Vice lure claims spark inquiry

9th March 2001 at 00:00
A SUCCESSFUL South Yorkshire comprehensive is at the centre of a police investigation after its headteacher claimed pupils were at risk of being lured into prostitution.

Child protection experts are investigating allegations made by Bill Bainbridge, head of Old Hall school, an 11-16 mixed comprehensive in Rotherham, in a letter to parents.

Mr Bainbridge wrote that he was aware that "shocking facts are beginning to emerge regarding the systematic sexual exploitation of 13 to 16-year-old girls in our area".

South Yorkshire police and Rotherham Council are investigating the claims. Police and the council said in a joint statement that: "We are aware of the concerns raised by Mr Bainbridge, which relate to a small number of young women who may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

"No formal complaints have been made in respect of an individuals."

Rotherham Council said it had a well-established procedure for dealing with problems of this kind through its area child protection committee, set up specifically to look at concerns over sexual exploitation.

Mr Bainbridge was not available for comment this week.

His school came second in the latest Rotherham GCSE tables - 55 per cent of pupils gained five or more top GCSEs, compared with an average of 41 per cent across the authority and 49 per cent in England.

Old Hall, which has 1,161 pupils, is also a technology and sports college.

Sergeant Bruce Cable of South Yorkshire police confirmed the investigation was on-going.

But the police and council said: "Because of the sensitive nature of this matter, and the lack of information at present, it is not appropriate to make any further comment."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today