’

Defence lawyer for Malcolm Layfield suggests pupil acted provocatively and slept with Chetham’s teacher willingly

A woman who has accused her violin teacher of raping her when she was 18 wanted to have sex with him, knowing he had form for starting relationships with his pupils, a court has heard.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, former head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, denies raping the woman, whom he taught for several years at Chetham’s school of music in Manchester.

He insists he had consensual sex with her in the back of his car at a summer school he organised with his wife in Cornwall in the 1980s. He was a father in his 30s at the time.

Cross-examining the complainant at Manchester crown court on Tuesday, Layfield’s barrister suggested she cultivated a sexual relationship with him by dressing and acting provocatively and not objecting when he confided in her about an extramarital affair he was having with one of her contemporaries.

Ben Myers QC, defending, put it to her that on the night of the alleged rape she was dressed provocatively and sang a suggestive song during an end-of-course show.

She replied angrily: “It doesn’t matter what young people sing or choose to wear. It’s not an invitation to rape.” She denied Myers’ assertion that she must have known Layfield was sexually attracted to her when he started to offer her lifts and treat her as his confidante.

Myers said: “By this time this was a man who had a reputation for getting involved with female students.”

He suggested the woman slept with Layfield willingly at the summer camp and then again in Manchester during a six-week period, including once in her own bed, and continued to be taught by him for four years at college.

He said she had rewritten history only when she graduated and moved to a different city, but was still known in the music scene as “one of Malcolm’s bits-on-the-side”.

During the cross-examination, Myers produced a jewellery box containing cufflinks that Layfield claims the woman bought him as a thank-you present when he finished teaching her at college. The complainant said she could not remember buying them.

She acknowledged having given an interview to the Guardian in 2013 about the abuse she said Layfield subjected her to.

The case continues.


ITV News
, June 2nd, 2015
‘Song was ‘not an invitation to rape’, Layfield jury told’

A woman who claims she was raped by her teacher at a Manchester music school has given evidence to his trial.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have used his “power and influence” to rape the then 18-year-old student in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall in the early 1980s.

Giving evidence before the jury today, his accuser denied she willingly had sex in the vehicle with the defendant, who taught her at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).

Earlier on the night of the alleged rape she agreed she performed a song called The Masochism Tango, wearing a black dress and fishnet stockings, as part of a cabaret to mark the end of the excursion .

Benjamin Myers QC, representing Layfield, said to the complainant: “You put yourself centre stage in a highly sexualised song directed straight at Mr Layfield?”

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: “Mr Layfield said I want you to do a cabaret and I want you to sing.”

She denied trying to impress him and said she could have chosen “a raunchy song” such as Hey Big Spender.

Mr Meyers read to the jury at Manchester Crown Court the opening lyrics of the Masochism Song by Tom Lehrer, which, he put to her, were “quite suggestive”.

The song goes: “I ache for the touch of your lips dear, But much more for the touch of your whips dear, You can raise welts like nobody else, As we dance to the Masochism Tango.” It continues: “At your command, before you here I stand, My heart is in my hand.

“It’s here that I must be, My heart entreats, just hear those savage beats, And go put on your cleats, And come and trample me.”

The complainant said to the barrister: “It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape.”

Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies rape.


BBC News
, June 2nd, 2015
‘Chetham music teacher ‘raped student who sang suggestive song”

A student wearing fishnet stockings sang a “suggestive song” in front of her violin teacher who raped her while on a school trip, a court heard.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, denies raping an 18-year-old from Chetham’s School of Music in the early 1980s.
She denied she willingly had sex in his car during a trip to Cornwall at Manchester Crown Court.
On the night of the alleged rape, she agreed she performed a song as part of a cabaret to mark the end of the trip.
‘Raunchy song’
Benjamin Myers QC, representing Mr Layfield, said to the complainant: “You put yourself centre stage in a highly sexualised song directed straight at Mr Layfield?”
The woman replied: “Mr Layfield said I want you to do a cabaret and I want you to sing.”
She denied trying to impress him and said she could have chosen “a raunchy song” such as Hey Big Spender.
Mr Meyers read to the jury the opening lyrics of the song she performed – the Masochism Song by Tom Lehrer – which, he put to her, were “quite suggestive”.
The song goes: “I ache for the touch of your lips dear/But much more for the touch of your whips dear/You can raise welts like nobody else/As we dance to the Masochism Tango.”
The complainant responded: “It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape.”
Mr Myers said it would not be disputed his client pursued a series of relationships with female students and it was accepted by him that this was “inappropriate”.
The victim would have known Mr Layfield had a reputation for getting involved with female students by the time of the trip, the court was told.
Mr Myers said: “You knew perfectly well he was turning his attention towards you and you were prepared to cultivate that?”
‘Extremely influential’
The woman replied: “No.”
The jury heard Mr Layfield provided “strong alcoholic punch” on the final night of the trip.
His alleged victim is said to have escaped his attentions as she got into her sleeping bag upstairs but recalled him telling her to get up.
She next remembered getting into his car “in the middle of the night” and driving to a beach, but could not recall how she got there.
Asked why she didn’t stay in bed, the complainant said: “I wish I had. Again it’s refusing something from someone who is extremely influential.”
She told the court no violence or threats were used to get her in the car but she “did not want anything sexual to happen”.
She did not make a complaint at the time because she convinced herself it was an affair and later went on to have consensual sex with him over a six-week period, it was said.
Mr Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, also taught at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
The trial continues.


Lancashire Evening Post
, June 2nd, 2015
‘Song ‘not an invitation to rape”

Wearing fishnet stockings while singing a “suggestive song” in front of her violin teacher, who is from Manchester, was not “an invitation to rape”, a sex abuse complainant has told a jury.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, is said to have used his “power and influence” to rape the then 18-year-old student in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall in the early 1980s.

Giving evidence, his accuser denied she willingly had sex in the vehicle with the defendant, who taught her at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), both in Manchester.

Earlier on the night of the alleged rape she agreed she performed a song called The Masochism Tango, wearing a black dress and fishnet stockings, as part of a cabaret to mark the end of the excursion.

Benjamin Myers QC, representing Layfield, said to the complainant: “You put yourself centre stage in a highly sexualised song directed straight at Mr Layfield?”

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: “Mr Layfield said I want you to do a cabaret and I want you to sing.”

She denied trying to impress him and said she could have chosen “a raunchy song” such as Hey Big Spender.

Mr Meyers read to the jury at Manchester Crown Court the opening lyrics of the Masochism Song by Tom Lehrer, which, he put to her, were “quite suggestive”.

The song goes: “I ache for the touch of your lips dear, But much more for the touch of your whips dear, You can raise welts like nobody else, As we dance to the Masochism Tango.” It continues: “At your command, before you here I stand, My heart is in my hand.

“It’s here that I must be, My heart entreats, just hear those savage beats, And go put on your cleats, And come and trample me.”

The complainant said to the barrister: “It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape.”

Layfield denies rape.


Press Association
, June 2nd, 2015
Kim Pelling, ‘Song ‘Not an Invitation to Rape”

Wearing fishnet stockings while singing a “suggestive song” in front of her violin teacher was not “an invitation to rape”, a sex abuse complainant has told a jury.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have used his “power and influence” to rape the then 18-year-old student in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall in the early 1980s.
Giving evidence today, his accuser denied she willingly had sex in the vehicle with the defendant, who taught her at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), both in Manchester.
Earlier on the night of the alleged rape she agreed she performed a song called The Masochism Tango, wearing a black dress and fishnet stockings, as part of a cabaret to mark the end of the excursion .
Benjamin Myers QC, representing Layfield, said to the complainant: “You put yourself centre stage in a highly sexualised song directed straight at Mr Layfield?”
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: “Mr Layfield said I want you to do a cabaret and I want you to sing.”
She denied trying to impress him and said she could have chosen “a raunchy song” such as Hey Big Spender.
Mr Meyers read to the jury at Manchester Crown Court the opening lyrics of the Masochism Song by Tom Lehrer, which, he put to her, were “quite suggestive”.
The song goes: “I ache for the touch of your lips dear, But much more for the touch of your whips dear, You can raise welts like nobody else, As we dance to the Masochism Tango.” It continues: “At your command, before you here I stand, My heart is in my hand.
“It’s here that I must be, My heart entreats, just hear those savage beats, And go put on your cleats, And come and trample me.”
The complainant said to the barrister: “It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape.”
Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies rape.


Manchester Evening News
, June 2nd, 2015
Kim Pelling, ‘Chetham’s abuse case: Alleged victim tells jury that singing in fishnet stockings and dress was ‘not an invitation to rape”

Malcolm Layfield, 63, accused of using his ‘power and influence’ to rape the then student while a teacher at the renowned music school. He denies the charge

A woman who claims she was raped by her violin teacher as a teenager sang a song for him while wearing fishnet stockings – but insists it was not ‘an invitation to rape’, a court has heard.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, is said to have used his ‘power and influence’ to rape the then student in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall in the early 1980s.

Giving evidence, his accuser denied she willingly had sex in the vehicle with the defendant, who taught her at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, both in Manchester.

Earlier on the night of the alleged rape she agreed she performed a song called The Masochism Tango, wearing a black dress and fishnet stockings, as part of a cabaret to mark the end of the excursion.

Benjamin Myers QC, representing the music teacher, said to the complainant: “You put yourself centre stage in a highly sexualised song directed straight at Mr Layfield?”

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: “Mr Layfield said I want you to do a cabaret and I want you to sing.”

She denied trying to impress him and said she could have chosen ‘a raunchy song’ such as Hey Big Spender.

But the complainant replied: “It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape.”

Jury members were also told that the woman was referred to as ‘one of Malcolm’s bits on the side’ after leaving Manchester.

The barrister said: “The reality is that as an 18-year-old woman you were content to get into that car, have sex and you are full of regret and anger now for what you chose to do.”

She replied: “No, that is not the case.

Mr Myers told the jury that in 2001 a ‘large number of people’ had complained that Layfield was unsuitable for his newly appointed-post as head of strings at RNCM because of his relationships with female students.

Extensive media coverage followed at the time which was ‘hostile’ to Layfield, with personal attacks on him and his family life, he said.

He said the complaints were brought to the attention of the police at the time but no prosecution followed.

Mr Layfield, who has yet to give evidence in the trial, denies rape.

Proceeding


The Guardian
, June 2nd, 2015
Helen Pidd, ‘Dressing provocatively is no rape invitation, violin teacher’s trial hears’

Woman accusing Malcolm Layfield of abusing her when she was 18 denies defence suggestion that she cultivated sexual relationship with tutor

Dressing and singing provocatively is “not an invitation to rape”, a woman has told a jury, after accusing her violin teacher of abusing her when she was 18.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, the former head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, denies raping the woman, whom he taught for several years at Chetham’s school of music in Manchester.

He insists he had consensual sex with her in the back of his car at a summer school he organised with his wife in Cornwall in the 1980s. He was a father in his 30s at the time.

Cross-examining the complainant at Manchester crown court on Tuesday, Layfield’s barrister suggested she had cultivated a sexual relationship with him by dressing and acting provocatively and not objecting when he confided in her about an extramarital affair he was having with one of her contemporaries.

Ben Myers QC, defending, put it to her that on the night of the alleged rape she wore a provocative outfit and sang a suggestive song during an end-of-course show.

She replied angrily: “It doesn’t matter what young people sing or choose to wear. It’s not an invitation to rape.” She denied Myers’ assertion that she must have known Layfield was sexually attracted to her when he started to offer her lifts and treat her as his confidante.

Myers said: “By this time this was a man who had a reputation for getting involved with female students.” Layfield had “form”, he added.

He suggested the woman had slept with Layfield willingly at the summer camp and then again in Manchester during a six-week period, including once in her own bed, and continued to be taught by him for four years at college.

He said she had rewritten history only when she graduated and moved to a different city, but was still known in the music scene as “one of Malcolm’s bits on the side”.

During the cross-examination, Myers produced a jewellery box containing cufflinks that Layfield claims the woman bought him as a thank-you present when he finished teaching her at college. The complainant said she could not remember buying them.

She acknowledged having given an interview to the Guardian in 2013 about the abuse she said Layfield had subjected her to.

Two of the woman’s schoolfriends also gave evidence on Tuesday. One, who has remained close to the complainant, recalled attending a party at Layfield’s house several years after the alleged rape. She told the jury he said then that he still masturbated at the thought of the complainant.

The woman said that at the time of the rape it was the norm for teachers and students at Chetham’s to have sex.

The other friend, a man, said Layfield would talk openly at Chetham’s about his sexual relations with female students. During lessons he would discuss their relative attractiveness and who had big breasts, he told the jury.

The case continues.


Daily Express
, June 2nd, 2015
Jan Disley, ‘Schoolgirl wore stockings and sang ‘suggestive’ song, rape trial of teacher hears’

SINGING a “suggestive song” in front of a violin teacher while wearing fishnet stockings was not “an invitation to rape”, a court heard.

Music teacher Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have used his “power and influence” to rape a teenage student in the back of his car during a school trip to Cornwall in the early 1980s.

Layfield, from Castlefield, Manchester, taught his alleged victim – then 18 – at the city’s Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. He denies the rape charge.

But, giving evidence at Manchester Crown Court, his accuser rejected claims she willingly had sex with him in the vehicle.

A jury heard how earlier on the night of the alleged attack she performed a song called The Masochism Tango, wearing a black dress and fishnet stockings, as part of a cabaret to mark the end of the trip.

It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape
Alleged rape victim

Benjamin Myers QC, representing Layfield, asked the complainant: “You put yourself centre stage in a highly sexualised song directed straight at Mr Layfield?”

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: “Mr Layfield said I want you to do a cabaret and I want you to sing.”

She denied trying to impress him and said she could have chosen “a raunchy song” such as Hey Big Spender.

Mr Meyers read out the opening lyrics of the Masochism Song by Tom Lehrer, which, he put to her, were “quite suggestive”.

The song includes the lines: “I ache for the touch of your lips dear, But much more for the touch of your whips dear, You can raise welts like nobody else, As we dance to the Masochism Tango.”

It continues: “At your command, before you here I stand, My heart is in my hand.”

The woman told the barrister: “It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape.”

Mr Myers said it would not be disputed that his client pursued “inappropriate” relationships with female students.

The witness, giving evidence from behind a curtain, replied: “Abuse, abusive relationships.”

Mr Myers said that by the time of the Cornwall trip she would have known Layfield’s reputation and that he was developing an interest in her.

He said: “You knew perfectly well he was turning his attention towards you and you were prepared to cultivate that?”

The woman replied: “No.”

The jury has heard that Layfield provided “strong alcoholic punch” on the final night of the course staged by himself and his wife.

He is alleged to have persuaded the woman out of bed and driven her to a beach

But Mr Myers said the fact she kept on her cabaret outfit meant she did not intend to stay in bed.

He said: “Looking back, you feel you were taken advantage of?”

The woman said: “I did not want anything sexual to happen.”

She said she did not complain at the time because she convinced herself it was an affair and later went on to have consensual sex with him over a six-week period.

She said: “I twisted it in my mind to protect him, his wife. I ended up fooling myself.

She said her hatred for Layfield built up at the RNCM but she did not ask for another tutor because he had threatened to take work away from her.

The case continues.


The Daily Telegraph
, June 2nd, 2015
‘Music school teacher ‘plied student with drink and raped her”

A VIOLIN teacher improperly used his power and influence to rape an 18-year-old female student, a jury has heard.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have committed the offence in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall after he plied his alleged victim with alcohol.
Jurors at Manchester Crown Court were told it was a case about “abuse of power” in the early 1980s by the defendant who worked at the “world renowned” Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, both in the city.
Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said: “He was a fine teacher with power and influence. He taught highly gifted students, many of whom had ambitions to go with their talent. It is alleged, in short, that he used his power and influence improperly.” Mr Cadwallader told the jury the pair did have a consensual sexual relationship which lasted for about six weeks but that the first occasion they had sex was rape.
Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies rape. The case continues.


Daily Mail
, June 2nd, 2015
James Tozer, ‘Violin Teacher got Pupil, 18, Drunk before Raping Her’

A LEADING violin teacher plied a teenage pupil with whisky during an alcohol-fuelled game of sardines then forced her to have sex with him in the back of his car, a jury heard yesterday.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, abused his power as a tutor at the renowned Chetham’s School of Music to rape the 18-year-old, knowing his ability to influence her career prospects would ensure she did not speak out, it was claimed.
She only came forward two decades later in protest at his appointment as head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, but did not want to go to court.
More than ten years on, however, she changed her mind, and the teacher went on trial yesterday accused of attacking her in the early 1980s.
Layfield admits having inappropriate’ relationships with a number of students, the jury was told, but insists his six-week affair with his accuser was consensual throughout. The promising young violinist had been taught by Layfield at the Manchester music school from her mid-teens, the court heard, leaving Chetham’s when she was 18.
But that summer she and a number of fellow pupils went to a cottage in Cornwall for a summer school organised by Layfield and his wife.
On the final day Layfield prepared a strong, alcoholic punch’, Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, told Manchester Crown Court.
He then suggested they played the party game sardines – squeezing into confined spaces around the cottage – the court heard. Alarm bells began ringing when she realised that wherever she tended to end up, the defendant ended up, and at the same time he was plying her with whisky from a bottle that he was carrying,’ Mr Cadwallader said.
Layfield then used her befuddled’ state to persuade her to get into his car, drove her to an isolated spot and attacked her, Mr Cadwallader said.
The woman told police: There was no violence but he was using his strength. I suppose I just gave in and I’ve hated myself for that ever since.’
Mr Cadwallader said Layfield knew perfectly well’ that she was not consenting to sex, but went ahead anyway.
The following term, he said, she began studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, also in Manchester, and still taught by Layfield.
She reluctantly’ had sex with him consensually on a number of occasions, said Mr Cadwallader, adding: He had power over her progress at the college and influence over her future career within the music world.’
Layfield, of Manchester, denies one count of rape.
The trial continues.


Day 3: Wednesday June 3rd, 2015

Tweets from @helenpidd

Martin Roscoe, former head of keyboards at the Royal Northern College of Music, has just given prosecution evidence re Malcolm Layfield.

Roscoe told the jury how in 2001 he met the woman who accuses Layfield of rape, and she told him about what happened.

Malcolm Layfield is giving evidence. He says he split up from his wife in Feb 2013 when press articles surfaced about his sexual behaviour.

Layfield says he “fancied” the woman who accuses him of raping her when she was 18; says he felt she was flirting with him beforehand.

Layfield: “I still feel incredibly bad about it. I’m remorseful and regretful about what happened in these relationships…

… “The thought that this might have affected people’s lives is one that I will always carry.” Says he’s tried to “make amends” since.

Layfield says the youngest student he had a “relationship” with in the 1980s was 17. “All of the others were over 18.”



Tweets from @mrdaveguest

Music teacher accused of raping student says he had sex with her consent with her consent.

Malcolm Layfield, former head of strings at RNCM denies raping her in the early 80s when she was 18.

In statement to police Mr Layfield said he and the student had sexual relationship for several months and remained friends when it ended.

Mr Layfield says the student he’s accused of raping gave him cuff links as a present when she graduated from RNCM.

Malcolm Layfield tells court he had sexual relationships with a number of students.

Mr Layfield admits they were inappropriate relationships and he feels remorseful but says all were with overage students.

Layfield: “I look back and feel terrible about it.”

Malcolm Layfield tells court student he’s accused of raping willingly had sex in his car. “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong”

Former music teacher Malcolm Layfield tells court about affairs with students in the 1980s and says: “I am remorseful” but he denies rape.


BBC News
, June 3rd, 2015
Dave Guest, ‘Chetham’s teacher accused of rape ‘says sex was consensual”

A music teacher accused of raping one of his students has admitted in court they had sex but said it was always consensual.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, raped the 18-year-old pupil at Manchester’s Chetham’s School of Music in the early 1980s, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Mr Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, denies a charge of rape.
He told the court he had affairs with a number of students in the 1980s but saw nothing wrong with it at the time.
But, he told the jury that looking back he now feels “terrible about it”.
‘Got her drunk’
“I am remorseful and regretful about what happened with these relationships,” he said.
It is alleged Mr Layfield raped his pupil in his car after getting her drunk during a music summer school, in the weeks after she left Chetham’s.
The defendant agreed they had had sex but insisted it was with her full consent, the court heard.
They had gone on to have a sexual relationship, which lasted for several weeks after she started studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he was her tutor.
The jury heard she bought him a set of antique cufflinks as a thankyou present when she graduated from the college.
The trial continues.


ITV News
, June 3rd, 2015
‘Violin teacher talks of ‘regret’ over sexual relations with pupils – as he denies rape’

A violin teacher has told a jury he was “regretful” about a string of sexual relationships with female students in his care but insisted he was not a rapist.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have used his “power and influence” to sexually assault an 18-year-old student in the back of his car during a residential music course in Cornwall in the early 1980s.

Manchester Crown Court has heard that Layfield pursued a number of relationships with students, the youngest being 17, throughout the decade.

Giving evidence in his defence, Layfield said he did not rape one of them who he taught at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), both in Manchester.

He claims the sex in his car on the Cornish trip was consensual.

Layfield told his barrister, Benjamin Myers QC, that the relationships were “highly inappropriate”.

Asked why, he replied: “Because the student/teacher relationship should not cross that area, and looking back I feel remorseful and very regretful about them. They should not have happened.”

Mr Myers asked: “How long did these relationships last?”

The defendant said: “Well I had a number and they lasted over different lengths of time.

“I was not brazen about them. I suppose I didn’t try to actively hide they were happening.”

He went on: “I feel still incredibly bad about it, I am remorseful and regretful about what happened. The thought that this may have affected people’s lives is one I will always carry.”

Layfield added he had since sought to “make amends” by helping in any way he could.

He later agreed with prosecutor Peter Cadwallader that his behaviour towards students in the 1980s was “shameful”.

Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies one count of rape.


Press Association
, June 3rd, 2015
Kim Pilling, ‘Teacher ‘regrets’ sex with students’

A violin teacher from Manchester has told a jury he was “regretful” about a string of sexual relationships with female students in his care but insisted he was not a rapist.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have used his “power and influence” to sexually assault an 18-year-old student in the back of his car during a residential music course in Cornwall in the early 1980s.
Manchester Crown Court has heard that Layfield pursued a number of relationships with students, the youngest being 17, throughout the decade
Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, denies one count of rape.
Giving evidence in his defence, Layfield said he did not rape one of them who he taught at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), both in Manchester.
He claims the sex in his car on the Cornish trip was consensual.
Layfield told his barrister, Benjamin Myers QC, that the relationships were “highly inappropriate”.
Asked why, he replied: “Because the student/teacher relationship should not cross that area, and looking back I feel remorseful and very regretful about them. They should not have happened.”
Mr Myers asked: “How long did these relationships last?”
The defendant said: “Well I had a number and they lasted over different lengths of time.
“I was not brazen about them. I suppose I didn’t try to actively hide they were happening.”
He went on: “I feel still incredibly bad about it, I am remorseful and regretful about what happened. The thought that this may have affected people’s lives is one I will always carry.”
Layfield added he had since sought to “make amends” by helping in any way he could.
He later agreed with prosecutor Peter Cadwallader that his behaviour towards students in the 1980s was “shameful”.
Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies one count of rape.
It is said Layfield drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.
The complainant says she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks as she continued her studies at the RNCM.
She alleges she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors.
Layfield, a former principal lead violin of the Manchester Camerata who also formed his own chamber ensemble, told the jury that he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.
On the night of the alleged rape, he said the complainant performed a song in an end-of-course cabaret which he found “suggestive” and had a “flirtatious element to it”.
He told the court: “I did think she was giving off vibes and there was a spark between us.”
The complainant went to bed but he asked a male student to get her up and she came down “perfectly willingly”, he said.
He asked her if she wanted to go for a drive and she agreed, said the defendant.
His barrister asked: “Any idea where this was leading to?”
Layfield replied: “No, not to sex. But I did fancy her and I liked the idea of being in a car with her on our own.
“We sat and talked and then I said to her do you want to get in the back of the car and she said ‘OK, I will’.”
Mr Myers asked: “Did you feel you were doing anything wrong?”
The defendant said: “I was honestly not thinking I was doing anything wrong at the time.
“We started kissing and one thing led to another and we ended up having sex.”
Mr Myers said: “After the sex, what happened?”
He replied: “We sat in the car for a while. We may have dozed off, we stayed the whole evening.
“At one point we got out of the car and watched the sunset come up.”
He said their relationship eventually “petered out” but ended amicably and he said she even presented him with a set of antique gold cufflinks when she left the RNCM.
In cross-examination, Mr Cadwallader asked the defendant: “In relation to the other students you had sexual relationships with, do you think you were doing anything wrong with them back in the 1980s?”
Layfield said: “I acted improperly and I was aware it was improper to act in that way.”
The prosecutor said: “So you knew it was wrong?”
Layfield replied: “Yes. My conduct was disgraceful at that time.
“I thought at the time it was not good but I actually went ahead and did it anyway.”
He agreed he was an “excellent and popular” teacher who was teaching “ambitious and precocious” students, and he was responsible for their safety and welfare.
Mr Cadwallader asked him: “Do you agree that you liked to be the centre of attention?”
Layfield said: “I would not describe it like that but perhaps other people would.”
The prosecutor said: “Did you like to control your students?”
“No, I do not accept that all,” Layfield said.
He denied that sex was his sole interest in the complainant.
He said: “I was quite fond of her so I refuse to debase it to that.”
Layfield also denied openly talking about the physical attributes of female pupils “behind their back” while at the college.
Mr Cadwallader said: “That was your attitude to women. Complete lack of respect.”
The defendant said: “No.”
The prosecutor said: “You saw them as sexual opportunities, you agree with that?”
Layfield said: “No. That is not how these relationships happened.”
Mr Cadwallader said: “Whenever these opportunities arose you took advantage.”
Layfield said: “They were relationships that developed with students, inappropriately.”
The prosecutor continued: “On this night in Cornwall, you crossed the line from taking advantage into rape.”
The defendant replied: “No.”
Mr Cadwallader said: “You were totally indifferent about the wishes of (the complainant), is that correct?”
Layfield said: “That is not correct.”
The prosecutor said: “You could not care less whether she was agreeing or not.”
Layfield said: “I do not accept that at all.”
Mr Cadwallader said: “She just gave in.”
Layfield said: “It was not a question of her giving in. It was a mutual thing that was happening.”
Mr Cadwallader said: “I suggest you could not care less about her feelings. You got her in the car and you used her for sex. If she agreed, good. If not, so what?
Layfield, who no longer works for Chetham’s or the RCNM, denied that was the case.
The trial continues tomorrow.


Manchester Evening News
, June 3rd, 2015
Kim Pilling, ‘Cabaret Show ‘was not an invitation to rape’; Alleged victim quizzed about song performance at trial of Chetham’s and RNCM music teacher’

A woman who claims she was raped by her violin teacher as a teenager sang a song for him while wearing fishnet stockings – but insists it was not ‘an invitation to rape’, a court has heard.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, is said to have used his ‘power and influence’ to rape the then student in the back of his car during a trip to Cornwall in the early 1980s, Manchester Crown Court was told.
Giving evidence, his accuser denied she willingly had sex in the vehicle with the defendant, who taught her at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, both in Manchester. Earlier on the night of the alleged rape, she agreed she performed a song called The Masochism Tango, wearing a black dress and fishnet stockings, as part of a cabaret to mark the end of the excursion.
Benjamin Myers QC, representing the music teacher, said to the complainant: “You put yourself centre stage in a highly sexualised song directed straight at Mr Layfield?” The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: “Mr Lay-field said I want you to do a cabaret and I want you to sing.”
She denied trying to impress him and said she could have chosen ‘a raunchy song’ such as Hey Big Spender. The woman added: “It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape.”
Jury members were also told that the woman was referred to as ‘one of Malcolm’s bits on the side’ after leaving Manchester.
Mr Myers said: “The reality is that as an 18-yearold woman you were content to get into that car, have sex and you are full of regret and anger now for what you chose to do.”
She replied: “No, that is not the case.”
Mr Myers told the jury that in 2001 a ‘large number of people’ had complained that Mr Layfield was unsuitable for his newly-appointed post as head of strings at RNCM because of his relationships with female students. Extensive media coverage followed at the time which was ‘hostile’ to Mr Layfield, with personal attacks on him and his family life, he said. He said the complaints were brought to the attention of the police at the time but no prosecution followed. Mr Layfield, who has yet to give evidence in the trial, denies rape.
Proceeding »


ITV News
, June 3rd, 2015
‘Violin teacher got girl drunk on ‘strong’ punch before rape – court told’

It is said violin teacher Malcolm Layfield drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.

The complainant says she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks as she continued her studies at the RNCM.

She alleges she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors.

Layfield, a former principal lead violin of the Manchester Camerata who also formed his own chamber ensemble, told the jury that he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.


‘Teacher didn’t think he was ‘doing anything wrong’ by having sex with teenage pupil’

On the night of the alleged rape, Layfield said the complainant performed a song in an end-of-course cabaret which he found “suggestive” and had a “flirtatious element to it”.

He told the court: “I did think she was giving off vibes and there was a spark between us.”

The complainant went to bed but he asked a male student to get her up and she came down “perfectly willingly”, he said.

He asked her if she wanted to go for a drive and she agreed, said the defendant.

His barrister asked: “Any idea where this was leading to?”

Layfield replied: “No, not to sex. But I did fancy her and I liked the idea of being in a car with her on our own.

“We sat and talked and then I said to her do you want to get in the back of the car and she said ‘OK, I will’.”

Mr Myers asked: “Did you feel you were doing anything wrong?”

The defendant said: “I was honestly not thinking I was doing anything wrong at the time.

“We started kissing and one thing led to another and we ended up having sex.”

Mr Myers said: “After the sex, what happened?”

He replied: “We sat in the car for a while. We may have dozed off, we stayed the whole evening.

“At one point we got out of the car and watched the sunset come up.”

He said their relationship eventually “petered out” but ended amicably and he said she even presented him with a set of antique gold cufflinks when she left the RNCM.


The Guardian
, June 3rd, 2015
Helen Pidd, ‘Music teacher accused of raping student regrets having sex with her and others’

Malcolm Layfield says his behaviour towards students in 1980s was ‘shameful’ but insists he did not rape the student after teaching her at Chetham’s school

A violin teacher accused of raping a student from a top music school said he regretted having sex with her and other pupils, saying he now viewed his behaviour as highly inappropriate.

But Malcolm Layfield, former head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, insists he did not rape the student, then 18, after teaching her at Chetham’s school of music in Manchester.

The 63-year-old is said to have used his “power and influence” to sexually assault her in the back of his car during a residential music course in Cornwall in the early 1980s.

Giving evidence in his defence at Manchester crown court on Wednesday, Layfield said the sex on the Cornish trip was consensual.

He told the jury that the complainant had been “giving off vibes” to suggest she found him attractive, talking of “sparks” and “sexual chemistry” between them. He said they had a short but exciting relationship following the Cornish encounter. “I suppose I was flattered, being an older man having someone like that for a lover. But the inappropriateness did not strike me then.”

The complainant had previously told the court she found Layfield “disgusting” and never fancied him, despite having a sexual relationship with him for six weeks after the alleged rape.

She said he abused his power to have sex with her and stopped her getting professional work as a musician when their relationship fizzled out. He denied this claim, saying she did not get more work in a particular ensemble because the other players in the group felt she was “not up to it”.

Layfield also denied her claim to have plied her with whiskey during a game of the game sardines, which she said preceded the alleged rape. By his account, they played sardines on a different night.

The jury has heard that Layfield pursued a number of relationships with students, the youngest being 17, throughout the 1980s. Layfield told his barrister, Benjamin Myers QC, that he now viewed the relationships as highly inappropriate.

Asked why, he replied: “Because the student-teacher relationship should not cross that area, and looking back I feel remorseful and very regretful about them. They should not have happened.”

He added: “I feel still incredibly bad about it. I am remorseful and regretful about what happened. The thought that this may have affected people’s lives is one I will always carry and what I have tried to do since then is to make amends as much as I can.”

He later agreed with prosecutor Peter Cadwallader that his behaviour towards students in the 1980s was “shameful”. He also said he regretted lying to his wife, who was up making breakfast for their young children when he returned at around 6.30am after having sex with the complainant in the car at a nearby beach.

The jury heard that the couple divorced last year. They separated in February 2013 after the Guardian published claims about his sexual behaviour with the complainant, Layfield said.

The case continues.


Day 4: Thursday, June 4th, 2015


Western Morning News
, June 4th, 2015
WMNAGreenwood, ‘Violin teacher accused of sex attack on student in Cornwall’

A violin teacher accused of sexually assaulting a teenager in the South West has told a jury he was “regretful” about a string of sexual relationships with female students in his care but insisted he was not a rapist.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have used his “power and influence” to sexually assault an 18-year-old student in the back of his car during a residential music course in Cornwall in the early 1980s.

Manchester Crown Court has heard that Layfield pursued a number of relationships with students, the youngest being 17, throughout the decade

Giving evidence in his defence, Layfield said he did not rape one of them who he taught at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), both in Manchester.

He claims the sex in his car on the Cornish trip was consensual.

Layfield told his barrister, Benjamin Myers QC, that the relationships were “highly inappropriate”.

Asked why, he replied: “Because the student/teacher relationship should not cross that area, and looking back I feel remorseful and very regretful about them. They should not have happened.”

Mr Myers asked: “How long did these relationships last?”

The defendant said: “Well I had a number and they lasted over different lengths of time. I was not brazen about them. I suppose I didn’t try to actively hide they were happening.”

He went on: “I feel still incredibly bad about it, I am remorseful and regretful about what happened. The thought that this may have affected people’s lives is one I will always carry.”

Layfield added he had since sought to “make amends” by helping in any way he could. He later agreed with prosecutor Peter Cadwallader that his behaviour towards students in the 1980s was “shameful”.

Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies one count of rape.

It is said Layfield drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.

The complainant says she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks as she continued her studies at the RNCM.

She alleges she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors.

Layfield, a former principal lead violin of the Manchester Camerata who also formed his own chamber ensemble, told the jury that he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.

On the night of the alleged rape, he said the complainant performed a song in an end-of-course cabaret which he found “suggestive” and had a “flirtatious element to it”.

He told the court: “I did think she was giving off vibes and there was a spark between us.”

The complainant went to bed but he asked a male student to get her up and she came down “perfectly willingly”, he said. He asked her if she wanted to go for a drive and she agreed, said the defendant.

His barrister asked: “Any idea where this was leading to?”

Layfield replied: “No, not to sex. But I did fancy her and I liked the idea of being in a car with her on our own. We sat and talked and then I said to her do you want to get in the back of the car and she said ‘OK, I will’.”

Mr Myers asked: “Did you feel you were doing anything wrong?”

The defendant said: “I was honestly not thinking I was doing anything wrong at the time. We started kissing and one thing led to another and we ended up having sex.”

Mr Myers said: “After the sex, what happened?”

He replied: “We sat in the car for a while. We may have dozed off, we stayed the whole evening. At one point we got out of the car and watched the sunset come up.”

He said their relationship eventually “petered out” but ended amicably and he said she even presented him with a set of antique gold cufflinks when she left the RNCM.

In cross-examination, Mr Cadwallader asked the defendant: “In relation to the other students you had sexual relationships with, do you think you were doing anything wrong with them back in the 1980s?”

Layfield said: “I acted improperly and I was aware it was improper to act in that way.”

The prosecutor said: “So you knew it was wrong?”

Layfield replied: “Yes. My conduct was disgraceful at that time. I thought at the time it was not good but I actually went ahead and did it anyway.”

The trial continues.


The Guardian
, June 4th, 2015
Helen Pidd, ‘Inappropriate sex with students did not make music teacher a rapist, court hears’

Barrister for Malcolm Layfield, who taught at Chetham’s in Manchester, urges jury to distinguish between morally wrong and criminal behaviour

Having inappropriate sexual relationships with students does not make a teacher a rapist, a jury hearing a case against a violin tutor has heard.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, has admitted behaving “shamefully” by having sex with students from Chetham’s school of music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). But he denies raping one of them in the back of his car on a summer course in Cornwall in the 1980s, when she was 18 and he was a married father-of-two in his 30s.

Ben Myers QC, defending Layfield, told the jury at Manchester crown court that it had been “open season” on his client ever since a campaign in 2001 tried to prevent him becoming head of strings at the RNCM.

The complainant was among a large number of people who wrote to the college to urge them not to appoint Layfield to the prestigious position, the court had heard.

Addressing the jury in his closing speech, Myers suggested the complainant had brought the case out of regret at becoming known as a “bit-on-the-side” for Layfield, who had a reputation for affairs with students in Manchester.

The woman had previously told the court she had a six-week consensual relationship with Layfield after the alleged rape because she felt she “had to”. But she accused him of threatening to sabotage her career as a musician if she did not submit to his wishes – a claim he has firmly denied, saying he had negligible influence on the careers of his pupils.

“We cannot convict a man of rape because a woman has come to bitterly regret her actions when she was 18,” said Myers.

The barrister urged the jury to distinguish between what was morally wrong and what was criminal. “There is a difference between wrong and unlawful, between wrong and rape. It doesn’t follow that one proves the other,” he said, accusing the prosecution of using a “good dollop of prejudice” as “Polyfilla” to mask holes in their case.

In his closing speech, Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said Layfield had an “unpleasant, even frightening, dark side.”

He said Layfield treated his female students as “little more than sex objects”, recalling how one witness claimed Layfield told her years after the alleged rape that he still masturbated at the thought of the complainant’s nipples. Another former student alleged that Layfield would openly discuss the breast sizes of his female charges.

In his speech, Myers suggested Layfield’s female students perhaps also viewed him as merely a “sex object”.

During the trial Layfield testified that he thought the complainant had flirted with him by performing a risque cabaret song with her classmates on the night of the alleged rape, recalling that she was dressed in fishnet tights and a black dress. This, Cadwallader told the jury, came uncomfortably close to the “old idea that a woman wearing a short skirt is asking for it”.

The truth, said Cadwallader, is that Layfield behaved recklessly by having sex with the woman whether she wanted to or not. Warning the jury that “submission is not consent” he said of Layfield: “In colloquial terms, he couldn’t care less. He was indifferent to her attitude towards it. And that, the crown says, is rape.”

Before the barristers delivered their closing speeches, the defence called their final witnesses.

Louise Jones, who studied violin at Chetham’s and the RNCM with Layfield, described him as a “great inspiration”. She said the Cornwall summer schools were a “real highlight” of her time studying music. Asked whether Layfield had ever behaved inappropriately to her, she said no, and recalled once babysitting for Layfield’s son and staying the night at their house.

Amanda Milne, a former cellist who performed in orchestras and ensembles directed by Layfield at Chetham’s and the RNCM, described him as “generous and an extremely good teacher”.

A character reference from Dr Colin Beeson, former vice principal of the RNCM, was read to the jury. Beeson said Layfield had been one of the most effective department heads at the college and was an “inspirational leader” who helped him when he was going through a divorce.

The judge is due to sum up the case on Monday.


The court did not sit on Friday June 5th.


Day 5: Monday June 8th, 2015

Tweets from @helenpidd

Malcolm Layfield has been found not guilty of rape. More details to follow.

The jury hearing the rape case against Malcolm Layfield only retired to consider their verdict at 12.48 today. Very quick.


Press Association
, June 8th, 2015

Layfield’s son and daughter burst into tears in the public gallery as the verdict was returned.
It was said Layfield drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.
The complainant, who he taught at Chetham’s and the RNCM claimed she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.
She alleged she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors, Manchester Crown Court heard
Father-of-two Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castleford, Manchester, told the jury he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.
He said she willingly got into his car and that sex followed between the pair which was “a mutual thing that happened”.
The pair went on to have a sexual relationship, he said, before it later “fizzled out”.
Following the verdict, Layfield’s solicitor Matthew Claughton, from Olliers Solicitors, said: “Today’s unanimous verdict comes as a huge relief to Malcolm Layfield who would like to thank friends, family and his legal team and all those who have supported him over the last two years.”


Daily Mail
, June 8th, 2015
Press Association, ‘Violin teacher cleared of rape’

A violin teacher has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old female student in the early 1980s.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, had denied the Crown’s allegation that he used his “power and influence” to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.
The defendant admitted he pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the 1980s which his trial heard were said to be “common knowledge” in classical musical circles in Manchester and further afield.
But the former part-time tutor at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) denied he “crossed the line” on one occasion during a summer music school he staged in Cornwall.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Layfield, who showed no emotion as the not guilty verdict on one count of rape was returned.
Layfield’s son and daughter burst into tears in the public gallery as the verdict was returned.
It was said Layfield drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.
The complainant, who he taught at Chetham’s and the RNCM claimed she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.
She alleged she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors, Manchester Crown Court heard
Father-of-two Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castleford, Manchester, told the jury he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.
He said she willingly got into his car and that sex followed between the pair which was “a mutual thing that happened”.
The pair went on to have a sexual relationship, he said, before it later “fizzled out”.
Following the verdict, Layfield’s solicitor Matthew Claughton, from Olliers Solicitors, said: “Today’s unanimous verdict comes as a huge relief to Malcolm Layfield who would like to thank friends, family and his legal team and all those who have supported him over the last two years.”
Layfield was a popular, gifted teacher at both prestigious establishments and an acclaimed violinist himself who performed with the Manchester Camerata orchestra and led his own Goldberg Ensemble.
He told his rape trial that he was “regretful” about the “shameful” consensual relationships he had with female students, with the youngest aged 17.
The complainant was among a number of women who came forward in the wake of the 2013 conviction of Chetham’s former music director Michael Brewer to report historical sexual abuse.
Brewer was jailed for six years after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting ex-pupil Frances Andrade, 48, more than 30 years ago when she was 14 and 15.
Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against him.
Two men were sentenced last year as part of the investigation launched by Greater Manchester Police following Brewer’s conviction.
Conductor Nicholas Smith, 66, was jailed for eight months after he admitted sexually assaulting a 15-year-old Chetham’s pupil in the 1970s.
While double bass teacher Duncan McTier was handed a three-month jail term, suspended for two years, after he pleaded guilty to sexual assaults against three former pupils he taught at the RNCM and Purcell School of Music in Harrow.
Before the start of Layfield’s trial, his barrister, Benjamin Myers QC, applied for a ban on reporting his client’s identity unless he was convicted of the offence.
Despite publicity of his arrest and his subsquent charging, Layfield argued there was “no public interest” in identifying him in the event of his acquittal.
It was said that the “protracted investigation” had been “painful” for him and his family, and that if cleared he should have the same anonymity as his accuser.
Judge Michael Henshell swiftly dismissed the application and said he was not convinced the general principle of open justice should be departed from.
Later giving evidence, Layfield admitted to a number of “inappropriate” relationships he conducted with female students in the 1980s while he was married.
He had confessed to those affairs previously in 2002, shortly after a flood of complaints came in to the RNCM on his appointment as head of strings.
Layfield quit the college following the publicity surrounding Brewer’s conviction.
He is now divorced and is not presently working, the court heard.


Slipped Disc
, June 8th, 2015
Norman Lebrecht, ‘Breaking: Chetham’s Rape Trial ends in Non-Guilty Verdict’

Malcolm Layfield, former violin teacher at Chetham’s School of Music and head of strings at RNCM, has been found not guilty of rape, according to journalist tweets from Manchester Crown Court. Te jury took less than two hours to reach their verdict.
Layfield, now 63, had insisted his sexual relationship with the teenager had been consensual, as it had been in his relations with other students around the same time, in the 1980s.
More here.


The Guardian
, June 8th, 2015
Helen Pidd and Charlie Spargo, ‘Chetham’s violin teacher found not guilty of rape’

Malcolm Layfield, 63, admitted to shameful behaviour with several female students but said sex with 18-year-old in 1980s was consensual

A former violin teacher accused of abusing his power and influence to prey on students has been found not guilty of rape.

Malcolm Layfield, the former head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), was cleared of raping one of his students from Chetham’s school of music in Manchester in the 1980s when she was 18 and he was a married father in his 30s.

A jury at Manchester crown court cleared the 63-year-old after being told during the trial that, despite having a reputation as an excellent violin teacher, he had an “unpleasant, even frightening, dark side”.

Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said Layfield had treated his female students as “little more than sex objects”.

Layfield admitted behaving “shamefully” by having sex with a number of students from Chetham’s and the RNCM. But he denied raping one of them in the back of his car on a summer course in Cornwall in the 1980s after allegedly plying her with whiskey.

The sex was consensual, he said, claiming the victim flirted with him by wearing fishnet stockings and a black dress and performing a risque cabaret song with two classmates. She denied any flirtation, saying: “It doesn’t matter what young people sing or choose to wear. It’s not an invitation to rape.”

The investigation into Layfield began in early 2013 after the conviction of one of his contemporaries at Chetham’s, Michael Brewer, the school’s former head of music.

Brewer was found guilty of sexually abusing a 14-year-old pupil. His victim, Frances Andrade, killed herself after giving evidence against him. In a text message to a friend before her death she said she felt she had been “raped all over again” after a bruising encounter in the witness box with Brewer’s barrister.

Speaking after the verdict, Matthew Claughton, Layfield’s solicitor, said after the verdict: “Today’s unanimous not guilty verdict comes as a huge relief to Malcolm Layfield, who would like to thank friends, family and his legal team and all those who have supported him over the last two years.”

During Brewer’s trial, Andrade talked of how inappropriate teacher-pupil relationships at Chetham’s were rife, mentioning Layfield as one of the tutors involved.

In 2002 Andrade was one of a large number of musicians – including the complainant in Layfield’s case – who campaigned to stop him being appointed to the prestigious position of head of strings at the RNCM.

Edward Gregson, then principal of the college, replied to Andrade in a letter, saying: “All the occurrences to which our attention has been drawn happened at least eight years ago, and in many cases much longer.

“In our discussions with Mr Layfield he has admitted, and has expressed his regret for, all the occurrences to which our attention had been drawn, and indeed some others of which we were not previously aware, which also date back eight years or more.”

Layfield resigned from the RNCM in February 2013 after the Guardian published a dossier of correspondence documenting the controversy surrounding his 2002 appointment.

He quit, saying his position had become untenable. Later that year he was arrested.

At the start of his trial last Monday, Layfield tried to prevent reporting of the case.

His barrister, Ben Myers QC, asked the judge to impose reporting restrictions preventing the media from naming Layfield as the defendant. Complainants in sex cases are granted automatic anonymity; Myers argued his client deserved the same, saying there was “no public interest” in identifying him in the event of his acquittal.

It was said that the “protracted investigation” had been “painful” for Layfield and his family, and that if cleared he should have the same anonymity as his accuser. Judge Michael Henshell swiftly dismissed the application and said he was not convinced the general principle of open justice should be departed from.

Layfield was the first Manchester music teacher to opt for a jury trial since Brewer’s conviction.

Two other tutors charged as part of Operation Kiso, Greater Manchester police’s investigation into abuse at music schools in the city, pleaded guilty without a trial.

Last November double bassist Duncan McTier was given a three-month jail term, suspended for two years, after admitting to two counts of indecent assault and one count of attempted indecent assault against young women from the RNCM and Purcell school in Hertfordshire in the 1980s and 1990s.

In September the conductor Nicolas Smith was sentenced to eight months in prison after admitting sexually assaulting a 15-year-old Chetham’s pupil in the 1970s.


BBC News
, June 8th, 2015
‘Malcolm Layfield: Chetham’s music teacher cleared of rape’

Malcolm Layfield, 63, denied claims he had used his “power and influence” to assault her in the back of his car.
He admitted he had pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the 1980s.
But the former violin teacher at Manchester’s Chetham’s School of Music denied he “crossed the line” during a summer school in Cornwall.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Mr Layfield.
‘Gave in’
Mr Layfield had been accused of driving the woman in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and raping her while she was drunk on an alcoholic punch made by him.
The complainant, who had been taught by Mr Layfield at Chetham’s and Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), said she “gave in” and went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.
She said she had been under Mr Layfield’s “influence and power” as he threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors.
Mr Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, told the jury he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers”. He said she had willingly got into his car and that sex was “mutual”.
Mr Layfield’s solicitor, Matthew Claughton, said the verdict had come as a “huge relief” to his client.
Chethams School of Music
Chetham’s is one of the country’s best-known music schools
Mr Layfield, who performed with the Manchester Camerata orchestra and led his own Goldberg Ensemble, told the trial that he was “regretful” about the “shameful” consensual relationships he had with female students, with the youngest aged 17.
The complainant was among a number of women who came forward to report historical sexual abuse after the 2013 conviction of Chetham’s former music director Michael Brewer.
Brewer was jailed for six years after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting ex-pupil Frances Andrade, 48, more than 30 years ago when she was 14 and 15.
Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence.
Two men were sentenced last year as part of an investigation launched by Greater Manchester Police following Brewer’s conviction.
Conductor Nicholas Smith, 66, was jailed for eight months after he admitted sexually assaulting a 15-year-old Chetham’s pupil in the 1970s.
Double bass teacher Duncan McTier also pleaded guilty to sexual assaults against three former pupils he taught at the RNCM and Purcell School of Music in Harrow, north-west London.
Before the trial, the judge dismissed an application to ban reporting Mr Layfield’s identity unless he was convicted of the offence.


Manchester Evening News
, June 8th, 2015
Kim Pilling, ‘News Greater Manchester News Courts. Malcolm Layfield cleared: Former Chetham’s School of Music teacher found not guilty of raping former pupil’

Mr Layfield, 63, had denied the Crown’s allegation that he used his “power and influence” to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.

A violin teacher who worked at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old female student in the early 1980s.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, had denied the allegation that he used his “power and influence” to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.

The defendant admitted he pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the 1980s which his trial heard were said to be “common knowledge” in classical musical circles in Manchester and further afield.

But the former part-time tutor denied he “crossed the line” on one occasion during a summer music school he staged in Cornwall.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Layfield, who showed no emotion as the not guilty verdict on one count of rape was returned.

Layfield’s son and daughter burst into tears in the public gallery as the verdict was returned.

It was said Layfield drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.

The complainant, who he taught at Chetham’s and the RNCM claimed she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.

She alleged she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors, Manchester Crown Court heard

Father-of-two Layfield told the jury he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.

He said she willingly got into his car and that sex followed between the pair which was “a mutual thing that happened”.

The pair went on to have a sexual relationship, he said, before it later “fizzled out”.

Following the verdict, Layfield’s solicitor Matthew Claughton, from Olliers Solicitors, said: “Today’s unanimous verdict comes as a huge relief to Malcolm Layfield who would like to thank friends, family and his legal team and all those who have supported him over the last two years.”


Express and Star
, June 8th, 2015
‘Violin teacher cleared of rape’

A violin teacher has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old female student in the early 1980s.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, had denied the Crown’s allegation that he used his “power and influence” to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.

The defendant admitted he pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the 1980s which his trial heard were said to be “common knowledge” in classical musical circles in Manchester and further afield.

But the former part-time tutor at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) denied he “crossed the line” on one occasion during a summer music school he staged in Cornwall.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Layfield, who showed no emotion as the not guilty verdict on one count of rape was returned.

Layfield’s son and daughter burst into tears in the public gallery as the verdict was returned.

It was said Layfield drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.

The complainant, who he taught at Chetham’s and the RNCM claimed she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.

She alleged she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors, Manchester Crown Court heard

Father-of-two Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castleford, Manchester, told the jury he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.

He said she willingly got into his car and that sex followed between the pair which was “a mutual thing that happened”.

The pair went on to have a sexual relationship, he said, before it later “fizzled out”.

Following the verdict, Layfield’s solicitor Matthew Claughton, from Olliers Solicitors, said: “Today’s unanimous verdict comes as a huge relief to Malcolm Layfield who would like to thank friends, family and his legal team and all those who have supported him over the last two years.”

Layfield was a popular, gifted teacher at both prestigious establishments and an acclaimed violinist himself who performed with the Manchester Camerata orchestra and led his own Goldberg Ensemble.

He told his rape trial that he was “regretful” about the “shameful” consensual relationships he had with female students, with the youngest aged 17.

The complainant was among a number of women who came forward in the wake of the 2013 conviction of Chetham’s former music director Michael Brewer to report historical sexual abuse.

Brewer was jailed for six years after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting ex-pupil Frances Andrade, 48, more than 30 years ago when she was 14 and 15.

Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against him.

Two men were sentenced last year as part of the investigation launched by Greater Manchester Police following Brewer’s conviction.

Conductor Nicholas Smith, 66, was jailed for eight months after he admitted sexually assaulting a 15-year-old Chetham’s pupil in the 1970s.

While double bass teacher Duncan McTier was handed a three-month jail term, suspended for two years, after he pleaded guilty to sexual assaults against three former pupils he taught at the RNCM and Purcell School of Music in Harrow.

Before the start of Layfield’s trial, his barrister, Benjamin Myers QC, applied for a ban on reporting his client’s identity unless he was convicted of the offence.

Despite publicity of his arrest and his subsquent charging, Layfield argued there was “no public interest” in identifying him in the event of his acquittal.

It was said that the “protracted investigation” had been “painful” for him and his family, and that if cleared he should have the same anonymity as his accuser.

Judge Michael Henshell swiftly dismissed the application and said he was not convinced the general principle of open justice should be departed from.

Later giving evidence, Layfield admitted to a number of “inappropriate” relationships he conducted with female students in the 1980s while he was married.

He had confessed to those affairs previously in 2002, shortly after a flood of complaints came in to the RNCM on his appointment as head of strings.

Layfield quit the college following the publicity surrounding Brewer’s conviction.

He is now divorced and is not presently working, the court heard.


International Business Times
, June 8th, 2015
Samantha Payne, ‘Manchester: Former violin teacher at Chetham’s School of Music cleared of raping 18-year-old pupil’

A former teacher at one of the UK’s most prominent music schools has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old pupil in the 1980s.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, denied using his “power and influence” to sexually assault the woman after allegedly getting her drunk during a music summer school in Cornwall.

The complainant said she “gave in” and then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks out of fear he would take work opportunities away from her.

The former violin teacher at Chetham’s School of Music told Manchester Crown Court sex had been consensual with her and he was not in the position to “destroy people’s careers”. He also admitted to a number of other consensual sexual relationships with students in the 1980s, which was reportedly common knowledge at the time within musical circles in the area.

A jury took less than 90 minutes to have him acquitted of the offence.


Macclesfield Express
, June 8th, 2015
Rhiannon McDowell, ‘Violin teacher cleared of raping student in the 80s’

Malcolm Layfield, formerly of Higher Poynton, was acquitted during a hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

A violin teacher has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old female student in the early 1980s.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, formerly of Higher Poynton and who worked at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, denied the allegation that he used his “power and influence” to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.

The defendant admitted he pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the 1980s which his trial heard were said to be “common knowledge” in classical musical circles in Manchester and further afield.

But the former part-time tutor denied he “crossed the line” on one occasion during a summer music school he staged in Cornwall.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Layfield, who showed no emotion as the not guilty verdict on one count of rape was returned.

Layfield’s son and daughter burst into tears in the public gallery as the verdict was returned.

It was said Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.

The complainant, who he taught at Chetham’s and the RNCM claimed she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.

She alleged she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors, Manchester Crown Court heard

Father-of-two Layfield told the jury he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.

He said she willingly got into his car and that sex followed between the pair which was “a mutual thing that happened”.

The pair went on to have a sexual relationship, he said, before it later “fizzled out”.

Following the verdict, Layfield’s solicitor Matthew Claughton, from Olliers Solicitors, said: “Today’s unanimous verdict comes as a huge relief to Malcolm Layfield who would like to thank friends, family and his legal team and all those who have supported him over the last two years.”


Classical Music
, June 8th, 2015
Katy Wright, ‘Former Chetham’s teacher found not guilty of rape’

Former violin teacher Malcolm Layfield, 63, has been found not guilty of raping a former pupil.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Layfield, who had been accused of raping an 18-year-old female student in the early 1980s.

He admitted he had pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students througout the 1980s, but denied that he had ‘crossed the line’ during a summer school in Cornwall.

Layfield had been accused of driving the woman to an isolated spot in the middle of the night and raping her while she was drunk. The complainant said she ‘gave in’ and went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.

The former violin teacher previously worked at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, refuted the Crown’s allegation that he used his ‘power and influence’ to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.

Layfield’s solicitor, Matthew Claughton, said the verdict had some as a ‘huge relief’ to his client.

Sky News, June 8th, 2015
‘Teacher Cleared Of Raping Student In Car’

The former part-time tutor admitted a number of “inappropriate” consensual sexual relationships with students in the 1980s.

A violin teacher has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old female student in the back of his car in the early 1980s.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, showed no emotion as he was acquitted of one count of rape but his son and daughter burst into tears in the public gallery when the verdict was read out.

The former part-time tutor at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) admitted a number of “inappropriate” consensual sexual relationships with students in the 1980s while he was married.

The relationships were said to be “common knowledge” in classical musical circles in Manchester and further afield, his trial at Manchester Crown Court heard.

However, he denied he used his “power and influence” and “crossed the line” on one occasion during a summer music school he staged in Cornwall.

It was said Layfield drove his victim – allegedly drunk on “strong alcoholic punch” made by the defendant – in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.

The complainant, who he taught at Chetham’s and the RNCM, claimed she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.

She alleged she was under his “influence and power” as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors, the court was told.

Layfield said she willingly got into his car and that sex followed between the pair which was “a mutual thing that happened”.

The pair went on to have a sexual relationship, he said, before it later “fizzled out”.

The father-of-two, of Castle Quay, Castleford, Manchester, told the jury he was not in a position to “destroy people’s careers” and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.

Layfield was a popular, gifted teacher at both prestigious establishments and an acclaimed violinist himself who performed with the Manchester Camerata orchestra and led his own Goldberg Ensemble, the court heard.

He told his rape trial he was “regretful” about the “shameful” consensual relationships he had with female students, with the youngest aged 17.

Layfield is now divorced and is not presently working, the court heard.


The Times
, June 9th, 2015
Fiona Hamilton, ‘Violin teacher cleared of raping pupil’

A former violin teacher at the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester was cleared yesterday of raping an 18-year-old student.
Malcolm Layfield, who also worked at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), was accused of using his “power and influence” to attack the teenager in the early 1980s.
Mr Layfield, 63, admitted that he had pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the decade. His trial was told that these were “common knowledge” in classical music circles. He denied raping one of the students during a summer music school he ran in Cornwall.
Mr Layfield, of Castlefield, Manchester, was accused of plying the teenager with a “strong alcoholic punch” before driving her to an isolated spot to have sex in the middle of the night. He said that they had consensual sex. The complainant, whom he taught at Chetham’s and the RNCM, claimed that she “gave in” and then had consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.
She alleged that she was under his “influence and power” because Mr Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors.
A jury at Manchester crown court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Mr Layfield.


Manchester Evening News
, June 9th, 2015
Chris Osuh, ‘Violin teacher cleared of raping student, 18, in the back of his car; Chetham’s and RNCM tutor told court that sex with student was consensual.’

AVIOLIN teacher who worked at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old female student in the early 1980s. Malcolm Layfield, 63, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, had denied using his ‘power and influence’ to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.
Mr Layfield admitted that he pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the 1980s.
His trial heard they were said to be ‘common knowledge’ in classical musical circles in Manchester and further afield. But the former part-time tutor denied he ‘crossed the line’ on one occasion during a summer music school he staged in Cornwall.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Mr Layfield, who showed no emotion as the not guilty verdict on one count of rape was returned.
Mr Layfield’s son and daughter burst into tears in the public gallery as the verdict was returned.
It was said Mr Layfield drove his alleged victim in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her ‘come what may’.
It was claimed that the complainant was drunk on ‘strong alcoholic punch’ made by Mr Layfield at the time.
The complainant, who Mr Layfield taught at Chetham’s and the Royal Northern College of Music, claimed she ‘gave in’ at the time – but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.
She alleged she was under his ‘influence and power’ as Mr Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Father-of-two Mr Lay-field told the jury he was not in a position to ‘destroy people’s careers’.
Neither did he encourage students to get drunk, the court was told.
He said she willingly got into his car and that sex followed between the pair which was ‘a mutual thing that happened’.
The pair went on to have a sexual relationship, he said, before it ‘fizzled out’.
Following the verdict, Mr Layfield’s solicitor Matthew Claughton, from Olliers Solicitors, said: “Today’s unanimous verdict comes as a huge relief to Malcolm Layfield who would like to thank friends, family and his legal team and all those who have supported him over the last two years.”
‘Today’s verdict comes as a huge relief ‘


The Telegraph
, June 9th, 2015
‘Chetham’s violin teacher cleared of raping student’

A VIOLIN teacher who worked at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old student in the early 1980s.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, of Manchester, denied the allegation that he used his “power and influence” to commit the offence against the teenage girl in the back of his car.
Mr Layfield admitted he had a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the 1980s, which his trial heard were “common knowledge” in classical musical circles in Manchester and further afield.
But the former part-time tutor denied he “crossed the line” during a summer music school he staged in Cornwall. A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Mr Layfield. It had been alleged in court that Mr Layfield drove the girl – who was said to have been drunk on strong punch made by the defendant – at night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her “come what may”.
The complainant, who had been his pupil at Chetham’s and the Royal Northern College of Music, both in Manchester, claimed she “gave in” but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.
She alleged she was under his “influence and power”.
Mr Layfield told the jury the teenager willingly got into his car and that the sexual intercourse which followed was “a mutual thing that happened”.


Daily Mail
, June 9th, 2015
Tom Rawstorne and James Tozer, ‘Preying on his Prodigies’

WITH his mop of ginger hair and thick-rimmed spectacles, music teacher Malcolm Layfield hardly cut the figure of a stereotypical Lothario. But when it came to satisfying his lust for young, impressionable girls, it was his power, not his appearance, that mattered.
While in his 30s, Layfield slept with half-a-dozen or so of his pupils, the youngest of them 17. Alcohol would generally be first consumed, after which sex would follow often in the distinctly unromantic setting of the back seat of his car.
The fact that Layfield was married didn’t stop him. If anything, it seemed to add an extra frisson to his philandering.
On one occasion, it was claimed that he had sex with a teenager while his wife and two young children were elsewhere in the house, though Layfield denies this.
Nor was the music master put off by the fact the girls he slept with happened to be his pupils.
A violin teacher at Manchester’s world-famous Chetham’s School of Music, time and again he abused his position for his own sexual gratification.
Details of Layfield’s predatory behaviour which he admitted was shameful’ were outlined last week during a trial at Manchester Crown Court. Now 63, he was accused of raping one of those teenage pupils in the early Eighties. She alleged that having plied her with alcohol, he pounced on her in the back of his car.
Layfield claimed the sex was consensual and yesterday the jury agreed, finding him not guilty.
But this is far from the end of it. Not only is the alleged victim planning to sue Chetham’s for failing to safeguard its young pupils, but the trial has brought to light yet more evidence of the shocking goings-on at the school, which is charged with nurturing Britain’s most brilliant musical minds.
The case also raises more questions as to why the authorities took so long to investigate the allegations, despite many opportunities.
What the jury was not told about were the links between the Layfield case and that of Michael Brewer, another former Chetham’s teacher. Brewer was jailed for six years in 2013 after being convicted of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade, also a pupil, when she was 14 and 15.
During Brewer’s trial, following a particularly traumatic cross-examination, mother-of-four Mrs Andrade, a brilliant violinist, took her own life. But not before she had told the court of her concerns about not just Brewer, but Malcolm Layfield, too.
She claimed that everyone knew about Layfield’s illicit relationships, but that Brewer the all-powerful head of music had hidden’ what was going on because he was compromised by his own abuse of her.
She also revealed that in 2002 she had reported her concerns about Layfield to police and to the college where he was then working, but no action was taken.
Only after Mrs Andrade’s death, and the publicity that followed it, would the accusations against him be investigated. Inspired by Mrs Andrade, a number of female ex-pupils, including the one who accused him of rape, came forward to voice their concerns about Layfield.
And while he may have been acquitted, he has not got off scot-free. As well as having been forced to quit his latest job, he has also been divorced by his long-suffering wife.
What he did all those years ago was always going to come back and bite him,’ said a former pupil. The only shame is it has taken so long.’
Malcolm Layfield was a gifted child from a troubled background. His father, John, killed himself aged 38, and left a suicide note which, said the coroner at his inquest, dealt with difficulties of a private nature’.
While at grammar school in County Durham, the young Malcolm took up the violin and then joined the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music and Drama, where he met his future wife, Cathie, a cellist.
He then took a part-time job in Manchester, teaching violin at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), then, in 1977, also began working at Chetham’s.
The Layfields married the same year and went on to have a son, who is now a policeman, and a daughter.
As well as teaching, Layfield performed in leading orchestras and founded the Goldberg Ensemble, a string ensemble that performs to worldwide critical acclaim.
In other words, this was a man who was going places particularly when seen through the wide eyes of his pupils. Chetham’s is the largest specialist music school in the country, with some 300 pupils, boys and girls aged eight to 18, most of whom are boarders. At the time Brewer and Layfield taught there, it would appear normal rules did not apply.
I wouldn’t have wanted to be a girl at Chet’s,’ a former pupil told the Mail. There were girls getting pregnant by other pupils at 14 it was considered perfectly normal.’
And it wasn’t just the pupils. Teaching was on a one-to-one basis, the school a hothouse where young musicians laid their souls bare’ to impress their teachers.
For Layfield, the temptations were too hard to resist. Indeed, such was his reputation, he was known as Malcolm Lay-A-Lot’, while his colleague was known as Brewer The Screwer’.
During the court case, Layfield admitted to a number of inappropriate relationships’ with pupils. In the past, he has admitted there were at least six. These, he claims, involved girls no younger than 17.
The woman at the centre of this trial was one such pupil, joining Chetham’s at 14.
Malcolm went out of his way to cultivate a relationship where he was the mentor, the father figure,’ she said.
The incident she claimed was rape took place in the early Eighties during a course in Cornwall run by Layfield and his wife. One evening, Layfield laid on a vodka punch for the pupils whom he then encouraged to take part in a risqué cabaret. Very drunk, she said she retreated upstairs and got into her sleeping bag, only to be told to come back downstairs. The prosecution claimed Layfield knew she was inebriated and took advantage of her.
He drove her in his black Lancia to an isolated spot, got into the back of the car and had sex with her.
There was no violence, but he was using his strength,’ she said. I suppose I just gave in and I have hated myself for that ever since.’
In his defence, Layfield claimed the sex was consensual and that he didn’t recall his pupil appearing to be drunk. He claimed that during the earlier cabaret, the girl had worn a black dress with fishnet stockings and sung a suggestive song entitled The Masochism Tango, which he had taken as a come-on’ directed at him.
The complainant refuted this, saying: It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape.’ She said she didn’t report the rape at the time because she feared no one would believe her.
The following term she started at the RNCM. She said she slept with Layfield on a number of further occasions, generally in the back of his car and once at his home while his wife and children were in the house (he denied this). I was just going along with it,’ she said. There was no romance. It was just him abusing his power to get sex.’
She said he later told her that if she changed teachers at the college, he would take all her freelance work, such as playing in ensembles, away from her. Again, he denied this.
After the relationship fizzled out, she said she tried to forget what had happened. But, in 2002, she was prompted to make a complaint after learning that Layfield, who had stopped teaching at Chetham’s in 1997, was to be promoted to head of strings at the RNCM.
A number of tutors at the college, led by Martin Roscoe, a world-renowned concert pianist, objected, as did some former pupils. They separately contacted Professor Edward Gregson, then principal of the college, to warn him of Layfield’s past.
Mrs Andrade also contacted the police and the RNCM.
Are you aware,’ she wrote, that when we were 16, Malcolm Layfield took various students to the pub where large quantities of alcohol were bought for the girls which made them less able to resist what then followed?’
In July 2002, the Daily Mail highlighted the allegations against Layfield and published detailed accounts of a number of women who claimed to have had relationships with him while at Chetham’s.
The modus operandi they revealed was one that usually involved drink (he was said to have kept a bottle of whisky in his car) flattery and promises to help the students’ careers.
One told how she’d had sex with him in his teaching room, another at his home after being plied with drink, only realising what had happened when I saw the whisky glass by the bed’ the following morning.
The women spoke of being emotionally scarred by their relationships’ with him, one saying she had been in and out of psychiatric care and had even attempted suicide.
Despite the seriousness of their claims, Layfield was nonetheless appointed to the post which he would hold for the next 11 years.
Principal Gregson and Lord Armstrong chairman of the RNCM’s board of governors, a former Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service under Margaret Thatcher claimed they had thoroughly looked into the claims, that Layfield had admitted to six relationships with students, and that all those involved were consenting and not under-age.
All the occurrences happened at least eight years ago, and in many cases much longer,’ Gregson wrote.
In our discussions with Mr Layfield, he has admitted and expressed his regret for all the occurrences to which our attention had been drawn, and indeed some others of which we were not previously aware, which also date back eight years or more.’
Mr Roscoe, meanwhile, received
a letter from the RNCM’s director of resources, warning him not to communicate with any third party, either inside or outside the college, about any of the details that have been considered as this might bring the name of the college into disrepute’.
He quit his post in protest.
Thanks, however, to the bravery of 48-year-old Mrs Andrade, that was not to be the end of the matter.
The trial of Brewer lifted the lid not just on his sordid abuse of Mrs Andrade (he was jailed for six years, while his wife, Kay, received 21 months for the role she had played in one incident), but also brought the spotlight to bear on Malcolm Layfield’s activities.
Following her tragic death and the conviction of Brewer, questions were immediately raised about the behaviour of a number of other teachers at Chetham’s Layfield included.
As a number of women came forward to air their concerns, Layfield was finally forced to resign his job as head of strings at the RNCM in 2013.
Soon afterwards, his wife, Cathie, a marriage guidance counsellor, divorced him leaving him with nowhere to live but on a rented houseboat that is moored in Manchester.
Layfield was initially arrested over allegations that he had raped three women aged 16 to 18, but he was eventually charged with a single count of rape.
After a trial lasting a week and with just an hour’s deliberation, the jury found him not guilty.
But while it meant that he left the court yesterday without a criminal record, the stain on his reputation is one that is unlikely ever to fade.


Slipped Disc
, June 9th, 2015
Norman Lebrecht, ‘Malcolm Layfield is Innocent. What Now?’

Slipped Disc editorial
The former Chetham’s violin and head of strings at Royal Northern College of Music was cleared within 90 minutes by a jury of the single charge on which he was tried; the alleged rape of an 18 year-old female student some 30 years ago. Layfield, 63, is under British justice, cleared of all stigma and is free to resume his career.
But the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse at English music schools has not gone away.
In court, under oath, Layfield admitted with regret to having several affairs with his students at Chetham’s during the 1980s. He was not the only teacher to do so. Evidence was heard that Chetham’s was, at best, negligent during that period in exercising its duty of care towards vulnerable teenagers. Further evidence indicated that complaints by students against teachers who abused their authority in this way were not dealt with in an appropriate manner.
Sexual abuse in English music schools has been covered up for a full generation. Those who engaged in the cover-up – governors, headteachers, teachers – have not been called to account. There remains a strong case for a public inquiry to be held where both victims and those in authority can raise their voices and lay the wretched past to rest.
The law is a blunt instrument. Malcolm Layfield, innocent, will have to rebuild his practice from scratch. A public inquiry would obviate the need for further prosecutions and allow the healing process to begin.


Music Teacher
, June 9th, 2015
‘Malcolm Layfield acquitted of rape after admitting ‘shameful’ relationships with students’

Former Chetham’s and Royal Northern College of Music violin teacher Malcolm Layfield, 63, has been found not guilty of raping a former pupil.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court took less than 90 minutes to acquit Layfield, who had been accused of raping an 18-year-old female student in the early 1980s.

During the trial, Layfield admitted that he had pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students, the youngest of whom was 17, throughout the 1980s. He described these relationships as ‘shameful’, but denied that he had ‘crossed the line’ during a summer school in Cornwall.

Layfield had been accused of driving the woman to an isolated spot in the middle of the night and raping her while she was drunk. The complainant said she subsequently ‘gave in’ and went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks.

The former violin teacher denied the allegation that he used his ‘power and influence’ – including threats to prevent her from gaining work opportunities if she changed tutor – to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.

The trial heard that Layfield was well known for having relationships with students, and his appointment as head of strings at the RNCM in 2002 was controversial.

Speaking to the BBC, pianist Martin Roscoe – who was RNCM’s head of keyboards at the time and who appeared at the trial – said he had been ‘absolutely shocked’ at the college’s decision.

Roscoe continued: ‘On ethical grounds, on moral grounds, that is the behaviour of someone who should not be put in a position of pastoral care, dealing with students of any age, in my view.’

Layfield’s solicitor, Matthew Claughton, said the verdict had some as a ‘huge relief’ to his client.

Tweet from Tom Rawstorne, @Rawsty, June 9th, 2015
‘Woman in Layfield case is now suing Chetham’s for failure to safeguard children, say her lawyers at Slater & Gordon. Signficant. @ian_pace’


The Trial of Michael and Kay Brewer and the Death of Frances Andrade, and the Aftermath, 2013

[The following is an extensively redacted version of a wider document on abuse in musical education written in May-June 2013, edited in June 2014, for the purposes of briefing several politicians on the subject. Other sections from this document were included in my previous post ‘Reported Cases of Abuse in Musical Education, 1990-2012, and Issues for a Public Inquiry’, 31/12/13, updated 12/8/14, from which I reproduce the conclusions here]


The Trial of Michael and Kay Brewer

None of the cases of abuse in musical education (see my earlier post on the subject), however, would command anything like the same degree of shock and public attention as the trial, conviction and sentencing of Michael and Kay Brewer in 2013, which has served as a major catalyst for a wider debate on the dangers of abuse in musical education. As mentioned earlier, Michael Brewer had been Director of Music at Chetham’s since 1975, appointed at the age of just 30 to the most senior musical position in the school, and had remained in that position until resigning in 1994 (though he was still working on some collaborative projects with two teams from Chetham’s in coaching and leading workshops for hearing and vision-impaired children on a project based around Sir Michael Tippett’s A Child of our Time in 2005 – see Susan Elkin, ‘Breaking sound barriers’, Daily Mail, 29/3/05). The complainant, Frances Andrade, nee Shorney, who studied at Chetham’s as a boarder from 1978 to 1982 (leaving at the age of 17), had been known for some time to others concerned about abuse in musical education for her own campaigning activities. After hearing about Roscoe’s stance against Layfield in 2002, Andrade contacted Roscoe, to tell him about her abuse at the hands of Brewer (As revealed by Roscoe interviewed by Channel 4 News, 26/3/13). She had been pursuing the cases not only of Brewer but also various other teachers at Chet’s, and had spoken both to police and the Headteacher at Chetham’s, Clare Moreland (previously Claire Hickman) about these (Information communicated to the author by e-mail from a close friend of Andrade, February 2013; also through communications with Martin Roscoe and others).

In 2009 (sometimes reported as the summer of 2011), Andrade had confided in a friend, singing teacher Jenevora Williams, who worked with choirs in St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey, and was teacher-in-residence at the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (NYCGB), that she had been sexually abused by Michael Brewer and his then-wife Kay from the age of 14 when at Chetham’s (Nick Britten and Duncan Gardham ‘Frances Andrade ‘traumatised’ by reliving abuse of 30 years ago’, The Telegraph, 8/2/13; Russell Jenkins & Lucy Bannerman, ‘Choirmaster’s victim wanted to put past behind her’, The Times, 9/2/13; Nick Britten, ‘Suicide of choirmaster’s victim’, The Telegraph, 9/2/13; Tom Henderson and James Tozer, ‘Choirmaster who abused girls and the twisted wife who joined in’, Daily Mail, 9/2/13; James Tozer and Nazia Parveen, ‘Ordeal of Rape Trial’, Daily Mail, 9/2/13). Brewer was at this time still the principal conductor of NYCGB (of which singers ranged between the ages of 9 and 22), which he himself had co-founded and served as artistic director since 1983 (see ‘National Youth Choir’ and also this site); he was also internationally well-known for his choral work with young people and led the BBC programme Last Choir Standing in 2008 (see ‘Interview with Mike Brewer’, BBC, 17/7/08). Without Andrade’s permission, Williams (whose daughter Andrade was teaching violin) took this information to the police in 2011, on account of fear for the safety of children with whom Brewer was still working, saying later ‘I’d been wrestling with my conscience as to the most appropriate course of action…I knew raking it up would cause difficulties for people but I am a teacher and disclosure of sexual abuse is something we are trained to deal with’ (see Williams’ one interview after the verdict, in James Murray and Eugene Henderson, ‘I told police of abuser to save other children’, Sunday Express, 10/2/13.). Andrade would come to say in court that she was ‘being put under pressure to give evidence’ (ibid).

Michael Brewer was arrested around August 2011 (see Lucy Bannermann and Richard Morrison, ‘Paedophile choirmaster Michael Brewer worked with children after his arrest’, The Times, 15/2/13, in which it is asserted that there was an eight month gap between Brewer’s arrest and being charged), and following the police investigation, both he and Kay Brewer were charged with rape and multiple cases of indecent assault in April 2012 (Kim Pilling, ‘Choir Director charged with rape’, Press Association Mediapoint, 27/4/12. At the time of the arrest, one former Chetham’s student, Kathryn Turner, wrote as a comment on the blog of Norman Lebrecht that ‘Sexual abuse by staff was endemic at Chetham’s school which I attended between 1969-1980’. See Lebrecht, ‘Dreadful news: Chethams teacher and wife are charged with student rape’, Slipped Disc, 27/4/12). The NYCGB suspended Brewer from his position following his being charged and quickly issued a statement on behalf of their chairman of trustees, Professor Chris Higgins, that ‘These allegations relate to events over 30 years ago, before the choir was founded, and have nothing to do with the NYCGB nor Mike’s time as artistic director’ (‘Choir Director charged with student while at top music school’, The Telegraph, 28/4/12). Chetham’s themselves, understandably unable to comment on any specifics following the arrest, issued the following statement:

“Chetham’s School of Music takes all matters regarding the safeguarding of children extremely seriously and the welfare of our students is of paramount concern to all staff and governors.
“We are aware that Michael Brewer has been charged with offences that are alleged to have happened while he was employed by the school many years ago.
“We are co-operating with this investigation but while this matter is ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
(cited in Russell Jenkins, ‘Music school couple in court on rape charge’, The Times, 8/6/12).

The trial of the Brewers took place beginning on January 15th, 2013, with Michael Brewer charged with one case of rape and 13 counts of indecent assault, and Kay Brewer charged with one count of indecent assault and aiding and abetting rape. Brewer was alleged to have regularly sexually abused Andrade in his office, touching her private parts, in his camper van, kept on school grounds, whilst he would also ask her to perform oral sex upon him outside of school, sometimes by a canal. She herself was said to have felt at the time, as a vulnerable teenager, that the abuse was a ‘small price to pay for the affection’; he had used ‘his power, influence and personality to seduce her’, using ‘flattery and affection’; Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, had described Brewer’s personality as ‘dynamic and very charismatic’. After Kay Brewer had learned about Michael’s sexual interactions with Andrade, she was said to have confronted her when she visited their house (which appeared to be a regular occurrence, including after Andrade had left the school, at which time this particular event was said to have occurred), and said that she herself (Kay) had always wanted a sexual relationship with a woman, and so that Andrade ‘owed her’. Despite Andrade’s protestations that she was not interested, Kay made her go upstairs and performed sexual activity upon her, with Michael present and Andrade tied to a bed loosely with a belt (though apparently able to escape if required); after this Andrade was required to show Kay what she had done with Michael earlier, and he had non-consensual sexual intercourse with her. From the beginning of the trial, it was made clear that Andrade had had a troubled childhood, and was rebellious and drawn to drink from a young age, though was academically and musically talented (Kim Pilling, ‘Music School Boss denies Rape’, Press Association Mediapoint, 15/1/13; Russell Jenkins, ‘Choir director and wife ‘sexually assaulted pupil’’, The Times, 15/1/13).

Furthermore, Brewer was said to have pinned another 17-year old girl to a wall during a school trip, telling her ‘you want it really, don’t you?’, though no sexual activity resulted after the girl ran off, and had had a sexual affair with a further girl, then aged 16 in the early 1990s (involving highly explicit comments about her legs and breasts, leading to her being asked to strip topless, and Brewer exposing himself when she was in his office), leading to his being asked to resign from the school after being discovered by the then-headmaster (Peter Hullah) (Pilling, ‘Music School Boss denies Rape’).

Andrade herself first appeared in court on the second and third days (January 16th and 17th – see Chal Milmo, ‘Violinist found dead after testifying against her abuser’, The Independent, 8/2/13) and told the court that she now realised that she was in the hands of paedophiles, detailing how her relationship with Brewer had proceeded from kisses through intimate touching to full sex (intensifying when she was 15), with Brewer using various techniques of flattery and seduction, saying:

I felt nurtured in many ways, I felt cared for. I felt special, I was very flattered. I did not feel at the time I was a victim. It was a relationship that developed in a completely normal way. We would kiss, he would touch me.

Andrade also revealed how she had earlier been abused by an uncle as a child, and had not known any type of other relationship before Brewer. She described how he liked her to perform oral sex upon him whilst he drove, and how Kay Brewer apparently knew everything and also said how she ‘loved’ her. After leaving the school to study abroad, she continued to receive letters from Brewer, but lost interest after finding a new boyfriend. Andrade said that she had relegated the abuse to ‘a place where I could emotionally handle things’, traumatised by those others who would be affected by it, and had initially not wanted to go to the police herself, but had changed her perspective after being asked by detectives if the allegations were true. She was apparently suspended from the school for bad behaviour, and at this point had gone to live with the Brewer family (see below for further information on this which came to the author’s attention subsequent to the trial), and would travel with them on holiday and stay with them rather than other pupils on school trips. She also described Kay Brewer asking her to touch her breasts after undergoing reduction surgery. She had also confronted Brewer in 2002 about what he had done at the time of the Layfield affair, and given him an ultimatum to confess to the police (which he did not do) (Kim Pilling, ‘Woman tells of Music Boss Sex Abuse’, Press Association Mediapoint, 16/1/13; Russell Jenkins, ‘Choir leader sexually abused musician, court hears’, The Times, 16/1/13). She affirmed that it had been a friend who had told police, and that she had initially been unhappy (Jenkins, ‘Choir leader sexually abused musician’; a further report, James Tozer and Mario Ledwith, ‘Choirmaster began relationship with rape victim when she was just 14’, Daily Mail, 16/1/13, suggests that she told a ‘doctor’ about this, and that person told police, but this is probably just a confusion arising from the fact that Williams possessed a doctorate), whilst also mentioning that she had thought Brewer to be the ‘bee’s knees’ and a special teacher ‘who needed to be worshipped’ by pupils (James Tozer, ‘Choirmaster tied girl aged 16 to his bed and raped her while his wife watched’, Daily Mail, 16/1/13). Also especially notable in terms of Andrade’s perception of Brewer’s legitimising of abuse from other teachers was the following comment, made in the context of discussing Layfield:

This was where my anger came out. Several friends of mine had been raped. I rang Mike and blamed him for it, because he was having a relationship with me and hid what was going on at the school because of it. (cited in ‘I was subjected to brutal sex attack by former Chets boss and his wife’, Manchester Evening News, 17/1/13).

The following day, however, Andrade underwent intensive cross-examination at the hands of defence counsel for Michael Brewer, Kate Blackwell QC, who told the complainant that she was ‘indulging in the realms of fantasy’ and that she had ‘told this jury a complete pack of lies about the visit to this house’ (referring to the night when the rape was alleged to have taken place), asking how she could have ‘spent the night lying next to two of your rapists?’ Andrade replied in strong terms, claiming that she had felt guilty, had not known how to get out of the situation, and attacking Blackwell for having ‘no feminine understanding of what someone goes through like that. What shock your body goes through. How you almost feel you deserve it’. Bernadette Baxter, who represented Kay Brewer, also suggested that the allegations were ‘a complete fantasy’ which were ‘designed to get attention’, to which Andrade replied ‘If I wanted attention I would have done this an awfully long time ago’. One interesting detail from this day’s proceedings, however, was Brewer’s admission that ‘I’m always in a room with an adult now because I recognise I have a problem with being attracted to younger girls’ (Kim Pilling, ‘Woman ‘lied over choir boss rape”, Press Association Mediapoint, 17/1/13).

After Andrade’s defence of her own allegations, things went worse for Brewer the following day, January 18th, with the appearance in court of the woman who as a girl at Chetham’s (becoming head girl) had had a sexual relationship with him in 1994. Evoked by the prosecution in order to prove a pattern of unhealthy interest on Brewer’s part in teenage girls, the woman claimed that whilst she did not see the affair at the time as abuse (and recalled Brewer saying to her ‘I would not want you to think I am abusing my position’, which she then agreed he was not), but saw things somewhat differently now. She portrayed a rather sordid world of encounters in Brewer’s office and practice rooms, then how she attempted to end it before going to university, with Brewer resisting this, then described him exposing himself to her, being bought presents including matching watches (and also being given Winnie the Pooh books by Kay), and how he had admitted to her being involved with one other pupil (having frequently made comments about various pupils), who he called a ‘bad girl who seduced me into bed’. Then they were found together in Brewer’s office by Hullah (after a housemistress had been alerted, who herself started to listen at doors), leading to Brewer’s resignation, after which point he tried further to contact her, which she also resisted. In conversations with the authorities, the then-girl and Brewer agreed to maintain that their relationship consisted entirely of hugging and kissing, and it became agreed by Hullah (who appeared in court the same day) after he had discovered the two that a different reason would be given for Brewer’s resignation. Hullah himself described Brewer as ‘zany and unpredictable’ but with a ‘reputation as a highly professional voice trainer’, who apparently helped pupils with personal problems and strove to help them achieve high things (Kim Pilling, ‘Music Teacher ‘fondled student’, Press Association Mediapoint, 18/1/13. I personally recall it being suggested by some individuals (including a then-teacher at the school) at the time of Brewer’s resignation that this was due to some type of scam he had going with a manufacturer of strings or bows).

Following another day of proceedings, January 23rd, in which Michael Brewer mostly spoke to his defence counsel about his feelings of desolation at the break-up of his relationship with the girl in 1994 (using the phrase that he ‘effectively committed suicide’ after the girl’s mother recorded and passed to Hullah a phone conversation, in which Brewer promised to protect the girl for her remaining time at school), resignation (but then being awarded the OBE very soon afterwards) and also gave his own description of Andrade:

I saw her as a very talented, vivacious musician but I was already aware of her problems and her lack of discipline. She found practice very difficult.
Her creativity was exceptional and her application was really poor.
She was vivacious, dynamic, commanding on stage (but) underneath was insecure, depressive, hysterical and a fantasist.

Brewer went on to deny the charges of sexual abuse (or any sexual encounters) with Andrade, and alluded to the phone call he had received in 2001 [sic] from her accusing him of abusing her and calling for him to give himself up to the police, saying that he had contacted a solicitor and been advised not to respond until he received something in writing. Otherwise he mostly went on to describe his earlier life and career (Kim Pilling, ‘I was in love with teen – choir man’, Press Association Mediapoint, 23/1/13. By this time the number of press articles reporting the trial was increasing, but most of them essentially reiterated some of the material provided by the Press Association).

Perhaps most significant in this day’s proceedings was the fact that Judge Martin Rudland ordered that five of the charges of indecent assault upon a child must be recorded as not guilty due to insufficient evidence about the age of Andrade at the time of the allegations (ibid). This left eight further counts of indecent assault and a rape charge, but it is believed by some that the information about the dropped charges was received by Andrade (now back at her home in Guildford, following the trial through the media) that evening, leading her erroneously to believe that all charges had been dropped. At some point that evening or night, Andrade took her own life via an overdose , without leaving a suicide note; an iPad was found on her bed next to her by her husband Levine, with a story saying how these five charges had been dropped (Her body was found on January 24th. See Milmo, ‘Violinist found dead after testifying against her abuser’).

The extent to which Andrade’s death was provoked by this misunderstanding , or by trauma induced by being branded a fantasist and described in such unflattering terms by Brewer that day, or for that matter in response to Brewer’s own metaphorical evocation of the notion of suicide (bearing in mind that Andrade had had a previous history of suicide attempts) remains unclear, even after the recent inquest in which the coroner felt unable to deliver a verdict of suicide, on the grounds that he was unsure Andrade intended to kill herself (see Gemma Mullin, ‘Coroner slams mental health services for failing concert violinist who dies days after giving evidence against predatory paedophile former choirmaster’, Daily Mail, 25/7/14; Andy Crick, ‘Suicide is ruled out on victim of pervert’, The Sun, 26/7/14; ‘Violinist Frances Andrade ‘failed’ by mental health services’, BBC News England, 25/7/14; ‘Violinist Frances Andrade ‘did not kill herself”, BBC News UK, 25/7/14). However, news of the death quickly spread around the music world – together with the clear knowledge that this must not be mentioned publicly until after a verdict (and would be kept secret from the jury) – causing widespread shock and horror.

As the judge struggled with dealing with the fact of the chief complainant having taken her own life during the course of the trial, no further proceedings ensued until January 29th. Also at this stage, some further private discussions developed between myself, Roscoe, another woman who was a contemporary of mine at Chetham’s, D, and Philippa Ibbotson, a freelance musician and also occasional columnist on musical matters (but who had also written an article on sexual abuse – Philippa Ibbotson, ‘The hidden offenders’, The Guardian, 3/9/08) for the Guardian. I had already resolved at this stage to organise a petition calling for a public inquiry into abuse at Chetham’s and possibly elsewhere, having been aware of the allegations about Ling for over 20 years, and knowing some things also about Layfield, as well as recalling from my time at the school various male teachers having had sexual relationships with sixth-form girls (and in one case a woman having had a relationship with a boy); some of this was at the time gossip and hearsay, but often relatively clear to many who saw some of the ‘couples’ together, their body language and so on.

The editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, had been a pupil at Cranleigh School whilst John Vallins, headmaster of Chetham’s from 1974 to 1992, had been a housemaster and English teacher there; Rusbridger had invited Vallins to write a regular Country Diary for the newspaper following the headmaster’s retirement (John Vallins, ‘The Countryman and the Editor’, Cranleigh Contact No. 33 (April 2007), p. 5), which still continues to the present day. Nonetheless, Rusbridger was prepared to back comprehensive coverage not only of the continuing Brewer trial, but also wider stories about Chetham’s to be published after the trial’s conclusion. During the following two weeks, Ibbotson worked together with the young Northern editor of the paper, Helen Pidd, in consultation with Roscoe, myself and D (all of whom had connections to networks of former alumni from the school), determined to use this opportunity to reveal more of the wider abuse which had gone on at Chetham’s, concentrating above all on the cases of Layfield, Ling and Bakst (about whom evidence was coming to light of widespread groping and molestation of the majority of his female students over a period of almost three decades), seeking first-hand accounts such as would be demanded by The Guardian’s lawyers before allowing named accusations to be printed.

The trial finally resumed on January 29th with now relatively banal denials and cross-examinations of Michael Brewer by the prosecuting counsel concerning both the affair with Andrade and the former head girl in 1994, in which Brewer denied the former and minimised the extent of the latter (though admitting ‘chats’ with her when she was stripped to the waist) he did however admit that Andrade had stayed with his family at their house in Chorlton, south Manchester, allegedly because she had become too disruptive to remain in boarding (Pat Hurst, ‘No interest in schoolgirls: accused’, Press Association Mediapoint, 29/1/13; Helen Pidd, ‘Choir master accused of raping girl admits affair with another pupil’, The Guardian, 29/1/13; Russell Jenkins, ‘Music director enjoyed ‘wonderful’ chats with student stripped to the waist’, The Times, 29/1/13). Kay Brewer appeared in court the following day and tearfully denied any sexual contact with Andrade when questioned about the alleged rape, but admitting giving the girl in 1994 the Winnie the Pooh book, inscribed with a comment ‘Don’t worry about things, he is just a normal human being with all the same insecurities and doubts as you, love Kay’. By this time Michael and Kay Brewer had become estranged), and Kay described how she hoped this would provide another lasting relationship for him, whilst denying that he slept around and drawing attention to her own churchgoing activities (Kim Pilling, ‘Ex-wife denies ‘abetting’ rape’, Press Association Mediapoint, 30/1/13; Chris Riches, ‘Tearful wife denies helping choirmaster to rape girl, 18’, The Express, 31/1/13).

Earlier that week, the former Deputy Headmaster of Chetham’s, Brian Raby (who had retired in 1985), had been scheduled to appear as a character witness for Michael Brewer, but was dropped in favour of John Vallins, who was asked if aware of Brewer’s indiscretions with Andrade being ‘the talk of the school’, and of the deputy head calling in various students to make inquiries, both of which Vallins denied, saying of the later ‘I feel confident he would have passed on to me anything like that if he thought it merited serious concern’ (Pilling, ‘Ex-wife denies ‘abetting rape”).

Other figures provided character references for both of the Brewers. Lady Eatwell OBE, previously Suzi Digby nee Watts, founder of The Voices Foundation and conductor of multiple choirs, as well as a former judge on the BBC show Last Choir Standing which featured Brewer so prominently, spoke of him as ‘the world’s biggest influence in choral music for the young’, who had made the UK choral movement ‘one of the jewels in our crown’. Eatwell said that ‘Mike’ was ‘deeply concerned with the development of young people’, that ‘His personal integrity is 100 percent intact’ and ‘I’ve never heard a hint of impropriety’ (Riches, ‘Tearful wife denies helping choirmaster to rape girl, 18’). Conductor, flautist and music teacher Anastasia Micklethwaite described Brewer as a ‘wonderful man’ who had been an ‘inspiration to thousands of musicians across the world’, whilst harpsichordist Robyn Koh, a contemporary of Andrade’s at Chetham’s who had become her birthing partner and godparent to her sons, claimed Andrade had been known for being ‘prone to exaggeration’, and had never told her of being abused by the Brewers (Helen Pidd, ‘Ex-wife knew choirmaster accused of rape had affair with another student’, The Guardian, 30/1/13). Two different priests, Rev Richard Gilpin of St Clement Church in Cholrton, and Rev Stephen Brown of St Peter’s in Haslingden, spoke up for Kay Brewer, calling her ‘a very caring and responsible person’ and ‘sensitive, reliable and trustworthy’ (Riches, ‘Tearful wife denies helping choirmaster to rape girl, 18’; ‘Vicars in praise of shamed pair’, The Express, 9/2/13). Brewer’s second (and current) wife Sandra called Andrade ‘manic, hysterical and very loud’ when she had called and demanded to speak to her in 2001, but said that Brewer had revealed his relationship leading him to leave the school, and called him ‘a gentleman’ (‘Choirmaster admits being in love with sixth former’, Manchester Evening News, 30/1/13). Jenevora Williams, however, appeared to attest to her reasons for going forward to the police with the information provided her by Andrade (claiming that Andrade had agreed that she could pass on her name), and the moral dilemma she had faced, though also pointing out that she knew of no present incidents involving Brewer (Kim Pilling, ‘Teacher ‘wrestled with conscience”, Press Association Mediapoint, 8/2/13. This release is somewhat misleading as it gives the impression that Andrade had appeared again in court, when she was already dead by this point).

After a further delay occasioned by a juror having to be absent for several days, the jury retired following summings-up. Following two days of deliberations, they returned with a verdict on February 8th, finding Brewer guilty of five of the charges of sexual assault, and Kay Brewer guilty of one, though clearing both of the charge of rape (Nick Britten, ‘Woman sexually assaulted by choirmaster killed herself after giving evidence against him’, The Telegraph, 8/2/13).


The Aftermath of the Brewer Trial – Further Information on Chetham’s and Elsewhere

Press coverage following the verdict was overwhelmingly focused upon the dreadful news of Andrade’s death (See Nick Britten, ‘Woman sexually assaulted by choirmaster killed herself after giving evidence against him’, The Telegraph, 8/2/13; Nick Britten and Duncan Gardham, ‘Frances Andrade ‘traumatised’ by reliving abuse of 30 years ago’, The Telegraph, 8/2/13; Russell Jenkins and Lucy Bannermann, ‘Sex abuse victim killed herself after trial ordeal’, The Times, 9/2/13; Nick Britten and Duncan Gardham, ‘Destroyed by reliving abuse she hid for 30 years’, The Telegraph, 9/2/13.), which could now be published (and Andrade could be named as she was dead). Her son Oliver (one of four children) revealed his mother’s earlier suicide attempts, and claimed that her death had come about as a result of her having been called a ‘liar’ and ‘fantasist’ at the court. He also revealed that she had been advised by police not to receive any type of therapy until after the end of the case, which had dragged on for almost two years and become a big strain, and went onto criticise various aspects of the court system in such cases (Lauren Turner and Kim Pilling, ‘Teacher ‘let down’ by court system’, Press Association Mediapoint, 8/2/13; Kim Pilling and Emma Clark, ‘CPS defends itself over abuse case’, Press Association Mediapoint, 9/2/13), criticisms which were taken up by numerous other commentators, some focusing upon the harsh cross-examination she had undergone at the hands of Kate Blackwell, and various drawing upon comments from police chiefs, lawyers, politicians and rape counsellors (see Cahal Milmo, ‘Violinist found dead after testifying against her abuser’, The Independent, 8/2/13; James Tozer and Nadia Parveen, ”This feels like rape all over again’: Violinist driven to suicide by ordeal of trial after being branded a ‘liar and fantasist’ by woman QC’, Daily Mail, 8/2/13; Joan Smith, ‘For the victim trials can be a second ordeal’, The Independent, 8/2/13; Helen Pidd, Philippa Ibbotson and David Barry, ‘Sexual abuse victim’s suicide sparks call for review of court procedures’, The Guardian, 9/2/13; Nick Britten, ‘Suicide of choirmaster’s victim: Victim’s court ordeal raises questions over pressure on witnesses’, The Telegraph, 9/2/13; James Tozer and Nazia Parveen, ‘Driven to Suicide’, Daily Mail, 9/2/13; Chris Riches, ‘Suicide of choir director’s sex victim’, The Express, 9/2/13; Dan Thompson, ‘My tragic mum was driven to suicide by being branded liar in Chetham’s rape trial. Trial showed a dark past at Chet’s’, Manchester Evening News, 9/2/13; Elizabeth Sanderson and Tom Hendry, ‘My wife killed herself because she was on trial, not the choirmaster’: Husband’s anguished account of how abused wife spiralled to suicide after court ordeal’, Daily Mail, 9/2/13; Jerry Lawton, ‘Sex victim suicide after trial ordeal: Tragic violinist accused of lying takes own life’, Daily Star, 9/2/13; Stephen White, ”Cross-examination made me feel I’d been raped all over again’: Violinist who killed herself after giving evidence against her choirmaster abuser’, Daily Mirror, 9/2/13; Nafeesa Shan, ‘Choir perv’s victim kills herself after court ordeal: Fury over sex case trauma’, The Sun, 9/2/13l see also the Attorney General’s written answers to questions from Emily Thornberry MP on 27/2/13 and 1/3/13); the Labour MP for Stockport, Ann Coffey, backed by Childline founder Esther Rantzen, would later initiate a parliamentary debate on whether specialist courts were needed for sex abuse victims (Jennifer Williams, ‘Coffey’s Commons fight for sex abuse victims’, Manchester Evening News, 18/3/13; the House of Commons debate on 18/3/13; and ‘MP’s fight to protect abuse victims’, Manchester Evening News, 20/3/13). A string of articles portrayed a rather idealised view of Andrade, though some did mention her being given up for adoption as a baby, the death of her adoptive father soon before she auditioned for Chetham’s, her previous history of suicide attempts (dating right back to her time after first arriving at Manchester) and self-harm, and the fact that her abuse at the hands of her uncle had continued right up until her wedding (to Indian violinist Levine Andrade) in 1988 (see various previously mentioned articles, and Helen Pidd, ‘Michael Brewer’s victim told how much-loved teacher became abuser’ and ‘Frances Andrade: ‘a force of creativity”, The Guardian, 8/2/13′ ; Russell Jenkins and Lucy Bannerman, ‘Choirmaster’s victim wanted to put past behind her’, The Times, 9/2/13; Britten and Gardham, ‘Frances Andrade ‘traumatised”; Britten and Gardham, ‘Destroyed by reliving abuse she hid for 30 years’; Peter Walker, ‘Frances Andrade killed herself after being accused of lying, says husband’, The Guardian, 10/2/13; David Barrett, ‘Police argue over who told abuse victim: don’t get help’, The Telegraph, 10/2/13; Martin Evans, ‘Abuse victim Frances Andrade was told not to seek therapy, family claim’, The Telegraph, 10/2/13; Rachel Dale, ‘Sex victim death not our fault, says CPS’, The Sun, 10/2/13; David Leppard, ‘Violinist’s suicide: judge attacked’, The Sunday Times, 10/2/13; Jane Merrick and Brian Brady, ‘Chris Grayling’s rape comments raise fury after abuse victim’s suicide’, The Independent, 10/2/13; Peter Dominiczak, ‘Death of Frances Andrade will put other victims off coming forward, says Home Secretary’, The Telegraph, 11/2/13; Tom Rawsteon, ‘Rape trial ordeal drove my wonderful mother to six suicide attempts’, Daily Mail, 11/2/13; Chris Riches, ”Sacrifice’ of suicide wife in sex case trial’, The Express, 11/2/13; Martin Evans, ‘Police review after sex abuse victim’s suicide’, The Telegraph, 11/2/13; Nick Britten and Peter Dominiczak, ‘Violinist’s suicide could stop abuse victims coming forward, warns May’, The Telegraph, 12/2/13; Jonathan Brown, ‘Defence lawyers exploit the weakness of sex abuse victims, says police chief Sir Peter Fahy’, The Independent, 12/2/13. In a few other places some wider information was given about Brewer, mentioning how he had been nicknamed ‘Brewer the Screwer’, had likely groomed Andrade from the time she first entered the school, and was known by others to have asked girls in class to massage his shoulders and the like (Tom Henderson and James Tozer, ‘Choirmaster who abused girls and the twisted wife who joined in’, Daily Mail, 9/2/13).

The headteacher of Chetham’s, Claire Moreland, made a statement outside court to saying:

What we have learned during the course of the last four weeks has shocked us to the core. The passage of time between the offences and now does not lessen this shock.

“Mr Brewer has been found to have committed the most appalling acts which took place during his time at the school and he breached the trust placed in him by the school, its staff and, most importantly, the students.

“On behalf of the current school staff, I wish to express my profound and sincere apology and regret. And most of all I wish to express the sorrow and sympathy we feel for the family of our former student who died under such tragic circumstances and had to endure so much. (Cited in Pidd, ‘Michael Brewer’s victim told how much-loved teacher became abuser’. See also ‘Hurt caused by choirmaster Michael Brewer ‘must never be forgotten’, The Telegraph, 8/2/13)

Further ire was directed at the school’s having allowed Brewer to resign from his post on health grounds and thus remain working with children (Russell Jenkins, ‘Abuser quit on ‘health grounds”, The Times, 9/2/13). The NYCGB (who in an early statement went so far as to say ‘we hope that Mike Brewer’s legacies for young singers – including vocal excellence, outstanding performance opportunities, and exploring a vast repertoire – will remain core to NYCGB’s work’ (see Pilling and Clark, ‘CPS defends itself over abuse case’)) would in due course issue a statement denying all knowledge of any problems with Brewer prior to his being charged (without clarifying whether they knew of the circumstances of Brewer’s resignation from Chetham’s), and assuring readers of their operation of strict child protection policies (National Youth Choir of Great Britain, ‘News: Thu, Feb 14th 2013: Important Statement’; see also Norman Lebrecht, ‘National Youth Choirs of GB on its convicted ex-director’, Slipped Disc,. Further criticisms were aimed at NYCGB and their chairman, Professor Christopher Higgins, for allowing Brewer to continue to work with the choir during the eight-month period between his arrest and being charged, even following a concern being raised by a child protection official from Durham County Council back in October 2011; trustee Judy Grahame, chief executive of M&C Saatchi Arts, said that ‘The chairman seemed to be more concerned about protecting Mike Brewer than looking after the interests of the children, and I thought that was wrong’ (Lucy Bannerman and Richard Morrison, ‘Paedophile choirmaster Michael Brewer worked with children after his arrest’, The Times, 15/2/13; Nick McCarthy, ‘Abuser left in choir job after arrest’, Birmingham Mail, 15/2/13; Mark Tallentire, ‘Accused abuser kept in choir role’, The Northern Echo, 16/2/13).

The fruits of Pidd and Ibbotson’s investigations for The Guardian were printed over the course of the following week, creating a storm of negative publicity for Chetham’s and also the Royal Northern College of Music. First up was a story published on the day of the verdict concerning Layfield (Helen Pidd and Philippa Ibbotson, ‘Claims of sexual misconduct against second former Chetham teacher’, The Guardian, 8/2/13; see also Nick Britten and Peter Dominiczak, ‘Violinist’s suicide could stop abuse victims coming forward, warns May’, The Telegraph, 12/2/13), and a redacted version of the correspondence between Martin Roscoe and Edward Gregson concerning Layfield’s appointment (and Roscoe’s subsequent resignation) from 2002 (‘Correspondence over appointment of Malcolm Layfield at Royal Northern College of Music’, The Guardian, 8/2/13). Roscoe was widely perceived in the music world as having been vindicated and courageous for taking his stand (at considerable personal and emotional cost to himself, as he would reveal in interview) (see Charlotte Higgins, ‘After Michael Brewer: the RNCM teacher’s story’, The Guardian, 13/2/13), whilst four days later, Layfield would quit the RNCM board (Helen Pidd, ‘Ex-Chetham’s teacher quits RNCM board amid claims of sexual misconduct’, The Guardian, 12/2/13), and a week later than that would resign as Head of Strings at the college (Helen Pidd, ‘Teacher quits music college amid sex allegations’, The Guardian, 19/2/13). [This paragraph has been especially heavily redacted because at the time of writing, Layfield has been charged with one count of rape and is awaiting trial]

Next up was a series of horrifying accounts, featuring on the front page and in a large spread of the paper, bringing home to many the nature of the abuse of female students by Chris Ling, for which ten of his former students agreed to speak to the paper about their experiences, some when as young as 14. They spoke of his grooming and manipulation techniques, repeated groping, sexual touching under the pretext of a massage, requests for oral sex, use of systems of rewards and punishments (involving indecent spanking), requests for pupils to play naked in lessons and various else. One student spoke of how she took her complaints to headmaster John Vallins but nothing came of them (Helen Pidd and Philippa Ibbotson, ‘Pupils accuse third teacher of abuse at top music school’; ‘A musical hothouse where ‘Ling’s strings’ say they fell prey to abuse’; ‘Chetham’s school of music: former pupils speak out’, The Guardian, 10/2/13). Other victims contacted Pidd soon afterwards and there were further accounts of his abuse, his evocation of the figures of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady during lessons, or asking students to imagine being injected with a syringe of the HIV virus if they made a mistake, whilst one who used to clean Ling’s house at Reading at age 15 also detailed sexual assault involving nudity, blindfolding and spanking (Helen Pidd and Philippa Ibbotson, ‘Chetham’s school of music: further abuse allegations emerge’, The Guardian, 12/2/13; Helen Pidd ‘New claims emerge of sexual abuse at Chetham’s music school’, The Guardian, 13/2/13).

Pidd and Ibbotson also published accounts of five students of Ryszard Bakst from both Chetham’s and the RNCM, detailing how he would sexually assault them (sometimes as young as 13) on the sofa of his house, force their hands down his crotch until he became aroused, grope their breasts and place his hand up their skirts, sometimes disappearing in the middle of a lesson to masturbate. Bakst’s status at the school was made clear; it was said that ‘his general demeanour was quite intimidating’ and he exerted a ‘Svengali-like influence on many of his pupils’, how much of a privilege it was said to be to study with him, and how one pupil who confided in another teacher was told that this complaint should not be taken further as it would ruin some of his male students’ careers (Pidd and Ibbotson, ‘Chetham’s school of music: further abuse allegations emerge’).

Then, just six days after the verdict, many were further shocked by the news of the arrest of prominent flagship violin teacher Wen Zhou Li (who had earlier taught for a long period at the Menuhin School) on charges of rape (Helen Pidd, ‘Chetham’s music school violin teacher arrested on suspicion of rape’, The Guardian, 14/2/13). At the time of writing, Li has not yet been charged . Other journalists started to look more deeply into the culture of cover-up which had allowed Brewer’s abuse of Andrade to continue, asking various ex-students (including myself) about their knowledge of events at the time, and considering more deeply whether such abuse was an especial danger in the environment provided by a music school (see Amy Glendinning, ‘Chetham’s child sex abuse investigation widens’, Manchester Evening News, 14/2/13; Neil Tweedie, Nick Britten and Joe Shute, ‘Frances Andrade: A culture of abuse, denial and cover-up’, The Telegraph, 15/2/13; Richard Morrison, ‘The very act of teaching music made Chetham’s school ripe for fear and exploitation, say two famous alumni’, The Times, 20/2/13).

Immediately after the verdict, former Chetham’s pupils, many of who had been following the trial avidly, organised into new communities on social media to discuss their often conflicted responses to the conviction of Brewer, who had played such a prominent part in most of their schooling (as director of music, aural teacher, conductor of both orchestras and choirs at the school, and writer of reports on every single student’s progress). Divides quickly emerged: some were in denial about the verdict, others became angry about the aftermath with the new revelations about the school, many wanted to separate Brewer from anything else to do with the school, especially as it existed at present, whilst another equally large community was angered by the whole phenomenon, and began avidly discussing many other incidences of molestation, groping or other abuse, as well as a good deal of wider neglect and psychological abuse; these would remain topics of conversation for a good while. Some expressed the view that now was the time for former pupils to get behind the school at its time of need (a refrain which would be echoed soon afterwards by the management and their representatives), and for a while in amongst a 1970s and 1980s alumni community there grew bitterness towards mounting press coverage and intense hostility towards some of those (including myself) who clearly had some involvement with this. It became clear that many former pupils’ own sense of identity and reputations were quite intimately tied up with the reputation of the school, and any suggestion that the institution itself shared some responsibility were strongly rejected by that reason. Other hostility was directed towards Williams, blamed for forcing the court case in the first place (There are some hints of this perspective in Russell Jenkins and Lucy Bannerman, ‘Choirmaster’s victim wanted to put past behind her’, The Times, 9/2/13. However, Jenkins and Bannerman do quote Oliver Andrade, saying of Fran that ‘Sticking to her morals she knew she must do what was right, to tell the facts as they were and leave it to the law to decide, even as she was only just beginning to see that Brewer’s actions were indeed abuse’).

The pianist Peter Donohoe, a student at Chetham’s and the RNCM in the late 1960s and early 1970s, wrote a long blog post soon after the trial expressing his doubts about the institutions, and admiration for Roscoe in having stood up against Layfield, as well as expressing support for the ongoing petition (see below) (Peter Donohoe, ‘Sexual Abuse at Chethams and RNCM’, published early 2013). Questions were asked about Hullah (despite his having been responsible for the dismissals of Brewer, Layfield and Bakst), who went on to become a bishop (Norman Lebrecht, ‘Chetham’s head during sex abuse years became a bishop… and still heads a school’, Slipped Disc, 11/2/13).

Great Manchester Police made clear that they were now investigating the new allegations, and at first mentioned nine ‘key’ suspects (Helen Pidd, ‘Music schools sex abuse inquiry focuses on nine key suspects’, The Guardian, 18/2/13). This investigation (still ongoing) would come to be known as Operation Kiso. Meanwhile, in the light of continued negative press coverage, Claire Moreland wrote to all Chetham’s parents on February 18th to say the following:

As Half Term approaches, I am sure that you will be talking with your sons and daughters about the difficult events of the last few weeks and the ensuing media attention. With that in mind I would like to let you know that we have invited Manchester City Council Children’s Services into the School after Half Term to carry out a collaborative review with us of our Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. We welcome this visit which will take place during the week beginning 4 March. It is an opportunity for the School to demonstrate that we have robust Policies and Procedures in place which are applied routinely and rigorously.

We are confident that students are well protected. This has been borne out by inspections carried out by various government bodies in recent years. As you are aware, our procedures are also annually reviewed and approved by the Governing Body and have been regularly and independently reviewed by Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

Once the Police investigation into historical allegations has concluded we will of course be instigating an independent review of past events. I thank you for your continuing warm support and your understanding at this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to give me or any member of the pastoral team a call with any concerns, and in the meantime I wish you all a peaceful and happy Half Term break with your families. (Claire Moreland to Chetham’s Parents and Carers, 18/2/13, forwarded to the author)

The freelance critic Norman Lebrecht, who had earlier printed Nigel Kennedy’s revelations about the Menuhin School in 2003 and also coverage of the resignation of Peter Crook at the Purcell School in 2011, gave intense coverage to the Brewer trial and the fall-out from the verdict on his blog Slipped Disc, in various entries which provoked a flurry of responses. He invited the cellist Michal Kaznowski to write about sexual and psychological abuse from the late cellist Maurice Gendron in the late 60s and 70s at the Menuhin School, which led to other commentators (using pseudonyms, as was common on this blog) also relating their own unhappy experiences of the place (Norman Lebrecht, ‘It wasn’t just Chetham’s. Abuse was going on at Yehudi Menuhin School and elsewhere’, Slipped Disc, 10/2/13). Another article related allegations pointing to all of the three principal music colleges in London (the RCM, RAM, GSMD) (Norman Lebrecht, ‘Sex abuse in music schools: three fingers point to London’, Slipped Disc, 12/2/13), relating to cases which I and others working with me would discover more about in due course.

Together with two other former Chetham’s students, both pianists (and Bakst students), Paul Lewis and Tim Horton, a petition was launched in mid-February, for publication in The Guardian and then submission to the heads of the music schools and colleges, and all appropriate ministers and their shadow counterparts. The text was as follows:

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. (see Ian Pace, ‘Re-opened until May 31st, 2013 – Petition for an Inquiry into Abuse in Specialist Music Education’, Desiring Progress, 9/5/13, and the earlier entries (all replete with comments, some giving detailed information on abuse) from 16/2/13 and 19/2/13)

By February 19th, when it was published in The Guardian (Pidd, ‘Teacher quits music college amid sex allegations’, and ‘Call for inquiry into abuse allegations’, The Guardian, 19/2/13), the petition had gained around 550 signatories including over 200 former Chetham’s students; by the 24th, when it was closed for the first time, there were over 1000 signatories including over 300 from Chetham’s (including a number of former teachers), and various luminaries from the musical world (for my own reflections on the petition, see ‘Q&A: Ian Pace’, Classical Music Magazine).

During the short period when the signatures were being compiled, and also for a while afterwards, I myself received a huge amount of private correspondence, with many giving sometimes graphic (and deeply upsetting) details of much more widespread abuse spanning all five music schools and all the four major music colleges (as well as a few relating to other colleges, and to several choir schools). By this point I was now in possession of a huge amount of highly sensitive information which – if even only half of it were definitely true – pointed to there being a vast network of abuse in musical education over a long period.

For obvious reasons of confidentiality, I cannot divulge anything more than the overall gist of this information here. Suffice to say that, with respect to Chetham’s, further allegations relating to a very wide range of teachers (some of them familiar to me from my time there, but I was unaware of their being abusers), and to the situation also of students being sent away in the 1970s and 1980s to live with other people, including one especially alarming case involving kidnapping. I became aware of a very large number of alleged victims of Chris Ling, and of the fact that there might be as many as 50 (or even more) of Bakst over a period of several decades. Some claimed that when they went forward to the authorities or (in the case of Ling) to the police, they were ignored, or ostracised by teachers, houseparents and fellow pupils.

Over and above this, there were legions of stories emerging of physical and psychological abuse (some of which were unfortunately familiar): 11-year olds being violently struck over the head with large objects, blunt objects being thrown at pupils across the class, another student punched in the face by a 6’4″ teacher in front of a whole class, girls being pushed down to squash their breasts against desks by male teachers, students being publicly humiliated in front of others in wantonly cruel fashion, teachers casually smacking students on their behinds (in 2012!), liberal and enthusiastic use of corporal punishment, widespread bullying encouraged by teachers. Many stories came forward of long-term emotional instability and severe depression (and several successful suicides) from former pupils; whilst while at the school there were a great many serious eating disorders (including a hunger strike on the part of some girls which went unnoticed), much self-harm, and in the late 1990s an epidemic of suicide attempts; many were expelled afterwards. Various teachers would take out their own emotional insecurities on their instrumental pupils, one teacher regularly throwing her bags at them in a violent rage in lessons. Another would insist that she only needed 3 or 4 hours sleep per night and would insist that her teenage boys should make do with the same, to save more time for practice; one followed her instructions leading to a nervous breakdown.

The defenders of Chetham’s were now starting to become more public, and some of the community of parents and current pupils were enlisted in support of the school. Football correspondent for The Independent Ian Herbert, whose 12-year old son George was a pupil at the school, learning trumpet, piano and composition, wrote a spirited defence of the current school, standing up for head teacher Claire Moreland and director of music Stephen Threlfall, citing the conductor Paul Mann (who had interrupted applause at a concert he had recently given with the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra in London to say ‘In case you’ve been wondering, this is what the real Chet’s is about’) on how the current child protection checks ‘bear out a world unrecognisable from the Brewer days’, and saying how current pupils ‘don’t recognise this picture which has been presented of their school’ (Ian Herbert, ‘The two sides of Chetham’s: what the press reports – and what the parents see’, The Independent, 1/3/13). Two leaders of one alumni group on social media posted an appeal for people to write to Judge Rudland to urge a lenient sentence for Michael Brewer (but were met with contempt by many others).

With the information of which I was in possession (further details below), I was concerned to find a way of making more of it public (subject of course to the consent of those who had entrusted me with it) in order to strengthen the case for an inquiry. I had already sent my petition to the appropriate people, but in time received non-descript responses from the heads of the specialist music schools (in the case of Chetham’s, only the bursar, not the head, replied), whilst after a while the Department for Education made it clear that they had currently no plans for an inquiry. A similar response was received by various others who had lobbied their MPs to write to the DfE. After being contacted by Channel 4 News, and receiving various assurances in terms of victim support and legal guarantees, as well as gauging that they were the news organisation most likely to treat this responsibly whilst having the potential to communicate to a wide audience, I worked for a while with a group of others to help both GMP with general information relating to Chetham’s, and also help Channel 4 News with a major feature looking at abusive behaviour in each of the major specialist music schools.

Whilst this was going on behind the scenes, for several weeks media coverage was quieter, until the sentencing of the Brewers on March 26th – Michael Brewer received a sentence of six years whilst Kay Brewer was sentenced to 21 months (Helen Pidd, ‘Chetham’s music teacher Michael Brewer jailed for sexually abusing pupil’, The Guardian, 26/3/13; Russell Jenkins, ”Predatory’ choirmaster Michael Brewer and wife jailed’, The Times, 26/3/13; Nick Britten, ‘Jailed: predatory sex abuser who drove victim to her death’, The Telegraph, 27/3/13; Anthony Bond, ‘Paedophile choirmaster and wife are jailed for sexually abusing former pupil who was found dead after giving evidence against him’, Daily Mail, 26/3/13; James Tozer, ‘Free in three years, abusive choirmaster whose victim killed herself’, Daily Mail, 27/3/13; Chris Riches, ‘Jailed, paedophile choirmaster and wife whose victim committed suicide’, The Express, 27/3/13; Nafeesa Shan, ‘Choir perv jailed: Suicide case paedo’s 6 yrs’, The Sun, 27/3/13). Brewer was said by Kate Blackwell to ‘extend his sorrow for Mrs Andrade’s death’, but he nonetheless ‘continues to deny any offending towards her’ . The judge’s verdict during sentencing was especially telling in terms of the responses of supporters of Brewer (a significant number of whom, including many prominent figures in the music and Manchester business communities, had apparently written to appeal to him for a shorter sentence):

14. It is surprising that all those who have spoken so well of you at your trial, when called by you in your defence, did so, it seems, in the full knowledge of your relationship with M. It may well be that they were not aware of the detail of the way in which you exploited her but they were apparently nevertheless more than happy to overlook one of the most shocking aspects of this case.

15. Indeed, perhaps one of the few positive features to have emerged from this case is the resulting close scrutiny of the seemingly wider acceptance of this type of behaviour amongst those who should know better. (‘His Honour Judge Martin Rudland, Manchester Crown Court, R –V- Michael Brewer and Hillary Kaye Brewer, 26 March 2013, Sentencing Remarks’; this was noted in Pilling, ‘Chetham’s school choirmaster Michael Brewer jailed for six years’; Pidd, ‘Chetham’s music teacher Michael Brewer jailed’ and Bond ‘Paedophile choirmaster and wife are jailed’)

This was accompanied by a new stream of broadcast reports, in several of which were featured anonymous accounts by former Chetham’s students of the abuse they suffered, and also how the authorities took no notice, and some talking about how abuse claims spread beyond Manchester (‘Sex abuse claims spread beyond Manchester music school’, broadcast on ITV, 26/3/13; ‘Chetham’s choirmaster Michael Brewer jailed for sexual abuse’, broadcast on BBC, 26/3/13 (text only); ‘Chetham’s teacher Michael Brewer jailed for sexual abuse’, broadcast on Channel 4, 26/3/13). Oliver Andrade also gave a much-admired TV interview, testifying to his mother’s bravery, arguing that the judge was fair, and refusing to countenance criticism of Kate Blackwell (‘Son speaks of late mum’s legacy after her abuser is jailed’, broadcast on ITV, 27/3/13; see also Mark Blunden, ‘Son of sex abuse victim backs defence lawyer’, The Evening Standard, 27/3/13).

Then in early April the reports by the Independent Schools Inspectorate and Manchester City Council into Chetham’s were made public, and it became clear that the school had been found severely wanting. The ISI report included the following:

On Child protection policy generally:
Discussions with staff indicated that not all are clear about the process to be followed when concerns are reported or allegations made, and the procedures specified by the school are not always implemented in practice – for example, the safeguarding concerns form is not always completed and informal discussions are held instead.

Parents’ views – in response to survey carried out recently by the school about music experiences provided by school and progress made by children in music:
Approximately one-third of parents responded, the majority positively, but a very small minority of parents indicated their dissatisfaction with the information they are given about their child’s progress in instrumental tuition, a factor mentioned at the time of the previous ISI inspection. Comments from parents in response to the ISI questionnaire confirmed that this remains an issue.

On Child Inspection regulatory requirements:

At the time of the inspection visit, the school’s child protection policy was found to cover most of the requirements which are the duties of proprietors of independent schools. However, the school’s written policy is not suitably comprehensive and has not been properly implemented. (ISI report downloadable here)

The Manchester City Council report included the following:

Section 4.1 (b) (viii)
No evidence was provided of any formal, minuted governing body/school committee meetings called so that leaders and governors could reflect on the implications of recent allegations in connection with the school, carry out appropriate scrutiny, audit and self evaluation and consider the need to conduct a comprehensive review of current safeguarding policies, procedures and practice;

(ix)
There was no evidence to confirm that governors had sought assurances about current safeguarding arrangements, given the context of recent allegations, resulting in convictions and arrests of individuals connected with the school. A current employee was arrested on 14th February 2013 in relation to an historic allegation, is presently suspended and is the subject of
ongoing police investigation.

Section 4.1(h)
There are inconsistencies in relation to the CPO, designated governor for safeguarding and the head of academic music’s understanding of school policy and procedures for teaching at the home of a tutor. This ranges from an understanding that pupils ‘wouldn’t ever have home tuition’, to it is not encouraged or sanctioned by the school and would only be agreed and arranged by parents, to if there was an exceptional circumstance that required teaching at the home of a tutor, there would be a risk assessment completed and parental consent sought. No reference is made to home tuition in the staff, pupil or parents handbooks. During interviews with pupils some pupils stated that home tuition regularly takes place.

Section 5.1(i)
It was the view of some pupils however, that there was little point in raising issues or concerns because they would not be listened to or acted upon. This was borne out in the pupils’ response to the ISI questionnaire. 36% of pupils responded negatively to the statement: ‘the school asks for my opinions and responds to them’, when a negative response of more than 20% is seen as significant by the ISI.

Section 5.1(d)
The named governor for safeguarding has been identified as the person other than a parent, outside the boarding and teaching staff of the school, who pupils can talk to if they feel the need. No reference is made of this in the pupil or parent handbooks. When pupils were asked about who, other than a parent/guardian they could turn to, some pupils cited the named governor for safeguarding, others did not know about such a person and one pupil referred to them as ‘some random person’ that they were told to contact if they needed to and added that they were told about this person in a recent assembly.

Section 6.1
The Local Authority saw little evidence that the Governing body/school committee have sufficiently held the senior leaders of the school to account regarding providing assurances that the current arrangements for safeguarding are actually being implemented, applied robustly, monitored appropriately or evaluated effectively. In the context of recent convictions, allegations and ongoing police investigations, where extra assurances would be expected, this is a cause for concern.

6.2 Arrangements are present to promote a culture and climate of effective safeguarding at Chetham’s School of Music but the arrangements are not routinely and reliably implemented, robustly applied, monitored or evaluated by the senior leadership team, governors and Feoffees. This demonstrates inadequate oversight of safeguarding by the proprietors and therefore the Local Authority is not confident about the overall effectiveness of the leadership and governance of safeguarding arrangements in the school.

6.3 The Feoffees as proprietors of the school have not effectively discharged their duties with respect to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of pupils. They have not ensured that the Headteacher has fulfilled her duties for the effective implementation of the school’s policies and procedures in regard to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of pupils.

6.4 It is our view that in similar circumstances, in a state-maintained school setting, the nature of these findings, including the current context referred to in 6.1 above, would lead us to invite the chair of governors or trustees to a formal review meeting to discuss the capacity for governance and senior leadership to address the failings identified. (full report accessible here)

Chetham’s responded on their website initially as follows:

Unfortunately we believe the time allowed for the Review was insufficient. We have made detailed written representations and submitted further documentation to both MCS and the ISI, seeking meetings with both organisations to discuss these points in detail. There is enormous interest in the School at the current time and it is imperative that Chetham’s, and all students, staff and parents associated with it, are treated and represented accurately.

[…]

In addition to further dialogue with the ISI and MCS, we will be seeking a meeting with the Department for Education to discuss the Review’s findings and share a detailed action plan to demonstrate how we are remedying the issues highlighted. (some of this statement is reported in Helen Pidd, ‘Music school at heart of abuse scandal failed to safeguard pupils, reports find’, The Guardian, 3/4/13; all of the above above is published on Ian Pace, ‘Publication of Reports into Chetham’s by ISI and MCC: Senior Management and Governors should consider their position’, Desiring Progress, 3/4/13. See also this later statement from Chetham’s from 8/5/13)

The response of the DfE was as follows:

Schools have a legal and moral duty to protect children in their care. It is clear from the Independent Schools Inspectorate and Manchester City Council’s reports of their joint visit that the standard of care at Chethams school must be improved.

“Today (Tuesday) under section 165(3) of the Education Act 2002, we have served a notice requiring the school to produce an action plan setting out what it will do to meet the regulatory standards. The law requires the school to produce an action plan to set out how it will address the deficiencies the ISI inspection identified.

“Chethams now has until May to produce the action plan — if the plan is inadequate the Education Secretary has powers to remove the school from the register of independent schools.” (Statement forwarded to the author by Ciaran Jenkins of Channel 4 News)

An increasing campaign was mounted by Chetham’s parents and pupils on the blog of Norman Lebrecht to refute the various claims and defend the school, in which a small number of deeply unhappy parents responded to a chorus of others (see Norman Lebrecht, ‘Manchester Council condemns Chetham’s for failure to address ‘recent allegations’, Slipped Disc, 3/4/13; ; ‘The skies just darkened over Chetham’s, Slipped Disc, 3/4/13). Key to the arguments posited (which had begun to emerge from the time of the Guardian reports in February) was the notion that it was wrong for these ‘historic’ allegations to be dragged up because of the hurt they caused current pupils. Text forwarded to Lebrecht via one parent revealed an organised campaign, with the apparent blessing of the head girl and Deputy Head of the School responsible for pastoral care (Norman Lebrecht, ‘Chet’s kids organize blog mob’, Slipped Disc, 5/4/13). At a meeting with parents at the beginning of term, Sunday April 14th, Claire Moreland was questioned by a few (though the majority appear to have been supportive) and was forced to reveal that current teachers were being investigated by GMP, giving a figure of ‘less than five’ (Norman Lebrecht, ‘How many teachers are being investigated at troubled music school?’, Slipped Disc, 17/4/13).

Channel 4 News continued to work on their report, which was broadcast on May 7th. The major revelation here, for the purposes of which the Channel 4 team had spoken to multiple pupils from who studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School in the 1960s and 1970s, was about the first director of music and co-founder of the school, Belgian pianist Marcel Gazelle, revealed as a serial abuser of girls as young as 10 in their beds (the broadcast was very careful in terms of what could be said both for legal reasons and because of the watershed, but many from the school at the time privately commented that the scale of Gazelle’s activities, allegedly involving multiple rape of older girls as well, was not always clear). For this broadcast, Nigel Kennedy was tracked down and persuaded to take on the record about Gazelle, revealing that he was the figure to whom he had referred in interview with Lebrecht back in 2003. The former student Irita Kutchmy chose to speak on the record about her own abuse at the hands of Gazelle, lending the broadcast, which alleged that abuse had gone on at all five specialist music schools, a vivid immediacy (Ciaran Jenkins, ‘Exclusive: Sex scandal implicates all five UK music schools’, Channel 4 News, 7/5/13). I immediately published on my blog a long article on Gazelle and the early culture of the Menuhin School, drawing upon accounts by various former students to paint a bleak picture of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at all levels, which brought Gazelle’s wife Jacqueline into the picture as well. This produced bitter responses from their son Didier, denying the allegations, protesting that ‘What was acceptable 50 years ago, is now considered as an offence’ and asking ‘Where is the limit between affection and sexual abuse?’ (Ian Pace, ‘Marcel Gazelle and the Culture of the Early Yehudi Menuhin School’, Desiring Progress, 7/5/13)

These new revelations was widely reported by all the leading UK newspapers (see in particular Victoria Ward, ‘Music school abuse scandal alleged to involve five top schools’, The Telegraph, 8/5/13, drawing upon some new information not broadcast by Channel 4), and also local and international press, and there followed a stream of further allegations, including Michal Kaznowski making more public his memories of Maurice Gendron (Paul Gallagher and Sanchez Manning, ‘Famous cellist was abusive monster, says former pupil’, The Independent, 9/5/13), the violinist Sacha Barlow speaking of inappropriate sexualised touching from the age of 12 by other members of staff at the school in the 1980s (Paul Gallagher, ‘Fresh abuse claims hit top music school’, The Independent, 12/5/13), and a former teacher at two (unspecified) specialist music schools, who had also spoken to Channel 4 News, talking of the ‘toxic’ atmosphere at the institutions, the attempted rape she suffered at the hands of one teacher, and the total lack of pastoral care at the places (Victoria Ward, ‘Teacher describes ‘toxic’ atmosphere at music schools’, The Telegraph, 9/5/13), also (for C4 News) urging against complacency that such abuse could not happen today. In this context, I elected to re-open the petition until the end of May (Alex Stevens, ‘Abuse in music schools: Petition reopens after new press coverage and MP’s support’, Classical Music Magazine, 10/5/13), and it has since received several hundred further signatories, and the backing of Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central.

On the day of broadcast of the Channel 4 News report, GMP made clear to Helen Pidd at The Guardian that as part of Operation Kiso they were investigating a whole 39 music school teachers from Manchester, of which 10 formed the nucleus of the operation, 12 were known through third-party referrals, another 12 were involved in activities which would probably not lead to criminal charges (in particular those who had sexual affairs with sixth-formers before 2003), and 5 were dead (Helen Pidd, ’39 Manchester music school teachers face inquiry’, The Guardian, 7/5/13). The very scale of the abuse being investigated was now becoming clearer to many.

By autumn 2013 four different teachers had been arrested – double-bassist Duncan McTier (who taught at the RNCM, but not at Chetham’s), violinist Wen Zhou Li (arrested in February 2013 right after the Brewer trial, at which time he was still teaching at Chetham’s), conductor Nicholas Smith (for offences against an underage girl in the 1970s) and violinist Malcolm Layfield (see above). McTier and Smith were charged in May 2014 (Helen Pidd, ‘Music teacher charged with indecent assaults’, The Guardian, 6/5/14; ‘World-renowned conductor charged with sexually assaulting Chetham pupil’, The Guardian, 27/5/14) and appeared in court in June (Helen Pidd, ‘Two musicians appear in court accused of sexually abusing music school pupils’, The Guardian, 13/6/14); McTier pleaded not guilty, whilst Smith did not enter a plea, but his solicitor indicated that he would be pleading not guilty. It was only at this stage that the Royal Academy of Music, where McTier now taught, decided to suspend him from his current job (not after his arrest the previous year). It was also revealed that McTier’s charges related not only to the RNCM but also to the Purcell School. It is anticipated that the trial will take place in the autumn of 2014. In January 2014, Greater Manchester Police indicated that they would seek the extradition of Chris Ling (Helen Pidd, ‘Police may seek extradition of US-based teacher accused of abusing pupils’, The Guardian, 6/1/14; James Tozer, ‘Violin teacher accused of sex abuse against female pupils at prestigious music college threatened with extradition proceedings so he can face trial in UK’, Daily Mail, 6/1/14); Layfield was charged with one count of rape in July 2014 (Helen Pidd, ‘Violin teacher charged with rape over alleged attack at Chetham’s school’, The Guardian, 29/7/14).

Further revelations came to light in 2014 about the knowledge of Moreland about earlier crimes after Paul Gallagher at the Independent was forwarded (by myself, with permission), letters from ex-pupils to Moreland (and also Gregson) in 2002 concerning the abuse they had suffered at the hands of Layfield. These heart-felt and distressing letters were met with stock replies of one or two sentences, just saying that current pastoral care systems meant this couldn’t happen again, rather than acknowledging any concern for the victims (Paul Gallagher, ‘Elite music school Chetham’s loses pupils in backlash at allegations of historic sexual abuse’, The Independent, 28/1/14). Moreland claimed in an self-justificatory interview published after the Independent article that she only heard about anything being wrong at the school in late 2011 (Richard Morrison, ‘Does Chetham’s have a future?’, The Times, 12/2/14).

By coincidence, the appearance of the Channel 4 News report come just before another devastating revelation following a sustained investigation by The Times and The Australian, concerning the late former Dean of Manchester Cathedral (1984-1993), Robert Waddington, about whom various former choristers had come forward to detail the sustained grooming, sexual abuse and sadistic beatings they had suffered at his hands, both in Manchester and when he had worked as a teacher in the 1960s and 1970s in Queensland (see Sean O’Neill, Michael McKenna and Amanda Gearing, ‘Archbishop in ‘cover-up’over abuse scandal’, ‘Accused cleric built reputation at small school in Australia’, and ‘Former Archbishop of York ‘covered up’ sex abuse scandal’, The Times, 10/5/13; Sean O’Neill, ‘Behind the story’ and ‘Victim of clergyman’s abuse was groomed as young chorister’, The Times, 10/5/13; Amanda Gearing, ‘Choirboy haunted by painful memories’, The Times, 10/5/13; Steve Doughty, ‘’I was the boyfriend of a monster’: Victim of paedophile priest speaks out as former Archbishop of York denies covering up child abuse claims’, Daily Mail, 10/5/13; Sean O’Neill,’ Church abuse suspect ‘investigated three times’, The Times, 11/5/13). Chetham’s School provides the majority of choristers for the cathedral and has other close links with the institution (I detailed this in Ian Pace, ‘Robert Waddington, Former Dean of Manchester Cathedral, and Chetham’s School of Music’, Desiring Progress, 12/5/13), and one former Chetham’s pupil soon came forward to detail his own abuse at the hands of Waddington (who was a close friend of headmaster John Vallins); it was also made public that Waddington had been on the board of governors for Chetham’s during his tenure as Dean, thus overlapping with the period of some of the worst abuse scandals alleged to have gone on at the school (Sean O’Neill, ‘Dean preyed on us during his reign at top music school, says former music pupil’ and ‘Dean was still preying on choirboys when Church ruled him too ill to be a risk’, The Times, 16/5/13; Paul Gallagher, ‘Former Dean accused of sex abuse was a governor at scandal-hit music school’, The Independent, 16/5/13; Michael McKenna and Amanda Gearing, ‘Accused cleric link to top music school abuse probe’, The Australian, 18/5/13). The coverage had focused on the culpability of the Church of England in covering up Waddington’s abuse; Chetham’s have not at the time of writing made any public comment about his involvement there other than to confirm his tenure as a governor.

A final complication was provided by the announcement of the abolition of the position of Director of Music at the Purcell School, thus rendering incumbent Quentin Poole redundant (see Norman Lebrecht, ‘Reports: Music School abolishes Head of Music post’, Slipped Disc, 12/5/13 and ‘Why Purcell is back in the headlights’, 14/5/13; both articles contain plentiful comments from individuals associated with the school). It is believed that this relates to a personal feud between the former Headmaster, Peter Crook and the Chairman of Governors. Crook fired the civil partner of Poole (about whom there have been suggestions of impropriety with pupils), and then after Crook’s own firing in 2011 (see earlier in this article), the Chairman fired Poole himself; but this all needs clarification in the face of many conflicting accounts.

Two further developments arising out of the Brewer trial have recently emerged. One is that the Cabinet Office’s honours forfeiture committee decided to strip Brewer of his OBE, awarded to him in late 1994; this forfeiture was announced on May 28th (Matt Chorley, ‘Exclusive: Paedophile choirmaster Michael Brewer whose victim killed herself is stripped of his OBE’, Daily Mail, 28/5/13; Christopher Hope, ‘Convicted child abuser Michael Brewer stripped of OBE by Queen’, The Telegraph, 28/5/13; Helen Pidd, ‘Former Chetham’s director Michael Brewer stripped of OBE’, The Guardian, 28/5/13). The following day, it was also announced that Brewer would appeal against the length of his sentence (‘Sex abuse choirmaster Michael Brewer in sentence appeal’, BBC News, 29/5/13; ‘Choirmaster jailed for sexually abusing pupil seeks to appeal against sentence’, The Guardian, 29/5/13; ‘Sex abuse Chethams teacher Michael Brewer in court bid to have sentence cut’, Manchester Evening News, 30/5/13).

A report was published on April 10th, 2014, by the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board, into the suicide of Frances Andrade (Hilary Brown, ‘The death of Mrs A. A Serious Case Review’, Surrey County Council: Safeguarding Adults Board, see also the summary and press release). This report found much to be desired in the treatment of Andrade when she went to the police and during the proceedings, but also in particular had the following to say about musical education in general and the dangers therein:

Music schools, in common with other “hothousing” establishments, create pressures that may have a particularly damaging impact on young people who are vulnerable and/or without parental support. These settings are competitive, and feed into expectations already placed on the young person to be “special” and to succeed. The adults around them, who are often prominent performers in their own right, are invested with exceptional power and influence and are in a position of trust from which they exert considerable leverage over whether their pupils achieve success in their chosen fields. The music world is not alone in this regard, -similar pressures arise in elite sports academies, boarding schools, ballet schools, cathedral and choir schools, drama and performing arts courses, art schools and other areas of endeavour that create a backdrop for this very particular and potent form of grooming.

Chethams School provided an ideal environment for this kind of abuse to occur. The school seemed unaware of the risks of sexual abuse and it does not appear to have proactively promoted a child protection agenda. Boundaries were blurred and some staff seemed at times to act with impunity. When, Mrs A was sent, as a teenager, to live with MB and his family it was effectively a private fostering arrangement, put in place without any proper scrutiny or formal overview. The atmosphere of elite performance teaching created what one pupil described as a belief that you were “special”6 and it placed teachers in an exclusive and powerful position in relation to their protégés.

In response to this case another music teacher (MR), a man who had acted as a whistle-blower, published an article offering a window onto the culture in these circles at the time we are speaking of from which it can be seen that Mrs A was not alone in being at risk from abusive sexual relationships and unprofessional behaviour. MR later said,

Music lessons are one-to-one… So, if you’re determined to behave wrongly, there’s the opportunity: “It’s one of the easiest situations to abuse, I would have thought.”

He further discussed how music teaching in particular, takes place in a context of emotional intensity and that pupils’ crushes on staff are commonplace.

So this culture of sexualised behaviour between teachers and pupils that developed in the school at that time was, to some extent, known about and condoned. This culture may also have prevailed at the Royal Northern College of Music as there was considerable overlapping of staff, and this became the focus of contention specifically in relation to the appointment of ML to a senior post at the college. MR publicly confronted the principle of the college about the suitability of this appointment, given widespread allegations about ML’s sexual exploitation of young women students, at considerable cost to his career7. When he made his concerns public, he received many letters of support from students disclosing past abuses and concerns. Mrs A was one such pupil/student. When his whistle-blower’s warnings went unheeded, he recounted that

“Letters from pupils and professional musicians poured in, one was from [Mrs A] … She was a force to be reckoned with …”There was tremendous passion and anger.” Chethams therefore represented a very particular context in which it was possible for MB to target and groom Mrs A from a position of trust, power and influence. Although it seems to have been common knowledge that some teachers within the music network around Chethams and the Royal Northern Music School had sexual relationships with their pupils this was not formally addressed.

1. THIS REVIEW DID NOT HAVE A MANDATE TO COMMENT ON ISSUES OF CHILD PROTECTION BUT URGES CHILDREN’S SAFEGUARDING BOARDS AND THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE TO PAY ATTENTION TO ALL SCHOOLS ESPECIALLY, BUT NOT EXCLUSIVELY, BOARDING SCHOOLS INCLUDING THOSE CONCERNED WITH “SPECIAL” PUPILS OR THOSE THAT HAVE ELITE STATUS. THIS INCLUDES SO CALLED “FREE” SCHOOLS THAT EXIST TO SOME EXTENT OUTSIDE OF LOCAL NETWORKS. (Brown, ‘The death of Mrs A’, pp. 8-10)

These view resembles that presented in my own article for the Times Educational Supplement (Ian Pace, ‘The culture of music education lends itself to abuse’, TES, 8/5/13).

Since the events of the first half of 2013, there have been a range of other cases in the news of musicians and music teachers involved with abuse. In September 2013, another female music teacher was convicted of abusing children, this time boys. Jennifer Philp-Parsons, the then 45-year-old former head of music at a Devon school, was found guilty of sexually abusing two 16-year old boys (within one hour of each other) at her marital home, after having also pleaded guilty to three charges of sexual activity with a male aged 13 to 17 while in a position of trust, during May to June of that year; one report unfortunately described her as having ‘seduced’ (rather than abused) the boys (John Hall, ‘Teacher jailed for alcohol-fuelled sex sessions with two teenage pupils at her home’, The Independent, September 19th, 2013). Philp-Parsons was jailed for two years and six months, placed on the sex offenders register, and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order. Graphic descriptions were provided of grooming the boys so as to become their favourite teacher, how she would ply the boys with alcohol and then sexually exploit them, as well as texts between her and the boys, though the defence tried to claim she was devoted to the boys, and blame this on the failure of her marriage (Richard Smith, ‘Jennifer Philp-Parsons: Teacher jailed for alcohol-fuelled sex sessions with two teenage pupils’, The Mirror, September 19th, 2013) whilst police also suggested there might be further victims, and urged them to come forward (Luke Salkeld, ‘Music Teacher, 45, had sex with two male 16-year old pupils in her home during drunken party while her husband slept upstairs’, Daily Mail, September 19th, 2013).

One of the most serious cases to come to light in recent times is historic, that of Alan Doggett, conductor and composer who was closely associated with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and conducted the first performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar, about whom I have written at length (Ian Pace, ‘UPDATED: Alan Doggett, first conductor of Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Paedophile Information Exchange’, Desiring Progress, 28/3/14). Over a dozen former pupils at Colet Court School in London (prep school for St Paul’s) have testified to Doggett’s abuse of boys aged as young as 10, sometimes in front of others (raping boys in dormitories), regular sexual touching of genitals of almost all boys, and even a form of child prostitution whereby they would be paid for allowing Doggett to use them. Doggett also taught at City of London School for Boys, St Mary’s School for Girls and Culford School, as well as running the London Boy Singers, a group of around 1000 boys drawn from schools all over London, before committing suicide in 1978 when facing molestation charges against a boy. There are many further allegations of abuse at some of these institutions. Since my own work and pioneering articles by Andrew Norfolk at The Times, a whole police investigation, Operation Winthorpe, has been set up to look at a mass of allegations at both Colet Court and St Paul’s (though I have been informed that Doggett is no longer part of the investigation) (Andrew Norfolk, ‘Teachers ‘abused boys at Osborne’s old school”, The Times, 25/3/14; ‘The teacher sat us on his lap until his face went very red’, The Times, 25/3/14; ‘Friends to stars had easy access to boys’, The Times, 25/3/14; ‘Boys punished for telling of abuse by teacher’, The Times, 28/3/14; ‘Police look into ‘decades of abuse’ at top school’, The Times, 9/4/14; ‘Abuse claims against 18 teachers by ex-pupils at top public school; St Paul’s co-operates with police inquiry led by head of Savile investigation’, The Times, 1/5/14; ‘Accused teacher kept on working for 24 years’, The Times, 1/5/14; ‘Teacher kept job for 16 years after pupils found sex tapes’, The Times, 20/5/14; ‘Colet Court and St Paul’s: a culture of child abuse’, The Times, 20/5/14. See also Benjamin Ross, ‘My Sadist Teachers at St Paul’s Prep School Betrayed a Generation’, Daily Mail, 1/6/14); at the time of writing, there have been seven arrests to date (‘Man arrested on suspicion of sexual assault at St Paul’s school’, The Guardian, 1/8/14).

In connection with investigations into Home Office funding for the Paedophile Information Exchange, the former civil servant Clifford Hindley, also a musicologist who wrote about the operas of Benjamin Britten, was named as the individual who had ensured such funding went ahead (Keir Mudie and Nick Dorman, ‘Huge sums of TAXPAYER’S cash ‘handed to vile child-sex pervert group’ by Home Office officials’, Sunday People, 1/3/14; see also David Hencke, ‘Revealed: The civil servant in the Home Office’s PIE funding inquiry and his academic articles on boy love’, 1/3/14). I wrote an extended piece analysing how deeply paedophile themes ran through many of Hindley’s writings on both Britten and Ancient Greece (Ian Pace, ‘Clifford Hindley: Pederasty and Scholarship’, Desiring Progress, 3/3/14).

The pianist and composer Ian Lake was revealed to have been a serial abuser of both boys (as young as 10) and girls at Watford School of Music and the Royal College of Music (RCM) (Paul Gallagher, ‘Decades of abuse by Royal College of Music piano teacher Ian Lake boosts demands for inquiry’, The Independent, 29/12/13). Lake had received a little-reported conviction for a sexual offence (of which details remain hazy) in 1995. One of his RCM victims spoke of telling the then principal, Michael Gough Matthews (Principal from 1985 to 1993, died in 2012), and whilst she was given a change of teacher, nothing else happened, so Lake was free to do the same to others. This type of process has been described by multiple victims at different institutions (including, for example, victims of Ryszard Bakst at the Royal Northern College of Music). Matthews’ successor as Principal, Dame Janet Ritterman, who was Principal at the RCM at the time when Lake was convicted (and is now Chancellor of Middlesex University), has been contacted for comment about what was known about Lake, but has declined to respond. Another late teacher at the RCM, Hervey Alan, was identified as having attempted a sexual assault on a student; again, when she complained, she received a change of teacher, but no further action was taken (Paul Gallagher, ‘Royal College of Music hit by more sex abuse allegations’, The Independent, 10/1/14). Furthermore, the victim (who was also a student of Lake’s on the piano) underwent a second attempted assault from a college porter, about which nothing was done after she complained. This woman has also detailed the ways in which not being prepared to respond to sexual advances in the professional world could hinder one’s career, a story which is all too familiar, and needs to be considered seriously alongside all the other dimensions to this issue. I have argued for a while that the granting of unchecked power to prominent musicians, administrators, and fixers almost invites the corruption of such power, and more, rather than less, state intervention is needed to ensure that proper employment practices are observed in a freelance world. Many musicians would hate this, for sure, and claim it represented an unwarranted intrusion by government into a field which should be driven by ‘purely musical’ concerns, but in my view the latter serve as a smokescreen for cynical and callous power games.

Robin Zebaida, pianist and examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM, responsible for the ‘grade’ exams that many young musicians take) since 1998, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year old girl at the same time as he was seducing her mother; Zebaida received a two-year conditional discharge, was made to sign the sex offenders register for two years, and pay a £15 victim surcharge. The trial heard of romantic evenings with plentiful alcohol with Zebaida kissing the mother whilst groping the daughter; Zebaida would also claim he touched the daughter lightly on account of back problems she suffered following a car crash which had killed her father and brother (‘Concert pianist fondled girl of 15 while kissing her mother, court told’, The Telegraph, 21/11/13; Jennifer Smith, ‘Oxford-educated concert pianist ‘French kissed fan on his sofa while simultaneously fondling her 15-year-old daughter’, Daily Mail, 21/11/13; Hayley Dixon, ‘Concert pianist denies fondling girl, 15, while kissing mother’, The Telegraph, 26/11/13; Lucy Crossley, ‘Internationally renowned concert pianist found guilty of groping a 15-year-old while French-kissing her mother’, Daily Mail, 2/12/13; ‘Pianist guilty of sex assault on teenager’, The Telegraph, 3/12/13). I am not aware of the ABRSM having made any comment, but gather that Zebaida’s nature was well-known to others (private communications from an examiner).

In November 2013, Philip Evans, music teacher at the private King Edward’s School, Edgbaston, Birmingham (which dates from 1552 and was set up by Edward VI), pleaded guilty to seven sexual assaults, ten charges of making indecent photographs of children, and six counts of voyeurism; more than 400 000 indecent images were found on his computer (Teacher Admits Sexual Assault’, Press Association, 28/11/13). The trial found that Evans, who had also acted as an RAF ‘leader’ in the school’s Combined Cadet Force, had abused teenage boys whilst pretending to measure them for their school uniforms, and installed high tech equipment in changing rooms and showers to film pupils. Evans was sentenced in December to three years and eight months imprisonment (‘Paedophile music teacher jailed’, Evening Standard, 20/12/13; Jonny Greatrex, ‘Music teacher jailed for sexually abusing teenage pupils while pretending to measure them for uniforms’, Daily Mirror, 21/12/13; ‘Music teacher who rigged up hidden camera to film himself sexually abusing boys has been jailed’, Daily Mail, 20/12/13).

In February 2014, the early music conductor and former Guildhall School teacher Philip Pickett was charged with eight counts of indecent assault, three counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault and one count of attempted rape (see the press release from City of London Police reproduced at Ian Pace, ‘Philip Pickett arrested on 15 charges, and interview with Clare Moreland in The Times’). Quite incredibly, Pickett’s trial was allowed to be postponed from October 2014 to January 2015 so that he could finish touring. Defence barrister Jonathan Barnard said at the Old Bailey ‘My client is a world famous musician and therefore earns his living on a job to job basis and has tours across the globe throughout the autumn – but the season slows down in the new year’. The Crown agreed on the grounds that ‘the allegations are at the latest 20 years old and the earliest, 40 years old’ (Ben Wilkinson, ‘Musician’s historic sex crimes trial put on hold’, Oxford Mail, 18/3/14).

Then in March 2014, an 18-year old oboist, Robin Brandon-Turner appeared in court on charges of making a girl perform oral sexual upon him when she was aged between 6 and 10 (and he was between 13 and 17); Brandon-Turner said he was just ‘experimenting’ at the time (‘Young musician Robin Brandon-Turner admits sex abuse’, BBC News, 17/3/14). He was given a two year probationary sentence in June 2014 at the High Court in Edinburgh, and ordered to attend a programme to address his behaviour (‘Sex abuse young musician Robin Brandon-Turner sentenced’, BBC News, 16/6/14).

On the basis of all the many published articles and reports, and also the wide range of information communicated to me privately, I have been able to surmise the following situation for the various schools and colleges, which has been presented to various politicians involved in abuse campaigning. It would not be appropriate to reproduce this here, but some other issues can be addressed.

Psychological and emotional abuse is believed by many to be rampant in the profession throughout education and elsewhere (Definitions are difficult in this context, as various studies have indicated. See in particular Kieran O’Hagan, Emotional and Psychological Abuse of Children (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1992), pp. 18-35, and O’Hagan, Identifying Emotional and Psychological Abuse: A Guide for Childcare Professionals (Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2006), pp. 27-40, in the latter of which several writers are cited on a preference for the term ‘psychological maltreatment’ (p. 30). The definitions examined here definitely encompass the types of abuse which can be identified within musical education. This subject is definitely in need of wider research in a musical context). To give just one of many examples of how this has been reported by many: a teacher looks to reduce a vulnerable student to tears at the beginning of most of their instrumental lessons, thus enabling them to take the student on their knee or otherwise physically comfort them. They aim to destroy the student’s fragile confidence and sense of identity and remake them in their own image. This can be a prelude to sexual abuse or simply a strategy for control and domination.


Why Focus Specifically on Musical Education?

Sexual and other abuse have been discovered – and in various cases the perpetrators dismissed, banned from working with children and/or faced criminal convictions – in many fields of life. However, there are reasons why its manifestation in musical education deserves special individual treatment. My own article, written in February 2013 and published in May in the Times Educational Supplement, on why those studying music might be particularly vulnerable to abuse, is included at the end of this article. A recurrent issue for many commentators has been that of one-to-one tuition and the power accorded to individual teachers to dominate students who are utterly at their behest (see Britten and Dominiczak, ‘Violinist’s suicide could stop abuse victims coming forward’; Tweedie, Britten and Schute, ‘Frances Andrade: A culture of abuse, denial and cover-up’; Jonathan West, ‘Sexual abuse at music schools’, 2/3/13; Pidd, Ibbotson and Carroll, ‘A musical hothouse in which ‘Ling’s strings’ say they fell prey to abuse’. Some rather crude sub-editing made an interview with RNCM principal Linda Merrick – Helen Pidd, ‘One-to-one music tuition ‘may be abolished”, The Guardian, 1/3/13 – characterise Merrick’s views in a simplistic fashion. Merrick merely argued that this mode of teaching might be looked at again, as I argue in ‘Q & A: Ian Pace’, Classical Music); this type of teaching is significantly more prevalent in musical education than elsewhere.

The classical music profession is highly competitive and often highly aggressive as many people jostle for a relatively small amount of available work. This fact is often mobilised in order to justify cruel treatment of young musicians, maintaining that they require such treatment in order to be ‘toughened up’ for the demands of a professional career. The effects upon those who do not succeed can and have been devastating.

Classical music depends upon a large degree of state money in order to function, yet there is little in the way of wider state intervention in the workings of the profession – because of the dangers especially in education but more widely in terms of abuse and maltreatment of adult musicians, I argue that the ‘hands-off’ approach of the Arts Council may no longer be most appropriate. When it is possible for some powerful musicians to build their own fiefdoms, and use the fact of their holding such power to dictate that others may have to sleep with them or artificially please them in other ways, there is immense potential for corruption. A state-subsidised world featuring individuals reigning over unchecked power must be reconsidered.

Whilst the UK conservatoires have their roots in the nineteenth century, and in particular the move towards a degree of professionalization of musical education in the last few decades of that century, when most of those schools were either founded or began to move towards their modern form, the five specialist music schools were all founded between 1962 and 1972, and so are a recent phenomenon. Whilst the first two of these – the Purcell School (previously the Central Tutorial School for Young Musicians) (founded 1962), and the Yehudi Menuhin School (founded 1963) – were essentially created ‘from scratch’ to provide a more intensive level of musical education from a young age, the remaining three – Chetham’s (founded as a music school in 1969), Wells (music school section founded 1970), and St Mary’s (founded as a music school in 1972) all had existing choir schools prior to taking on their specialist music form. Furthermore, both the Menuhin School and St Mary’s in particular (the latter of which was viewed by Menuhin as a sister school in Scotland to his own institution) drew inspiration from existing models of specialist music tuition as provided in the Soviet Union – during a time at the height of the Cold War, in which this country was dedicated to the production of soloists who would win international competitions (following the shock provided by the victory of American pianist Van Cliburn in the 1958 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow), in such a way that all other considerations were secondary . How these various aspects of the schools’ pedagogical history and roots affected their development – permitting widespread psychological abuse and much sexual abuse, the latter arguably an extension of the former – requires comprehensive and detailed scrutiny by experts. It is worth pointing out in this context the fact of a huge sexual abuse scandal affecting the Central Music School in Moscow (founded 1932, and in some ways the major model for future secondary specialist music education), in which pianist Anatoly Ryabov was accused of abusing 53 different girls, many of them aged 12 or 13, between 1987 and 2011. When the case came to court, the children and their mothers were blamed for over-ambition and destroying the school’s legendary reputation, and seducing a venerable teacher, whilst Ryabov was portrayed in the press as if fighting Putin’s regime, and much of the Moscow musical establishment swung behind him. All of the charges were thrown out and Ryabov found not guilty (information provided to me by one individual closely involved with the trial).

The last relatively comprehensive study of musical education in the UK was undertaken in 1978, commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Training Musicians: A Report to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation on the training of professional musicians (London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1978)), when many of the specialist music schools were still in a state of relative infancy. Nothing was mentioned in this about the dangers of abuse in such institutions, though their role in terms of producing professional musicians remains a consideration throughout. It is now high time, after 35 years, for a new report, more detailed and sophisticated in its methodology than before, to be produced as the outcome of an inquiry. The specialist music schools in particular have inhabited a nebulous and secretive world with insufficient external scrutiny, despite being in receipt of a considerable amount of state money.


Networks

In spite of all of the above, various individuals who have been investigating abuse in musical education remain wary or sceptical about positing the existence of a ‘ring’. It would probably be more accurate to refer to large overlapping networks of individuals frequently complicit in facilitating or covering up each other’s actions, rather than something more centrally organised.

Examples of the connections involved include the fact of teachers frequently moving between multiple institutions. Many also teach on summer courses or are involved with orchestral and choral coaching. There are especially intricate networks connecting both former and current staff at Chetham’s in particular.


Factors deterring students from coming forward

There are many factors mitigating against students or former students from coming forward either to the police or the media about experiences of abuse. These include the factor of peer pressure and the strong potential for ostracisation by alumni communities, fears for professional reputation, and minimisation or trivialisation of the issue of psychological abuse. Arguments have also been made about how uncovering of abuse this will hurt funding for classical music at a time when it is most vulnerable (see, for example, Richard Morrison, ‘Music teaching’s dark past is in danger of destroying its future’, BBC Music Magazine, April 2013, p. 25 and for a more fervent expression of this, Denis Joe, ‘Don’t let abuse fears ruin music: A Savile-style inquiry into one of the UK’s top music schools could wreck the informality essential to music tuition’, Spiked Online, 7/3/13). Others have attacked those who have come forward concerning ‘historic’ abuse at institutions on the grounds that revelations of such experiences have a harmful effect upon those studying at the institutions today (this has been a recurrent complaint by many current parents and pupils posting to Norman Lebrecht’s blog). Knowledge of the experiences of Frances Andrade in court also gives fear to those who might have to undergo a similar experience. Furthermore, some of the abuse would not at the time have constituted a criminal act, if consensual, and with victims over the age of 16 prior to 2003.

The difficulties of coming forward are exacerbated for younger victims – it is well-known and often commented how many abuse victims wait several decades before deciding to speak out (See, for example, Connie Burrows Horton and Tracy K. Cruise, Child Abuse and Neglect: The Schools’ Response (New York: The Guilford Press, 2001), pp. 39-40; Thomas G. Plante and Kathleen L. McChesney, Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012 (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011), p. 20; David Gray and Peter Watt, Giving Victims a Voice: joint report into sexual allegations made against Jimmy Savile (London: NSPCC, 2013), p. 20; Kathryn Westcott and Tom de Castella, ‘The decades-long shadow of abuse’, BBC News Magazine, 25/10/12). This very fact unfortunately likely plays a fact in the widespread perception in amongst the music world (and propagated by those managing its institutions) that abuse is primarily ‘historic’, belonging to a more distant era. That this may simply be the result of the fact that victims of more recent abuse do not yet feel ready to speak out should not be discounted. Furthermore, musicians in their 20s and 30s tend to have more precarious careers (unless hugely successful), and are more vulnerable to hostile criticism, whether made explicit or not, such as might come about as a result of their taking their complaints forward. It should be borne in mind that as the professional world of classical music is relatively small and many individuals are closely connected through shared professional and educational experiences, there can be especially great difficulties in victims maintaining anonymity if they go forward, on account of easy spread of gossip and relative ease of identifying them.


Conclusion: Issues for an Inquiry

between 1945 and 1989 only four public inquiries were held into institutional abuse. These were the Court Lees inquiry (1967) into excessive use of corporal punishment at Court Less approved school in Surrey, the Leesway Children’s Home inquiry (1985) following offences of indecency involving the taking of photographs of children, the Kincora Boy’s Home, Belfast, inquiry (1986), following suggestions of a paedophile ring operative at the institution, and the Melanie Klein House inquiry (1988) into the use of restraints upon older girls in an establishment managed by Greenwich Social Services Department (see Brian Corby, Alan Doig & Vicki Roberts, Public Inquiries into Abuse of Children in Residential Care (London & Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001), pp. 79-81 for an overview of these four inquiries). Numerous other inquiries have followed since the 1990s, and the sexual abuse of children began to feature more prominently (one study suggests that the inquiries in the mid-1980s viewed sexual abuse in institution as part of a ‘bad apple’ syndrome (ibid. p. 83)). Most relevant to this amongst the post-1989 inquiries include the following:

(a) Scotforth House Residential School (1992), involving the physical abuse of children with learning difficulties;
(b) Castle Hill Residential School, Shropshire (1993) – sexual abuse of pupils by head of the school
(c) Oxendon House (1994) – inappropriate restraint and therapy techniques used by staff on older children with emotional and behavioural problems
(d) Islington: community homes, (1995) – concerns about risks to children from staff with previous child abuse convictions (see the charts of inquiries in Corby et al, Public Inquiries into Abuse of Children, pp. 77-78).

Other prominent inquiries from this period, including the Waterhouse Inquiry into abuse in children’s homes in North Wales (2000), can fairly be considered to be of a different nature to that requested here.

The Castle Hill Inquiry pinpointed the extent to which the abusing headmaster, Ralph Morris, was a ‘charismatic leader of the school who was very much in control of the environment’, how the particularities of the boys (who exhibited educational and behavioural problems) led to their not being trusted to be able to tell the truth, and called for independent schools to be brought more under the purview of authorities in order that allegations of abuse can be seen in their entirety and appropriately responses made (Corby et al, Public Inquiries into Abuse of Children, p. 84).

But also relevant in some respects as a model for an inquiry into abuse in musical education would be the ongoing Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry set up by the Northern Ireland Executive (http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/historical-institutional-abuse (accessed 28/5/13)). Noted in particular are the following:

• The “Acknowledgement Forum” allows people to contribute their experiences without any of the stress of having to appear on a witness stand. All info to be collated into a report, and records destroyed after the Inquiry ends.
• The “Statutory Inquiry” is more public and involves questioning, but not agressive cross-examination (and names cannot be published by the press). They have the legal authority to force institutions to release documents or appear for questioning if needed.

This may be a good model for the workings of an inquiry into abuse in musical education.

Issues which a public inquiry might address would include the following:

• The extent and nature of abuse of all types in specialist music education, providing opportunities for victims past and present to achieve some type of closure and be heard.
• The historical roots of secondary specialist music education since the foundation of the five schools between 1962 and 1972, and the models in terms of pedagogy and child welfare upon which they drew.
• The nature of psychological and emotional abuse and the dangers of its occurrence in musical education.
• The nature of regulation and safeguarding and how this affects independent schools who receive state money through the Music and Dance scheme. Proposals for the extent to which these schools might be brought in line with other state institutions.
• Requirements in terms of formal training for instrumental teachers.
• Only a minority of students will likely attain professional careers – potential for serious damage to those who don’t, who have devoted their all to becoming a musician.
• Guru teachers and their webs of control – charismatic cults and their effects upon pedagogy.
• Questions about whether the central focus of exclusive 1-1 teaching remains appropriate.
• The culture of classical music and the exploitation of unaccountable power towards those whose careers and livelihoods are always vulnerable. The extension of such a culture and its values into musical education.
• The tendency of musical institutions to insulate themselves from the wider world and normal demands in terms of humane treatment of those they nurture.
• That there is a sexual component to music (and musical performance) could not be plausibly denied– but how is this to be handled when teaching young musicians?

It is clear that there is abundant evidence pointing to widespread abuse within musical education. Some of this may be able to be addressed via criminal proceedings, but as indicated elsewhere, there are various factors deterring victims from speaking out; furthermore various forms of abuse do not constitute criminal activity (where the victim was between 16 and 18 prior to the 2003 Sexual Offences Act, or where psychological maltreatment is involved) or cannot be prosecuted because the perpetrator is now dead. Some police involved with criminal investigations such as Operation Kiso have made clear to the author that institutional culpability and the structural workings of institutions such as facilitate abuse are beyond their remit. And the institutions of musical education have not been subject to sustained investigation and scrutiny for a long time, despite being the recipient of state monies; wider issues of pedagogical approach and its relationship to child welfare in such contexts are greatly needed. It is for these reasons that it is believed that a public inquiry should be undertaken as soon as possible into musical education and the potential therein for abuse.

Appendix: Article by Ian Pace for Times Educational Supplement, published online 8/5/13

The culture of music education lends itself to abuse

Ian Pace studied piano, composition and percussion at Chetham’s School of Music from 1978 to 1986, followed by Oxford and Cardiff universities and the Juilliard School in New York. He has a dual career as concert pianist and historical musicologist, and is lecturer in music and head of performance at City University London. He writes here in a personal capacity.

My own formative years, between ages 10 and 18, were spent at Chetham’s – better known as Chet’s – from 1978 to 1986, always as a boarder.

I should make clear from the beginning that I do not consider myself to have been a victim of sustained abuse at the school. I received a good deal of valuable teaching that helped towards my professional career as a pianist and musicologist. However, the recent conviction of one teacher and the police investigation of many others have forced me to re-evaluate those times, the values I encountered and absorbed there, and their relationship to a wider classical music culture.

Many among the alumni have come together in recent months, often for the first time in several decades, and frequently with the help of social media. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the conviction of one teacher and allegations against others have been traumatic for many. They have led to varying degrees of disillusionment, regret, sometimes denial or disbelief. There have been attempts to recapture the most positive elements of the past as an antidote to these shocks.

Hardest of all to accept can be the idea that those who played an integral part in shaping one’s own musical identity and development – a deeply personal thing – may have themselves been deeply corrupted individuals responsible for sometimes heinous acts. An almost frantic piecing together of memories from the time can also give cause for sober reflection upon some aspects of the culture of the school.

In particular, there was the relatively common knowledge of affairs between (mostly male) teachers and (mostly female) students, the latter in most cases were over 16, but still students nonetheless. What sort of distorted values were at play when this was apparently not viewed as anything particularly unusual or untoward? From a youthful perspective, this seemed to bestow a certain status upon some of those involved (occasionally boys as well as girls) perceived as especially adult, sexually mature and sophisticated, despite still being children.

Many of the values and attitudes informing classical music today remain rooted in the 19th century. Among these is the idea that solo performance entails a highly intimate expression of the self, dealing with deeply intimate emotions. Or that it entails a seduction, captivation and bewitchment of one’s audience, which can objectify performer and listener alike. Both place the musician in a vulnerable situation that can be withstood from the vantage point of adult emotional and sexual maturity, but that is extremely testing and potentially dangerous for children.

And the focus of attention is not merely upon the sounds produced but also the visual appearance of the performer, their demeanour, gestures and facial expression. The outfits female musicians (and increasingly males as well) are expected to wear are often highly sexualised.

It would be disingenuous to deny that teenagers of all types, not just musicians, look to older, sexualised role models for inspiration, but when this becomes ingrained within their education itself, it can be ripe for exploitation. When music teachers take it upon themselves to mould not only the musician but the whole person of the young performer, that performer may be at risk of seriously damaging consequences if this is not handled with the utmost care. Most obviously alarming is the possibility of sexualised grooming, as is alleged to have happened in many cases at Chetham’s.

But wider patterns of psychological abuse can equally have devastating results upon students’ personal and emotional well-being, with severe consequences in later life. Behind the sometimes monstrous egos of successful solo musicians you frequently find common traits of narcissistic self-obsession, narrowness of outlook, ruthless competitiveness, vanity and the insatiable need for reassurance. They are all frequently conceived as aspects of “artistic temperament”. Their higher calling seems to exempt them from other laws of reasonable behaviour.

Historical examples of musical “great men” such as Beethoven, Liszt or Wagner serve to legitimise these attitudes and traits. Many conflict sharply with the empathy, humility and generosity of spirit that I believe to be vital for productive teaching.

Yet many musicians are engaged as teachers primarily on the basis of their achievements as performers, and the result can at worst be disastrous. It can lead to the cultivation of entourages of adoring young students to be moulded into quasi-clones of the great guru, as extensions of his or her ego. Sometimes, students who do not conform to these teachers’ expectations can be the subject of jealous resentment leading to callous cruelty through attempts to destroy their confidence. They dissect and amplify the student’s every fault while ignoring their strengths, sometimes in order to humiliate them in front of others.

In either case this constitutes psychological abuse in a way that would be completely unacceptable for a regular state school teacher. But institutions’ reputations are often founded on these “great musicians” and they have the power to make or break a student’s future career. Students’ desperation to please has for too long been allowed to mask a pattern of abusive behaviour.


Index of major original articles on abuse

I am in the process of preparing longer bibliographies of both published and online articles relating to issues of institutionalised abuse, specifically the areas on which I have concentrated – abuse in music schools and private schools, the Paedophile Information Exchange, and abuse involving politicians. Having recently reblogged a large number of articles from the Spotlight blog, I realise my site may not be so easy to navigate, so I am providing here a list with links of all my significant original articles.


General

New Cross-Party Group of MPs calling for Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (3/6/14)

Please contact your MP to ask for their support for a national inquiry into child abuse (5/6/14)

The stock government reply to queries about a national inquiry into organised child abuse (15/6/14, also regularly updated)

British Association of Social Workers contacts its 14K members calling for them to support organised abuse inquiry (20/6/14)

House of Commons debate 26/6/14 following publication of Savile reports (26/6/14)

On the Eve of Possible Major Revelations – and a Reply to Eric Joyce (1/7/14)


Abuse in Musical Education and the Music World

Reported Cases of Abuse in Musical Education, 1990-2012, and Issues for a Public Inquiry (30/12/13) (this post is in need of some updating to mention other cases during the period in question)

The Trial of Michael and Kay Brewer and the Death of Frances Andrade, and the Aftermath, 2013 (12/8/14)

Proposed Guidelines to protect both Music Teachers and Students – a starting point for discussion (21/2/15)

New stories and convictions of abuse in musical education, and the film of the Institute of Ideas debate (11/1/14) (also in need of updating)

Petition for an inquiry into sexual and psychological abuse at Chetham’s School of Music and other specialist institutions (original version – each version has a different long list of comments) (16/2/13)

Petition for an Inquiry into Sexual and other Abuse at Specialist Music Schools – The List of Signatories (19/2/13)

Re-opened until May 31st, 2013 – Petition for an Inquiry into Abuse in Specialist Music Education (9/5/13) (the final version)

A further call to write to MPs to support an inquiry into abuse in musical education (26/11/13)

In the Aftermath of the Brewer Sentencing – A Few Short Thoughts and Pieces of Information (27/3/13)

Michael Brewer – a powerful Director of Music, not just a provincial choirmaster or music teacher (28/3/13)

Reports from the Malcolm Layfield Trial (2/6/15)

Chris Ling’s Views on Sexing Up Classical Music (11/2/13)

Robert Waddington, Former Dean of Manchester Cathedral, and Chetham’s School of Music (12/5/13)

The 1980 Department of Education and Science Report into Chetham’s School of Music, National Archives ED 172/598/2 (20/9/15)

Contact details for Greater Manchester Police relating to Chetham’s (11/4/13)

Publication of Reports into Chetham’s by ISI and MCC – Senior Management and Governors should consider their position (3/4/13)

New Surrey Safeguarding Report on suicide of Frances Andrade draws attention to dangers of music education (10/4/14)

Alun Jones to be new Head of Chetham’s – and a list of SMS Heads and Music Directors (13/12/15)

Marcel Gazelle and the Culture of the Early Yehudi Menuhin School (7/5/13)

Craig Edward Johnson, the Yehudi Menuhin School, Adrian Stark, and wider networks? (8/4/14)

Contact Details for Surrey Police, in relation to the Yehudi Menuhin School (11/5/13)

Philip Pickett arrested on 15 charges, and interview with Clare Moreland in The Times (14/2/14)

The case of Ian Lake, and reflections on the year (30/12/13)

Clifford Hindley: Pederasty and Scholarship (3/3/14)

Abuse minimisation as an example of the writing of history as kitsch (14/7/13)

New article in Times Educational Supplement on abuse in musical education – and public debate on October 19th, Barbican Centre (3/10/13)

A message from another victim of abuse at a UK music school, calling for others to come forward (25/11/13)

Call to speak out on bullying and psychological/emotional abuse in music (9/1/14)

Alan Doggett, first conductor of Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Paedophile Information Exchange (28/3/14) (an updated version of original post from 7/3/14)

New revelations on Alan Doggett, and Colin Ward’s 1981 article on Doggett and Tom O’Carroll (25/3/14)

Further on Alan Doggett – child prostitution and blaming victims at Colet Court School (28/3/14)

Peter Righton’s Diaries: Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and Michael Davidson (11/5/14)

Benjamin Britten and Peter Righton – A Response from the Britten-Pears Foundation (12/9/14)

Geoff Baker on El Sistema: sexual and other abuse in an authoritarian, hierarchical, archaic music culture (15/11/14)


The Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) and associated areas

NCCL and PIE – documentary evidence 1 (25/2/14)

NCCL Documentary Evidence 2 – Sexual Offences – Evidence to the Criminal Law Revision Committee 1976 (7/4/14)

PIE – documentary evidence 2 – from Magpie 1-8 (trigger warning – contains disturbing material) (26/2/14)

PIE – documentary evidence 3 – from Magpie 9-17 (trigger warning – contains disturbing material) (26/2/14)

PIE – documentary evidence 4 – UP, ‘Childhood Rights’, and Paedophilia – some questions and answers (27/2/14)

PIE – Documentary Evidence 5 – Contact Ads (9/3/14)

PIE – Documentary Evidence 6 – Chairperson’s Report 1975/76 (16/3/14)

PIE – Documentary Evidence 7 – Steven Adrian Smith’s History of the Movement (31/3/14)

PIE – Documentary Evidence 8 – Mary Manning in Community Care and Auberon Waugh in The Spectator, 1977 (16/7/14)

The PIE Manifesto (6/3/14) (link to Spotlight blog from 18/4/13)

PIE and the Home Office: Three+ members/supporters on inside, funded, magazine printed and phone line (15/3/14)

PIE and the Gay Left in Britain – The Account by Lucy Robinson – plus various articles newly online (29/6/14)

Antony Grey and the Sexual Law Reform Society 1 (26/8/14)

Antony Grey and the Sexual Law Reform Society 2 (29/9/14)

Tim Tate – Chapter on Paedophiles from book ‘Child Pornography: An Investigation’ (4/8/14)

The File on Peter Hayman in the National Archives (30/1/15)

Two Obituaries of Peter Hayman, Senior Diplomat, MI6 Officer and PIE Member (6/3/14)

Clifford Hindley: Pederasty and Scholarship (3/3/14)

Peter Righton – His Activities up until the early 1980s (21/8/14)

Letter to Guardian from 1963 from a Peter Righton on Books dealing with Sex for 14-year olds (20/8/14)

Peter Righton – Counselling Homosexuals (1973) (2/9/15)

Peter Righton’s Articles for Social Work Today (5/6/14)

Peter Righton and Morris Fraser’s Chapters in ‘Perspectives on Paedophilia’ (5/6/14)

Peter Righton’s writing on child abuse in Child Care: Concerns and Conflicts – his cynical exploitation of a post-Cleveland situation (28/8/15)

Peter Righton, Antony Grey and Kevin O’Dowd in conversation on therapy (26/8/14)

Peter Righton was questioned about child sex offences in May 1993 and November 1994 (21/8/14)

The Larchgrove Assessment Centre for Boys in Glasgow that even Peter Righton found to be cruel (20/8/14)

Brian Taylor and Ken Plummer’s Chapters, and Bibliography, from ‘Perspectives on Paedophilia’ (29/6/14)

Peter Righton’s Diaries: Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and Michael Davidson (11/5/14)

Benjamin Britten and Peter Righton – A Response from the Britten-Pears Foundation (12/9/14)

Peter Righton – Further Material (12/6/14)

Peter Righton obituary in Ardingly College magazine (16/7/14)

Reports from the Richard Alston Trial (20/8/15)

From the memoirs of John Henniker-Major, 8th Baron Henniker (1916-2004) (3/3/15)

Dr Morris Fraser, Belfast, Long Island New York, Islington (17/10/14) (This is a link to a post on Charlotte Russell’s blog, but so important I wanted to include it here)

The Love and Attraction Conference (1977) and Book (1979) (7/7/14)

Betrayal of Youth (1986) – including the contributions of Middleton, Owens, Faust, Tatchell (5/7/14)

Academia and Paedophilia 1: The Case of Jeffrey Weeks and Indifference to Boy-Rape (29/9/14)

The Uranians #1 – the nineteenth/early twentieth century PIE? (24/5/14)


Public Schools

Alan Doggett, first conductor of Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Paedophile Information Exchange (28/3/14) (an updated version of original post from 7/3/14)

New revelations on Alan Doggett, and Colin Ward’s 1981 article on Doggett and Tom O’Carroll (25/3/14)

Further on Alan Doggett – child prostitution and blaming victims at Colet Court School (28/3/14)

Craig Edward Johnson, the Yehudi Menuhin School, Adrian Stark, and wider networks? (8/4/14)

Extraordinarily powerful article by Alex Renton on the abusive world of British boarding schools (4/5/14)

Colet Court School and St Paul’s: A Collection of Articles from The Times (8/5/14)

Benjamin Ross’s account of Colet Court School (8/5/14)

Criminal abuse in the classroom as portrayed by D.H. Lawrence (4/5/14)


Politicians, Government and Abuse

General

Call for All Political Leaders and Leadership Candidates to Pledge Full Co-operation with Abuse Inquiry (9/7/15)

What leading UK politicians should pledge about organised child abuse (17/10/14)

The Meeting with the Abuse Inquiry Secretariat at Millbank Tower, Friday October 31st, 2014 (1/11/14)

Labour’s nominees for inquiry chair, and a left ‘establishment’ (6/11/14)

Please contact your MP to ask for their support for a national inquiry into organised child abuse (5/6/14, regularly updated).

The stock government reply to queries about a national inquiry into organised child abuse (15/6/14, also regularly updated)

British Association of Social Workers contacts its 14K members calling for them to support organised abuse inquiry (20/6/14)

House of Commons debate 26/6/14 following publication of Savile reports (26/6/14)

On the Eve of Possible Major Revelations – and a Reply to Eric Joyce (1/7/14)

A few good politicians – Becky Milligan at the office of Simon Danczuk, with Matt Baker, and the personal impact of abuse campaigning (18/7/14)

Ed Miliband should be leading the calls for a wide-ranging abuse inquiry (3/5/14)

Article from Telegraph – Simon Danczuk on child sex allegations involving senior Westminster figures (15/5/14)

PIE and the Home Office: Three+ members/supporters on inside, funded, magazine printed and phone line (15/3/14)

Sir Maurice Oldfield, Sir Michael Havers, and Kincora – guest blog post from Brian Merritt (10/7/14)

William Malcolm, the murdered paedophile who may have been about to expose a VIP ring (21/7/14)

 

Peter Morrison

Peter Morrison – the child abuser protected by MI5, the Cabinet Secretary, and Margaret Thatcher – updated July 2015 (26/7/15)

Peter Morrison and the cover-up in the Tory Party – fully updated (6/10/14)

Yes, Labour politicians need to answer questions about PIE and NCCL, but so do the Tories about Morrison, and the Lib Dems about Smith (25/2/14)

Tim Tate’s Questions to Lord Armstrong, and Armstrong’s Answer (26/7/15)


Fiona Woolf

Fiona Woolf, Leon Brittan and William Hague – conflicts of interest (11/9/14)

Fiona Woolf – the untruth in her letter to the Home Secretary (21/10/14)

 

Greville Janner and Frank Beck

Judge in 1991 Leicestershire sex abuse case on ‘people in high places’ (24/5/14)

Decision not to arrest Greville Janner in 1991 – then Attorney General and DPP need to answer questions (8/8/14)

The documents in the Andrew Faulds archives on Greville Janner (4/10/14)

Greville Janner’s view on a 1997 case of Nazi War Criminal with dementia (16/4/15)

And another case with Janner calling in 2001 for extradition of war criminal with dementia (16/4/15)

Greville Janner and Margaret Moran – trial of facts more likely for expenses fiddling than child abuse? (27/6/15)


Other

Anne Lakey didn’t ‘seduce’ or ‘take the virginity’ of a 13-year old boy – she sexually abused them (24/6/15)

Gore Vidal – paedophile, literary lover of child rape (11/8/14)

Germaine Greer’s Apologia for Child Abuse (27/6/14)

More pro-child sexual abuse propaganda from Germaine Greer (12/11/14).

Academia and Paedophilia 1: The Case of Jeffrey Weeks and Indifference to Boy-Rape (29/9/14)

The Uranians #1 – the nineteenth/early twentieth century PIE? (24/5/14)

Simon Callow on the paedophile exploits of André Gide, Oscar Wilde, Lord Alfred Douglas and others (31/7/14)

Liz Davies’ Open Letter to Margaret Hodge (3/8/14)

Paul Foot on Kincora Boys’ Home, and Recent Kincora Articles (1/8/14)

Paul Foot on Kincora – Appendix with Colin Wallace documents, and mention of Morris Fraser (9/8/14)

Claire Prentice in 1998 on Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith, and Mummy’s Boys (30/6/14)

Mary Whitehouse’s Favourite TV Programme – Jim’ll Fix It (7/7/14)

Decision not to arrest Greville Janner in 1991 – then Attorney General and DPP need to answer questions (8/8/14)

Be very sceptical about online communications laws which protect the powerful – social media and the right to offend (20/10/14)

 


New Surrey Safeguarding Report on suicide of Frances Andrade draws attention to dangers of music education

A report published today by the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board (which can be accessed here; a summary and press release can be downloaded here). There is much to be said about the long report and its comments on Chetham’s School, but I wanted for now to draw people’s attention to one passage in particular which is most pertinent:

Music schools, in common with other “hothousing” establishments, create pressures that may have a particularly damaging impact on young people who are vulnerable and/or without parental support. These settings are competitive, and feed into expectations already placed on the young person to be “special” and to succeed. The adults around them, who are often prominent performers in their own right, are invested with exceptional power and influence and are in a position of trust from which they exert considerable leverage over whether their pupils achieve success in their chosen fields. The music world is not alone in this regard, -similar pressures arise in elite sports academies, boarding schools, ballet schools, cathedral and choir schools, drama and performing arts courses, art schools and other areas of endeavour that create a backdrop for this very particular and potent form of grooming.

‘Chethams School provided an ideal environment for this kind of abuse to occur. The school seemed unaware of the risks of sexual abuse and it does not appear to have proactively promoted a child protection agenda. Boundaries were blurred and some staff seemed at times to act with impunity. When, Mrs A was sent, as a teenager, to live with MB and his family it was effectively a private fostering arrangement, put in place without any proper scrutiny or formal overview. The atmosphere of elite performance teaching created what one pupil described as a belief that you were “special”6 and it placed teachers in an exclusive and powerful position in relation to their protégés.

In response to this case another music teacher (MR), a man who had acted as a whistle-blower, published an article offering a window onto the culture in these circles at the time we are speaking of from which it can be seen that Mrs A was not alone in being at risk from abusive sexual relationships and unprofessional behaviour. MR later said,

Music lessons are one-to-one… So, if you’re determined to behave wrongly, there’s the opportunity: “It’s one of the easiest situations to abuse, I would have thought.”

He further discussed how music teaching in particular, takes place in a context of emotional intensity and that pupils’ crushes on staff are commonplace.

So this culture of sexualised behaviour between teachers and pupils that developed in the school at that time was, to some extent, known about and condoned. This culture may also have prevailed at the Royal Northern College of Music as there was considerable overlapping of staff, and this became the focus of contention specifically in relation to the appointment of ML to a senior post at the college. MR publicly confronted the principle of the college about the suitability of this appointment, given widespread allegations about ML’s sexual exploitation of young women students, at considerable cost to his career7. When he made his concerns public, he received many letters of support from students disclosing past abuses and concerns. Mrs A was one such pupil/student. When his whistle-blower’s warnings went unheeded, he recounted that

“Letters from pupils and professional musicians poured in, one was from [Mrs A] … She was a force to be reckoned with …”There was tremendous passion and anger.” Chethams therefore represented a very particular context in which it was possible for MB to target and groom Mrs A from a position of trust, power and influence. Although it seems to have been common knowledge that some teachers within the music network around Chethams and the Royal Northern Music School had sexual relationships with their pupils this was not formally addressed.

1. THIS REVIEW DID NOT HAVE A MANDATE TO COMMENT ON ISSUES OF CHILD PROTECTION BUT URGES CHILDREN’S SAFEGUARDING BOARDS AND THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE TO PAY ATTENTION TO ALL SCHOOLS ESPECIALLY, BUT NOT EXCLUSIVELY, BOARDING SCHOOLS INCLUDING THOSE CONCERNED WITH “SPECIAL” PUPILS OR THOSE THAT HAVE ELITE STATUS. THIS INCLUDES SO CALLED “FREE” SCHOOLS THAT EXIST TO SOME EXTENT OUTSIDE OF LOCAL NETWORKS.

Having written about this very subject myself almost a year ago (Ian Pace, ‘The culture of music education lends itself to abuse’, Times Education Supplement, May 11th, 2013), I am more than glad that others are starting to recognise this issue and the particular problems inherent to musical education. More to follow later.