Oxford SU is disturbed and concerned to learn that the University of Oxford were aware of St Benet’s employee Father Bernard Green’s ban from working with individuals under the age of 19, six years before his dismissal in 2012.
We have called for an urgent meeting with the University to discuss how to ensure this does not happen again and ensure that student safety is not jeopardised again.
Cherwell has reported that following Green’s ban in 1996 from working and teaching with “young persons under the age of 19” by the Department of Education he was employed by St. Benet’s Hall in 2000 for a total of 12 years. As stated by Cherwell evidence shows that “the then Abbot of Ampleforth and former St. Benet’s Trust Chair, Father Cuthbert Madden, knew of the nature of Green’s ban as early as 2006.” Six years before he was formally dismissed due to his charges. Cherwell also reported that after a 2005 disciplinary investigation into Green for his harassment of a 19-year-old undergraduate the University failed to realise Green’s ban from the DfE and he was let off with a final written warning.
It is alarming to learn that Green was employed by the University whilst still on the Sex Offenders Register and was allowed to engage with students under the age of 19, which clearly goes against his ban.
The SU condemns the collegiate university for their clear negligence on this issue. This is a clear indication that stringent investigation into the background of potential new staff has not occurred and may not be occurring today. This negligence puts students and other staff members at risk and directly harms the University community.
The collegiate university cannot sit back and ignore the fact some staff members may be a danger to students.
The SU calls the collegiate university to act in a more diligent and thorough way when employing staff and we urge them to particularly examine whether incoming staff members have the potential to cause harm, given evidence and/or prior offences. We have called for a meeting with the University to learn about their work to stop this from happening again.