Answers to questions about the Independent Inquiry and independent Redress Programme.

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Independent Inquiry

What is the School’s response to the Inquiry Report?

The Dilworth Trust Board fully accepts and is acting on all nineteen of the Inquiry Report’s recommendations. An Implementation Dashboard has been established to track Dilworth’s progress against each recommendation.

Acting on the Inquiry’s recommendations will help the Board, the Dilworth Response team, and the School in our determination to support the healing process for anyone who has been impacted by historical abuse that occurred at Dilworth.

It will also help us as we work to continually improve the quality of education and the safeguarding of current and future students.

You can find out more about the Board’s response here.

How long will it take for the Board to implement the Inquiry recommendations?

The Board is committed to implementing our response to the Report recommendations to continue our journey on being a leader in Student safety.

While progress is already being made, the Board acknowledges that some of the recommendations will take time and require a longer-term commitment. It has established detailed action plans for each of the nine themes outlined by the Inquirers within the Report, which can be accessed via the Implementation Dashboard.

The Implementation Dashboard will track progress made by the Board, the School and Dilworth Response against the recommendations so that the Dilworth Community has full transparency of the actions being taken.

How does the Independent Inquiry differ to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care?

They are two quite different and completely separate processes.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care (RCI) has a wide-ranging mandate, based on its terms of reference from the Government, to investigate the abuse of those in State and faith-based care in Aotearoa New Zealand between the years 1950-99. The RCI has finished its inquiry work and is now in the final stages of reporting.

The Independent Inquiry into abuse at Dilworth School is specific to Dilworth School and was commissioned by the Board to provide an understanding of the extent of abuse at Dilworth School, the actions of the School in responding to complaints of abuse and the adequacy of those actions, the factors that caused or contributed to the abuse occurring, and the adequacy of the systems currently in place at Dilworth School to prevent abuse.

The Independent Inquiry Report has now been published and can be accessed on the Independent Inquiry website.

When was the Independent Inquiry Report finalised?

The Independent Inquiry Report into abuse at Dilworth School was published by Dame Silvia Cartwright and Frances Joychild KC on Monday 18 September 2023. The report is available to read on the Independent Inquiry website and hard copies will be made available for anyone who engaged with the Inquiry. You can access the Report by going to the Independent Inquiry page of this website.

What is Dilworth School’s response to the recommendations outlined in the Independent Inquiry Report?

The Independent Inquiry Report has shed light on events and behaviour that should never have occurred. The Board has carefully considered the findings and recommendations in the Report and accepted all 19 Recommendations. Dilworth has published its Implementation Plan and up-to-date programme being made on the Dilworth Response Implementation Dashboard.

How was the Independent Inquiry undertaken?

The Independent Inquiry commenced its work on 1 July 2022 and delivered its final report on 18 September 2023. The procedures and protocols for the Independent Inquiry were determined by the Independent Inquiry Chair and Co-Inquirer.

Did former Dilworth Headmasters and Board Chairs participate in the Inquiry?

While the Inquiry had no powers to require anyone to participate, the Dilworth Trust Board encouraged all former and current Board members and Chairs, as well as former and current School staff and Headmasters to participate if they had information of interest to the Inquiry. Each member of the current Dilworth Trust Board engaged with the Inquiry, as did the current Dilworth Headmaster Dan Reddiex.

What process was followed to appoint the Independent Inquirers?

The Independent Inquirers were appointed by the Dilworth Trust Board following consultation and after receiving feedback from former students who were abused.

How is information that was provided to the Independent Inquiry being kept confidential?

Robust procedures and protocols were put in place at the outset of the Independent Inquiry to ensure private information remains confidential in accordance with the principles set out in the Privacy Act, and an independent Privacy Consultant monitored adherence to these protocols. No former students who have been abused are named in the Report.

Independent Dilworth Redress Programme

Will the Board make changes to the Redress Programme Terms, in light of the Independent Inquiry Report findings and recommendations?

The Board has listened to, and acknowledges feedback from former students who were abused aand those who participated in the work of the Inquiry that the wording relating to a student who was sexually abused by another student needs to change and be unqualified.

The Board has worked with the Redress Panel to change the eligibility for this type of sexual abuse, by removing the caveats that the abuse occur where “a Dilworth representative failed to take reasonable steps to protect against the potential for that abuse, or where the sexual abuse was encouraged or permitted by a Dilworth representative.” This change will be applied retrospectively to all applications for redress as well as to future applications.

The Board hopes this will make it easier for former students who were abused this kind of sexual abuse to apply for redress and for their cases to be considered by the Redress Panel. You can read more here.

The Board remains fully committed to the independent Dilworth Redress Programme, which it firmly believes will serve an important function and purpose in providing redress to promote healing and restoration to former students who experienced abuse while attending Dilworth School.

Can I make a claim for redress now, or when will I be able to?

Yes, you can go to the Dilworth Redress Programme website to find information on how to register your interest in applying for redress.

Why has there been a delay from the Redress Panel in making offers of redress?

The Dilworth Redress Programme Panel is independent from Dilworth and has previously said that it would not make determinations of any applications for redress until sometime after publication of the Dilworth Independent Inquiry Report. In July 2023, the Panel confirmed it would not be able to start issuing determinations until the first quarter of 2024.

The Panel commenced issuing determinations in March 2024.

The Panellists are highly skilled and respected people who are working diligently to ensure offers of redress are fair and equitable and that applicants are supported in the process.

In the meantime, the Board encourages former students who were abused to register their interest in making applications for redress if they have not already done so by emailing [email protected] or calling 0800 888 744 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm).

Who will be eligible to apply for redress under Dilworth’s Redress Programme?

While redress cannot undo the harm done to former students who have been abused, the Board is committed to supporting them through an independent Redress Programme.

The Dilworth Redress Programme Terms state that the Dilworth Redress Programme is available to any former Dilworth student subjected to sexual or serious physical abuse committed by a Dilworth representative, or a person who had access to the former student through a Dilworth Representative. It is also available to any former student who was sexually abused by another student where a Dilworth representative failed to take reasonable steps to protect against the potential for that abuse, or where the sexual abuse was encouraged or permitted by a Dilworth representative. The estate of a deceased former student who was abused can also apply for redress.

Why should I consider the Dilworth Redress Programme rather than wait for a government programme, or take other action?

The independent Dilworth Redress Programme is entirely voluntary, and we hope former students who have been abused will consider engaging with the Programme. There is no obligation to take part and no obligation to accept an offer of redress.

There is no cost to applicants to register and make a claim for redress and applicants can withdraw at any stage.

Redress applicants (or the estate of a deceased former student who was abused) can accept the independent Panel’s determination and offer or choose to not do so. They can also concurrently apply for a claim through the Government’s puretumu torowhānui redress scheme that may be introduced as recommended in the He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Current indications from Government are that its puretumu torowhānui redress scheme may be established in 2024. We encourage former students who have been abused to participate in one or both redress programmes based on what feels most appropriate for them.

What forms of redress will be available under the Dilworth Redress Programme?

Offers of redress will be tailored to each redress applicant. Offers could include access to funded confidential psychological therapy and support services; a direct personal response from Dilworth, including an apology; a redress payment; and other forms of redress which may be requested by the former student.

The Board will have no control or influence over the independent Panellists and will be bound by their decisions on the redress to be provided to each eligible applicant.

What financial redress is available as part of this Redress Programme?

The independent Redress Panel may offer personalised financial and other redress to former students who have been abused on a fair and equitable basis. It is proposed that in any one case, up to $200,000 be available to the Redress Panel from which they may award financial redress to a redress applicant while applying these guidelines and exercising their discretion. In cases that the Redress Panel believes are exceptional when compared to other cases, it is able to award a figure for Financial Redress of up to $300,000.

How will the Dilworth Redress Programme ensure there is sufficient evidence to support a claim?

The Dilworth Redress Programme is designed to be fair, balanced, and responsive to the needs of former students who have been abused. The starting position for the Panel when considering an application for redress is that former students who have been abused will be believed unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary. The standard of proof required for the Programme shall be that of a “reasonable likelihood”.

What is the definition of ‘serious physical abuse’ in the Dilworth Redress Programme Terms?

Considering the definition of ‘serious physical abuse’ will be a matter for the Redress Panel to assess, taking account of the experience of former students who have been abused, and the impact the physical abuse has had on them.

Is it proposed that Dilworth would apologise directly to a former student for the abuse?

Yes, if this is the wish of the former student. Dilworth would value the opportunity to make a direct personal apology in a form, on terms, and at a venue first agreed with the former student.

Would a former student need to interact with Dilworth School or the Dilworth Trust Board if they apply for redress?

No. Throughout the process, former students would not need to have any dealings with Dilworth unless they wish to, such as receiving an apology in person or if they request a visit to any of the campuses. The independent Dilworth Redress Programme personnel are all required to sign a statement of independence and impartiality as a condition of their appointment.

Who would have access to the details in any redress application I make?

The Dilworth Redress Programme will be managed independently of Dilworth.

The independent Redress Panel, the Programme Administrator, and the Redress Facilitator (who would assist the former student with the preparation of their application) will have access to these details, subject to the confidentiality provisions that govern the Programme. There are robust consent protocols throughout the Programme.

Former students who register can make an application and consider their offer of redress entirely confidentially.