Calls have been made for an apology for the alleged sexual abuse of former pupils of a Llandrindod Wells residential school for deaf children.
Welsh Assembly Member Julie Morgan has called for an apology, compensation and an acknowledgement of the historical abuse she said was suffered by pre-teen boys at the former Llandrindod Wells Residential School for Deaf Children in 1953.
The Labour AM for Cardiff North raised the alleged abuse in a debate at the Senedd. She said the allegations were uncovered by a constituent, Cedric Moon, who was researching a book on the school.
She said: "I’m looking for an acknowledgement by an authority, by a public body, that this abuse did happen, an apology and compensation to show that, for those who were victim to abuse, we don’t condone the covering up of allegations of abuse, even those that happened such a long time ago." During the debate Ms Morgan said the allegations had been recorded in a school log book as "unsavoury details" and as a result a housemaster agreed to leave the school the following day.
The housemaster, Ms Morgan told the Senedd, was recorded as having left Llandrindod, by coach, on January 22, 1953. Ms Morgan said: "Mr Moon had interviewed some former pupils who spontaneously came forward with the information about one particular housemaster who paid them night-time visits and abused boys during weekend walks.
"Apparently he singled out boys with poor communication skills and the abuse only came to light when one of the boys with better communication skills reported it. The headmaster investigated what he called ‘unsavoury incidents’ and the housemaster left the next day, according to the school log book.
"These young boys were living away from home, away from their parents, they had no hearing and they were abused by an adult who was in a position of trust. I do not think we can leave it rest there. We have to speak because they couldn’t." Conservative AM David Melding said though the alleged perpetrator is "long-dead" action should still be taken. He said: "We need to do something because these people were failed by society."
Labour’s Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson said it was important survivors "get the support that they want, in the way they agree they need it." The Welsh Government’s cabinet secretary for children, Carl Sargent said: "While the comments I can make on these specific allegations are necessarily limited, it is always important for us to learn from the past and acknowledge the lifelong consequences of abuse for survivors."
The school relocated from Swansea to Llandrindod during the Second World War and was run as the Llandrindod Wells Residential School for Deaf Children from 1950 until it closed in 1973.