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Top £20,000-a-year London private school has a ‘rape culture’, say pupils

Top £20,000-a-year London private school has a ‘rape culture’, say pupils amid online claims of ‘predatory’ boys harassing girls

  • Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, west London, has contacted pupils
  • They offered support after youngsters reported ‘toxic environment’ at school
  • Headteacher David Goodhew said he was ‘troubled’ by the allegations online
  • They included claims female students being assaulted by male counterparts

Pupils at a top private school have claimed it has a ‘rape culture’ after detailing allegations of sexual abuse and harassment, it was revealed yesterday.

Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, west London, has contacted pupils and alumni to offer support after youngsters reported a ‘toxic environment’ within the £20,000-a-year co-educational school.

Headteacher David Goodhew said he was ‘troubled’ by the anonymous allegations made online, which included claims female students had been assaulted by their male counterparts and coerced into sex acts.

The website and social media campaign Everyone’s Invited has received hundreds of anonymous claims of sexual abuse involving pupils from some of Britain’s leading private schools, also including Eton and St Paul’s Boys School in Barnes, south-west London.

Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, west London, has contacted pupils and alumni to offer support after youngsters reported a ‘toxic environment’ within the £20,000-a-year co-educational school (file photo)

Pupils at Latymer said it had a ‘serious and ongoing problem’. A second website has since been set up to demand the school tackles its alleged ‘rape culture’.

The school, where alumni include actor Hugh Grant and model Lily Cole, said it had alerted parents and the local council’s child safeguarding officer to the allegations.

One shocking account claimed some ‘rich, white, privileged boys’ at the school were ‘predators’ who forced girls into performing sex acts.

Girls alleged boys made ‘sexual comments’ to them in the classroom, compared nude photographs of them and ranked them based on their faces and bodies.

Pupils said they were bullied and sexually harassed during lessons and that teachers had ignored the behaviour.

Parents who complained to the school were also ignored, according to some of the accounts on the Everyone’s Invited website.

One anonymous pupil said they had been repeatedly sexually harassed in a classroom by a boy, saying: ‘The teacher could also see this happening every lesson and the other boys laughing and chose to ignore it.’

In a statement, Latymer said: ‘The welfare of our students and alumni is of the utmost importance to us and we take any report or allegation made by a member of our community extremely seriously.

‘Sexual harassment and abuse have no place at Latymer or in the wider world. Such behaviours are completely incompatible with Latymer’s values and contrary to our ethos of respect for others.’

Condemning the actions described, St Paul’s Boys School said it had also reported the website allegations to its local council’s safeguarding team.

Eton said it took any allegations ‘extremely seriously’, would investigate thoroughly and take appropriate disciplinary action.

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