Prestigious Ballet West dance school closes right after ITV News uncovers allegations of grooming

Prestigious Ballet West dance school closes after ITV News uncovers allegations of grooming

Ballet West, a prestigious dance university at the centre of a collection of abuse allegations – which was initial described by ITV News – has shut down with rapid impact.

It will come as far more than 60 college students, staff members and mother and father claimed the school’s vice principal Jonathan Barton had groomed youngsters and went on to have sexual interactions with them, with statements likely as far back again as 2004 and as recently as 2018.

Subsequent the ITV News report Mr Barton resigned from his position but made it apparent he refutes all the statements manufactured.

In a assertion on Monday, Ballet West claimed: “The Trustees ought to now report the saddest news. The Sheriff at Oban Sheriff Courtroom has authorized the appointment of a provisional liquidator to Ballet West Ltd.”

It afterwards added: “As a Board, we endeavoured to investigate the allegations pertaining to the Vice Principal and Principal, who is suspended from her publish, as entirely as achievable in the limited time available and we have told Police Scotland that we will make all doable info available to them.”

“We will also do the exact same with any regulatory bodies. We wholeheartedly assist the law enforcement investigation. We are, even so, now constrained by these investigations on what we can remark on publicly.”

The university additional: “We are deeply sorry that any university student need to have felt that the school had unsuccessful them, and we urge any individual who has a criticism to report this to Law enforcement Scotland or any suitable overall body.” 

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Ballet West, launched in 1991, is a £9,000 a year boarding school situated in Taynuilt in close proximity to the Argyll coast.

A witness who alleges he groomed her when she was 16-yr-aged advised ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith she has proof. 

The woman, who asked not to be discovered, showed us the messages Jonathan Barton sent her when she was his student at Ballet West. 

Jonathan Barton has been accused of grooming by previous pupils. Credit history: Fb

In a person, he describes a sexual fantasy he has about her, and also in the message her instructor stated: “I adore kissing you.” 

She explained to us: “He’s denied these allegations but I am below on the lookout at the proof.

“He surely avoided the self-confident women in the course, and he went for the young innocent women who he could effortlessly manipulate.

“He was really secretive about our connection in entrance of other users of staff members and at the time, naively, I assumed he was embarrassed of me, that I was not excellent adequate. 

“On the lookout back, he understood he was in the improper and he was just terrified of getting caught.”

ITV Information also uncovered before this thirty day period that the RAD understood about concerns more than Jonathan Barton’s behaviour at Ballet West eight several years back. 

A whistleblower told ITV Information the organisation gained a criticism in 2012, but it was not investigated properly simply because they relied on inquiring the school’s principal – who is also Jonathan Barton’s mother, Gillian Barton.

The whistleblower claimed she took the allegations to the accrediting body and was explained to they would go specifically to the college.

“I failed to experience completely relaxed with that for the reason that it is a safeguarding issue.

“But he manufactured the selection to go to the faculty, converse to the principal who is Jonathan’s mother, and question her immediately if she felt that the incident was real or not.

“She came again and explained no.

“As you probably would assume, a mother could possibly. And that’s the place it was left.

“And it was really a lot then described back that, you know, that was that the allegations had been deemed to be just rumours. And, you know, we’ll depart it there.

“It just sat incredibly uncomfortably with me. And now, when I observed the ITV Information report of what transpired, I essentially felt sick simply because I assumed, wow, I knew just who this individual was when I saw his identify on paper and believed this was just 1 incident that we’d noted how several much more had long gone unreported?

“And actually could some thing have been completed at the time had a thing been in position that we could’ve followed?”

Immediately after ITV News’ investigation, Gillian Barton was suspended by the Ballet West board of Trustees pending the school’s exterior inquiry led by a QC.


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