Support for Mary Hare School for the Deaf

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Sir Roger Singleton exonerates Mary Hare School

2011-10-30 19:06:00

Hi All,


It has been a long time since the whole furore with Mary Hare School. Seems such a long time ago that the school's reputation came under threat with that damning newspaper article.


You'll be pleased to know that our petition made such a positive impact on paving the way forward to redeem the school's integrity. Our voices were heard, and Mr Shaw will never forget this. In his email to me and Stephen Dering, 'You will never know the true extent of the life saving actions  you led on behalf of the school but please be in no doubt that without your timely interventions, it would have been extremely difficult for me to fight the good fight from this end! Please find attached the report from our latest Ofsted Inspection which we requested as one attempt ‘to set the record straight’. I hope you enjoy reading as much as we did.' .


Please find the report here;


(as I cannot add the file itself to this announcement)


I cannot thank you all for the support you have given to this petition. It may have been a small thing for you to do, but I geniunely believe in the impact of all of us sticking together showing one big loud voice has made a difference.

You can break one stick, but you cannot break a pile of sticks together.

Martine Monksfield (nee Laverty)

Martine Laverty (ex-Head Girl 2003-2004)

MoJ and Independent review of safeguarding

2011-05-08 15:04:40

Hi All,

We have had a response from the Minister of Justice, and also Mary Hare have announced who the national figure is that will conduct an independent review into Mary Hare's work in safeguarding children.


Mike Grannett's letter

27th April 2011

Dear Martine

As you may be aware, a former pupil of Mary Hare School was sentenced to prison this month after pleading guilty to serious sexual offences.

When proceedings began last summer, the board of Mary Hare decided to commission an independent review of the school’s care and safeguarding procedures, to start as soon as the case had been concluded.

I am now writing to tell you that the Governors of Mary Hare School will tomorrow (Thursday, 28th April) issue the enclosed news release announcing the independent review.

It will be conducted in a personal capacity by Sir Roger Singleton, Chair of the Independent Safeguarding Authority and a former chief executive of Barnardo’s. He will report by August and we will publish his findings and implement any recommendations.

I would be very grateful if you could pass this letter and Press Release on to all those who supported Mary Hare with the petition that you set up.

Yours sincerely

Mike Granatt CB
Chair of the Governors and Trustees, Mary Hare


Reply from the Minister of Justice and Stephen Dering's response

Thank you for your letter of 15 April, addressed to Kenneth Clarke. This letter has been passed to this team to reply as it deals with correspondence relating to court matters on the Justice Minister and his Ministers behalf.

Your complaint relates to concerns that you and other former pupils of the Mary Hare School for the Deaf have expressed about the comments that Judge Richard Parkes QC made about the school when sentencing Aeron Mazja. You believe that the judges' comments were derogatory and also gave a false impression of the school. You have asked for an urgent review.

While I can appreciate your concerns, it is not possible to carry out a review as you have requested. This is because neither a Government Minister nor anyone else can comment or intervene in a case that has been subject to judicial consideration. This is because the judiciary are constitutionally indepdnent of government and to do so would be a breach of this fundamental principle. What I can say is that it is for the judge to decide how court procedings are conducted and when sentencing he had all the defence and prosecution evidenc efore him, including police and probation reports.

You have also asked why the school was not represented at the hearing. I should explain that criminal proceedings are brought by the Crown and the only parties involved are the defendant, the prosecution and the defence. It is the legal representative's duty to prepare their case and present witnesses that they consider appropriate to the court proceedings.

The Office of Judicial Complaints (OJC) has responsiblity for investigating complaints about the conduct of a judge. If you wish to complain about Judge Richard Parkes you will need to write to the OJC at Steel House, 11 Tothill Street, 3rd Floor, 3.01-3.03, London, SW1H 9LJ.

I am sorry that I cannot send a more favourable reply.


My inital thoughts are that this is not totally unexpected. We can take this to OJC if this is something that would be of value.

On the positive side we have had some significant success in securing newspaper coverage and also showing the public that former Head Boys and Girls can come together for the benefit of the school. In itself, that speaks volumes about the strength of feeling in this matter.

We are still waiting for a response from the local MP for Newbury and also the Department for Education.

With kind regards,


We will post here the review undertaken at Mary Hare of their work in safeguarding.


I would like to thank all those that have signed this petition because it has gone a long way in showing our support in Mary Hare's time of need and it HAS made a difference in terms of speaking volumes.

You can break 1 stick, but you can't break 776 sticks together.


Martine Laverty

Martine Laverty (ex-Head Girl 2003-2004)

Tony's statement tto all signatories

2011-04-25 14:22:11

Hi all,

We are still going strong! While the dust may have settled on the media furore about Mary Hare, things are picking up behind the scenes.

We have featured in Newbury Weekly News, and Stephen Dering will let us know the outcome of his letter to the Secretary of State.

See the article;

Lastly, Tony Shaw has sent me a statement to share with you guys;

"The press coverage of Mary Hare School last week would have overwhelmed an ordinary school but Mary Hare is no ordinary school. Pupils, families, alumni, staff, governors, foundation members and friends of the school rallied to our support and the articles published in the Newbury Weekly News this week show what a difference this level of support can make. On behalf of everyone who loves Mary Hare, thank you.

We still have a way to go to right this wrong but already we are being heard. Mike Granatt, our Chairman of Governors, hopes to announce the name of the person who will lead the independent review (of our safeguarding work) by the end of next week. This will be another crucial step in ensuring that our credibility and integrity is restored in the public eye. Further steps are to follow and I will keep you informed as and when developments occur.

Thank you for standing by us in our time of need.

Tony Shaw"

Again, we stress that we do not in any way support or endorse Aeron's actions and we take child protection, child abuse and safety very seriously to ensure this never happens again.

Martine Laverty

Martine Laverty (Head Girl 2003-2004)

Former Head Boys and Girls write to Secretary of State for Justice, and your voice is being heard!

2011-04-18 15:12:38

Over 700 signatures! We will not rest until we get justice.

Latest news:

April 18th 2011: Former Head Boys and Girls write to Kenneth Clarke QC MP

A letter has now been sent to Kenneth Clarke QC MP, the Secretary of State for Justice from Stephen Dering (former Head Boy 95-96) on behalf of former Head Boys and Girls over the years at Mary Hare in support. This petition is mentioned in the letter, so your signature and your support is meaningful and is making a difference!



Please do continue to spread this petition about, because we are making a difference in our huge numbers!


Martine Laverty

(former Head Girl 2003-4)

Martine Laverty (former Head Girl 2003-2004)

Child abuse and child protection

2011-04-15 13:47:10

Hello all!

664 signatures! Keep it going, we are making such a big impact!

I have released a statement on the petition; to clarify and reaffirm that we do not support or endorse Aeron's actions. Copied and pasted below.

" We wish to clarify that we do not condone or endorse Aeron Madija's actions of having sex with underage girls whilst at Mary Hare School. It goes without saying that child protection and child abuse is a serious matter, and Tony Shaw is no doubt fully investigating this to ensure it never happens again. Our petition and the review being undertaken at Mary Hare is mentioned here;

Ex-pupils and supporters alike of this petition fullly understand the severity of the situation, and feel this isolated incident should not tarnish the excellent education and care that Mary Hare provides for deaf children."


Ex-Head Boys and Girls of Mary Hare past have formulated a letter to be sent to the Minister of Justice refuting these allegations. I will post a copy of this letter for your information once it has been sent today.


Martine Laverty

Martine Laverty (ex-Head Girl 2003-2004)

550 and counting!

2011-04-14 13:18:41



Amazing, we now have 550 signatures, and it isn't going to stop anytime soon!

I am letting you know that I emailed Tony Shaw (principal of Mary Hare Secondary) to let him know about the petition, and to use it to show the backing of an army of ex-pupils and supporters of the school if needed.

His reply;

Dear Martine,

Thank you so much for doing this. Attached is the press statement I sent out which will be more background information for you. I am so sorry that ‘our’ school is being attacked in this way but the response from parents, students and staff is proof positive that although we have a lovely campus and buildings it is the people who make this place great.

You have helped to save my sanity today.


Keep it going guys! We are clearly making a difference, and our voices WILL be heard the more people that sign it. I have now added the press statement made by Tony Shaw on the petition so that people can see this for their information.

We will NOT allow the media to get away with such shoddy reporting and mispresenting deaf people again!


Martine Laverty


Martine Laverty (ex-Head Girl 2003-2004)

Inclusion of non-Mary Hare supporters

2011-04-13 19:54:18

Hello all,

Firstly, thanks for signing the petition! The chair of the Mary Hare alumni tells me this will go a long way in helping to show our support for Mary Hare against the sensationalised reports in the media. A number of official organisations are now responding to the reports (social services/ofsted) who disagree with the comments made about Mary Hare.

Secondly, I have changed the wording at the top to encourage those who are not deaf or an ex pupil but want to show their support. Inclusion for all who agree with the petition!

Please do spread this around, we have now achieved 240 signatures since 1.30pm when it was set up, and I don't expect it will die down anytime soon!


Martine Laverty

Martine Laverty (ex-Head Girl 2003-2004)

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