Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 11:08 UK

Abuse at school 'went undetected'

Children (generic)
The report criticised managers for failing to protect children

A paedophile housemaster recruited by another child molester abused pupils undetected for years, an inquiry found.

Anthony Bulley, then 39, was jailed for 10 years in 2005 for raping and assaulting young boys at Stony Dean special school in Amersham.

The report, commissioned by Buckinghamshire County Council, criticised managers for failing to protect children.

The council said the school had changed and was now a "different environment".

The welfare of children at Stony Dean School over a number of years was not properly safeguarded
Serious case review findings

The serious case review by consultant Verita, which carries out inquiries into public sector organisations, found the first abuse allegations against Bulley, who was the school's "head of care" were investigated but no criminal charges were brought.

A subsequent internal investigation concluded the incident could not have taken place.

But Bulley was suspended in 2005 after a second allegation of sexual abuse was made by another child.

It was only then, the report said, that the school discovered similar allegations in 1994, when Bulley had worked at a school in Yorkshire.

A third child later came forward with an allegation of a similar nature and the Buckinghamshire school's boarding unit was closed.

Bulley had taken over at Stony Dean from Malcolm Stride, who was convicted in 2000 of serious sexual assaults on children at a school in North Yorkshire.

Gross misconduct

The serious case review said: "The welfare of children at Stony Dean School over a number of years was not properly safeguarded.

"As a consequence, at least four boys were seriously abused by Anthony Bulley."

Bulley was jailed at Oxford Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to six offences, including rape and sexual assault, on four boys between 2002 and 2004.

After the case the head teacher and deputy head were dismissed for gross misconduct.

The report gave recommendations and acknowledged the courage of children and parents who brought the molestation to light.

A spokeswoman for Buckinghamshire County Council, which runs Stony Dean School, said it had put in place "significantly more stringent and cohesive practices".

"Stony Dean School today is a very different environment," she added.

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