Had: The Tragedy of Crookham Court School

Author(s) : Ian Mucklejohn

Had: The Tragedy of Crookham Court School

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In 1969 Ian Mucklejohn went as a supply teacher to Crookham Court School, a private boys’ school in Berkshire, where he kept a diary of its eccentricities and odd characters. But it became clear that these peculiarities disguised a sinister undercurrent.

Years later, he helped to expose one of the biggest scandals in modern British education, as evidence emerged of the sexual abuse by teachers of dozens of boys at Crookham Court. He describes here how easily children’s lives were devastated – without the knowledge of any of the parents, most of the teachers, and in the absence of any intervention from authority. The book includes testimonials from abusers and their victims, as well as source material stretching back over thirty years.

This is a devastating and highly personal record of a scandal, and one man’s fight to see justice done.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘An outstanding book, told by the people who were there - those brave enough to recount their horrific abuse, those committed to advocating on their behalf, and their abusers. Ian Mucklejohn has knitted these voices together in a moving story that, unlike the many official reviews that are still gathering dust, will reach a wider audience. This book should be required reading for all those responsible for keeping young people safe.’
-- Dave Grimstead, former Detective Inspector and investigator of child abuse

‘This is a very powerful and informative book. Ian Mucklejohn shows how abusers can manipulate their victims into believing that they consented to the abuse, and describes clearly how children grow into adults who still bear the scars of their abuse years later. For anyone hoping to learn from the mistakes of the past in order to make society safer for children today this is a very relevant book.’
-- Jon Bird, Survivor Support Manager, National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

‘Utterly gripping. Ian Mucklejohn’s tale of thirty years spent at the heart of one of Britain’s worst child abuse scandals is a detective story and a confessional. Through his doggedness and bravery, we find out some terrible truths, which show just how easy it is for the evil to delude the good, and how hard we all have to work to get justice for the vulnerable.’
-- Alex Renton, investigative journalist and Contributing Editor of the Observer Magazine

About the Author(s)

Ian Mucklejohn has a degree in English from the University of London and was a teacher for twenty years. His professional life has always been with children. While teaching, he founded a residential Summer English Language and Activity Course for foreign children, 'Vacational Studies', which continues to flourish with many second-generation students. He is a single dad to three 14 year-old sons, Piers, Ian Jr and Lars, about whom he has written several published books. The family lives in Newbury, Berkshire.

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