Jimmy Savile: Schools and children's homes face investigation

Jimmy Savile Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Former DJ and presenter Jimmy Savile is said to have abused more than 200 people over a 60-year period

Claims Jimmy Savile abused children at 21 children's homes and schools in England must be investigated by local authorities, the government has said.

The allegations concern institutions in Yorkshire, London, Manchester, Kent, Surrey and Devon, among others, and relate to the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the Department for Education said.

The information was uncovered as part of a review by the Met Police.

Police have said Savile abused more than 200 people over six decades.

The former BBC DJ and presenter died in October 2011, aged 84, before the sex abuse allegations came to light.

'Predatory sex offender'

The organisations include a school for the blind in Harrogate, two schools and a children's home in Savile's birthplace of Leeds, and a Barnardo's children's home in Redbridge, north-east London.

In a written statement, Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "This information was uncovered as part of the document review process undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Service on behalf of the Department of Health.

"Having reviewed the information, I have decided that the Department for Education should pass the information to the appropriate organisations for further investigation.

"In most cases the work will be conducted by the relevant local authority; in others the relevant institution or a legacy organisation will take the lead."

In January 2013, a Metropolitan Police report said Savile had been a "prolific, predatory sex offender" who was able to "hide in plain sight" while abusing his victims.

A second report said he could have been prosecuted in 2009 if victims had been taken more seriously.

A criminal investigation, Operation Yewtree, was launched in October 2012.

The NHS is already investigating 33 hospitals' links with Savile after police passed information to the Department of Health.

Mr Gove said the new inquiries, which will be overseen by human rights lawyer Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, would follow the same arrangements.

Henshaws Society for Blind People, in Harrogate, said in a statement: "It is right that steps are taken to explore these allegations, to find out what happened and why, and we will be providing what evidence we can to the inquiry and will be putting as much effort as it takes into providing the inquiry with the information they need."

Action for Children, which ran the Penhurst School in Oxfordshire before it closed in May 2013, said it had been told of the allegations on Tuesday.

It said: "We are co-operating with the Department for Education and will conduct a full investigation into Savile's possible visits to our former school in the 1970s."

Gloucestershire County Council said it would do everything in its power to find out what had happened at Parklands Children's Home, which closed in 2002.

In his statement, the education secretary named the following institutions:

  • Children's home - name unknown - Bournemouth
  • Colletton Lodge, Devon
  • The Ride Children's Home, Hounslow, west London
  • Parklands Children's Home, Gloucestershire
  • Sevenoaks School, Kent
  • Northways Residential School, Leeds
  • Beechcroft Children's Home, Leeds
  • Henshaw School for the Blind, Harrogate
  • Notre Dame Grammar School, Leeds
  • Care home - name unknown - Islington, north London
  • Hollies Care Home, Southwark, south-east London
  • St Leonard's Children's Home, Tower Hamlets, east London
  • Sarah Laski Home, Manchester
  • Broome House Children's Home, Manchester
  • Children's home - name unknown - Manchester
  • Aspley Wood School, Nottingham
  • Bassetlaw School, Nottinghamshire
  • Penhurst School, Oxfordshire
  • Beach Holme Children's Home, Surrey
  • Broomfield Children's Home, Surrey
  • Barnardo's children's home - name unknown - Redbridge, north-east London

Source: Department for Education

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