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Law firm secures five-figure payout for survivor of abuse at council-managed residential school

Law firm Leigh Day has said that it has won a five-figure sum in compensation for a survivor of abuse at Swaylands School.

The claimant ‘Ben’ is the latest of several clients represented by Leigh Day to settle their claim.

Swaylands School, near Tonbridge, Kent, was a residential school for boys before its closure in 1993 following allegations of child abuse, which led to two members of staff receiving prison sentences.

A further criminal investigation led to three former members of staff being convicted in 2015 for abuse of children in their care. 

The claims were brought against the London Borough of Barnet, which was responsible for the management of Swaylands School despite its location in Kent. 

Andrew Lord, the solicitor who has successfully settled claims on behalf of 19 former residents of Swaylands School, said: “Ben's account was harrowing given the allegations of repeated cruelty and assaults by members of staff and pupils.

“This case highlights how innocent children sent to Swaylands School to help with their learning were instead terrorised by those who were responsible for their care.”

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: "We have now reached a settlement with the claimant. Once again, we are extremely sorry for the victims who suffered abuse at Swaylands School all those years ago."

Mark Smulian

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