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Rochdale Borough Council announce dates and terms of review into Knowl View School

Press release   •   Apr 02, 2014 15:41 BST

Andrew Warnock QC will be conducting his review into the decision making process surrounding Knowl View School hopefully concluding in May 2014.

The QC has been instructed by the council to independently review how the council dealt with claims of abuse at the school from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. Cllr Lambert said: “We are asking anyone who was around during this period, who may have any information about these matters to come forward now to the Council and /or GMP.  I have said that we will leave no stone unturned to uncover the truth, so it is important for any member of the council, council officer or staff who worked at the school to speak with us if they know anything”.

The terms of reference for Mr Warnock are:

 (i) Noting the Legal and Corporate governance framework in place for Rochdale MBC during the relevant period in relation to the management of Knowl View School: Leading Counsel is asked to comment upon whether the arrangement constituted a ‘Joint Committee’ and, if so, the implications of this.

(ii) Leading Counsel is asked to comment upon the role and remit of the Board of Governors of Knowl View School, its relationship to the Local Authority and the Authority’s decision making processes.

(iii) The numerous reports commissioned in relation to the School were properly considered by the appropriate decision makers and whether the decisions taken as a consequence of those reports were reasonable in all the circumstances.

(iv) Leading Counsel is asked to consider the Report of Mrs. Valerie Mellor, in the light of her instructions as set out in the preamble to that report, noting the mechanism by which the Report’s findings were presented back to the Council and the expressly claimed professional privilege attached to the Report.

(v) the Knowl View ‘Memorandum of Agreement‘ dated 23rd May 1968, including its subsequent amendments, and the role taken by other ‘Sponsoring Authorities’ in relation to decision making and governance for the School.

(vi) Giving consideration to what would have been accepted good practice during the relevant period governing the relationship, powers and duties as between Officers and elected Members; Leading Counsel is asked to comment upon information sharing and decision making in relation to Knowl View School.

The review is separate from ongoing investigations being conducted by Greater Manchester Police and Anne Coffey MP. 

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