News State Western Australia Inquiry into abuse at Perth school

Inquiry into abuse at Perth school

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How a teacher got away with sexually molesting boys at an exclusive independent school in Perth for almost a decade will be the subject of a public hearing in Perth on Monday.

The royal commission hearing into the school, which cannot be named because of a District Court suppression order, will focus on allegations the teacher was allowed to abuse students between 1999 and 2008 despite warnings by staff about his behaviour.

The 62-year-old former teacher, who also cannot be named, is serving a five-year jail term after being convicted of indecently dealing with five students between 1999 and 2008.

He denied the offences but was found guilty in 2010.

After a successful appeal, he was again convicted after a retrial in 2012.

When he was sentenced in 2012 The West Australian newspaper reported the school was given repeated warnings about the Year 4 and 5 teacher’s suspicious behaviour with boys of certain physical appearances.

The paper said one letter by a fellow teacher detailed the man’s propensity to choose favoured students and even predicted which boys in coming years would become his favourites.

The commission will hear the teacher was given a formal warning in 2004 but was allowed to continue working until 2009, when a former student reported him to police.

In the course of the hearing the response of the headmasters, relevant department heads and the school council to the concerns raised by teachers and others about the teacher’s behaviour with some students, will be investigated.

The commission will also examine the response of the school to the victims and their families and the wider school community after the teacher’s arrest.

He was arrested in 2009 on multiple charges of indecent dealing with a child.

The school’s response to and management of the victims claims for compensation will also be scrutinised as will the registration of the school under the Schools Education Act 1999 (WA) between 2009 and 2014.