Pupil who alleged rape at school told she was ‘attention-seeking liar’
PUBLISHED: 11:58 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:43 20 August 2019
Another ex-pupil of a school being investigated by police alleges today she was raped but was not believed by staff.
Hayley Jones, 39, is one of a dozen pupils who have now come forward to this newspaper alleging abuse at the Small School at Red House near Buxton in the 1980s and '90s.
Social services departments across the country sent their most difficult children to the residential school but concerns were repeatedly ignored until it was shut in 1998.
Norfolk police opened a fresh investigation this month into the allegations and has urged former pupils to come forward.
Mrs Jones was 13 when she was sent to Red House in 1993 by Oxfordshire County Council.
Waiving her right to anonymity as the victim of an alleged sexual offence, she claimed: "It was horrible. I was raped by another student and the teachers told me it had not happened. They told me I was an attention-seeking liar.
"I lost confidence that the adults could do anything for me."
Since leaving she has suffered from mental health issues which she attributes to her time at the school.
She is the third pupil to allege she was raped by another pupil at Red House.
Mrs Jones, whose surname at the time was Buck, also supported allegations made by several other pupils about a harsh regime.
The school was run by an organisation linked to a Danish group called Tvind.
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We have contacted several former teachers now living in Scandinavia for comment, but none have responded.
However the ex-headteacher of Red House's sister school, near Hull, has spoken out.
Steen Thomsen was at Winestead Hall from 1991 until its closure in 1998.
Speaking to Danish newspaper Kommunen last week about Winestead Hall Mr Thomsen said: "We worked hard to do our job as well as we possibly could.
"It was done with a good heart but we were understaffed, which is why we also made mistakes."
He added his counterpart at Red House treated pupils harshly but said he did not believe there was a violent culture at the school.
"We could be forced to use force if a student attacked other students or staff," he said.
Oxfordshire County Council said it had no record of complaints about Red House.
A spokesman for Norfolk police said: "Detectives have been assessing new information received concerning allegations of abuse at the former Red House School in Buxton and our investigation is ongoing.
"This is a complex enquiry concerning non-recent physical and sexual abuse allegations involving a number of people. We are carrying out extensive enquiries, which will take some time to complete.
"A team of specially trained officers are working on the case, speaking with people who may hold important information while liaising with partner agencies to ensure appropriate help and support is provided, where needed.
"We would appeal to anyone with information, which has not been previously reported to the police, to make contact."
- Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police on 101 or email DS Dave Rawlings at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Major Incident Public Portal.
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