Mike Buchanan, Chair of HMC and Head of Ashford School said:
"It is a matter of deep sorrow that abuse of children has ever taken place in an HMC school. We unreservedly apologise to the victims of such abuse and welcome the IICSA inquiry.
“Parents can be assured that the culture, awareness and practices in schools have changed significantly in the last decades. More robust child protection legislation, school policies, regulation, inspection, training and vetting are now in place. Safeguarding and child protection are top priorities.
“A number of HMC Heads are working hard to deal sensitively with cases of abuse which happened decades before they arrived at their school. Our Chair Elect has been transparent with HMC about both the complex case which occurred before he became Headmaster at Bedales and improved safeguarding practices and wellbeing programmes now in place there.
“HMC has worked hard with other organisations to share best practice in safeguarding, including running training courses, issuing guidelines and running an expert panel discussion at our Spring Conference.”