Anna has recently been contacted by a gentleman who goes by the name of Mark Page, seemingly seeking her assistance in investigating allegations made by his son concerning his time as a pupil at Baston House School, located at Baston Road, Hayes, Bromley, Kent, BR2 7AB. This gentleman claims to have met Anna on three occasions at what appears to be social gatherings and asserts that he has raised concerns with her previously. However, upon examining all available emails and letters, unfortunately she cannot find any correspondence from this individual. In any case, Anna has had no operational responsibilities in relation to this school for over a decade, she is clearly not able to conduct any investigation at Baston House School on behalf of Mr Page or anyone else, for that matter. Having said that, Mr Page and it seems his son are evidently in need of assistance, and it is only right that I attempt to provide them with some guidance that may prove valuable. Moreover, this guidance may also be of help to anyone else facing similar concerns about Baston House School or any other school.

 

It is evident that Mr Page is not the alleged victim; instead, it is his son who he claims to have been the subject of misconduct. Details about Mr Page’s son have not been provided. However, from an objective standpoint, it is perhaps concerning that Mr Page has chosen to raise matters on his son’s behalf in a public manner. It is difficult to see how such an approach could ever be beneficial or appropriate.

 

Furthermore, if Mr Page’s son is a young person, the default position is that he should be the one pursuing any allegations. Nevertheless, Mr Page, as well as any other parent, is free to explore issues such as deputyship and power of attorney. This does not imply that parents like Mr Page would be entirely disempowered; rather, the focus would be mainly on the alleged victim who should be heard.

 

I am not able to provide Mr Page with legal advice. However, I can offer the following guidance.

 

Mr Page’s son should consider addressing the matters he complains about directly with the Headteacher of Baston House School, who, as I have found through my investigation, is Ms Rachel Martin and there is a contact email on the school website. To assist Mr Page and his son, I have already contacted Ms Martin, explaining that concerns have been raised by Mr Page – and one can assume his son – and advising that they may get in touch with her directly to provide the relevant details, which have not been provided by myself. It is reasonable to assume that Ms Martin will respond appropriately to any approach from Mr Page and his son. I did not share Mr Page’s contact details as (amongst other things) these are not in my possession.

 

Whilst I cannot comment on the veracity of any of Mr Page’s claims of misconduct towards his son, if his son makes allegations that could possibly lead to criminal liability, the obvious next step would be to consider reporting such matters to the police, who have extensive powers to investigate such issues. Naturally, I cannot assist Mr Page’s son by contacting the police on his behalf. However, getting in touch with the police is not an onerous task, as they are always just a phone call away.

 

Mr Page’s son may also consider raising the allegations with the local authority. Although it is unclear who this would be in his case, finding out the relevant contact information should not be problematic.

 

For completeness, anyone wishing to pursue a complaint a school is always free to seek legal advice beforehand or at any time.

 

It is essential to note that addressing such matters on social media is not advisable, not least of all because to do so may incur civil and/or criminal liability. Setting that to one side, Anna believes that Mr Page also requires proper guidance and direction, which is why I am willing to assist in this regard.

 

When pursuing a complaint, it is strongly suggested that it is most effective to present it in a comprehensive letter format which is clearly drafted and contains all complaints and relevant evidence. A copy of any such letter should be kept. It is of utmost importance to raise complaints as soon as possible, following the relevant procedure.

 

Any allegations made by a school pupil, particularly those concerning mistreatment, deserve to be investigated assuming they are made in good faith. It is regrettable that Mr Page chose to address these concerns publicly. Nonetheless, I hope that he, his son, or anyone else in a similar position will find this guidance helpful, enabling them to proceed effectively and with focus. I have done my best to assist and cannot reasonably do any more as indeed neither can Anna. Having said, there is no need for Mr Page nor his son to thank me, it would be more than sufficient thanks if he/ they were able to pursue any evidence based complaints they have more effectively than has clearly been the case thus far.

 

In conclusion, in all such cases I always hope that the correct outcome is achieved.

 

Sean Kennedy, Barrister.

Anna Kennedy Online

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