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Reformatory CP - January 1968

Corpun file 3681 at


The Daily Telegraph, London, 12 January 1968

Head told to leave Approved School

'2 boys caned too hard'

Daily Telegraph Reporter

BROTHER CASSIAN, 46, headmaster of St. Swithin's Roman Catholic Approved School, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, has been asked to leave after administering corporal punishment "with excessive severity", the Home Office said last night.

He has been at the school for 21 years, six of them as headmaster, and was due to retire in June. He has now been asked to "anticipate" this by taking his accumulated leave at once. Mr. Callaghan, Home Secretary, yesterday met five of the school managers.

The Home Office stated they discussed what action to take on the report of an investigation into reports of ill-treatment of boys.

The charges were made by Mr. William Williams, an instructor in the school's nautical department for five years. He was dismissed in 1965.

A Joint Committee of three school managers and two Home Office inspectors made the report. It was accepted by the Home Secretary and the managers yesterday.


Number of strokes

The Home Office statement said:

The joint committee found that most of the allegations were unproved.

They found, however, that on two occasions, once in July 1964 and once in February 1966, the headmaster administered corporal punishment with excessive severity, although the number of strokes permitted under the approved school rules was not exceeded.

They also reported that, contrary to the approved school rules, there had been a long-standing practice of requiring boys to wear drill shorts when corporal punishment was administered.

This practice was abandoned as soon as its irregularity was pointed out by inspectors.


Service recognised

Mr. Callaghan told the managers he was satisfied with the general management and conduct of the school. There is no question of its closure.

He also recognised the headmaster's long service and "devotion to the welfare of the boys."

Brother Cassian, was not available for comment last night. His deputy, Brother Gregory, said he was in London and intended going to the Boat Show. He was interested in amateur boxing and was sought as a referee.

St. Swithin's has 63 boys aged between 15 and 17. It is run by the de la Salle Brothers.

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