A LEEDS school at the centre of a new Jimmy Savile child sex abuse probe hosted the disgraced presenter for a prize-giving ceremony in the 1970s, it has emerged.
Notre Dame Grammar School, now known as Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Woodhouse, is one of three sites in and around the city where allegations about Savile’s activities in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are being investigated at the order of Education Secretary Michael Gove.
When the probe of 21 schools and children’s homes nationwide was revealed last month, the Diocese of Leeds, which runs Notre Dame, said it carried out its own investigation after the revelations first emerged about Savile in 2012.
Spokesman John Grady said at the time it “could find no evidence that Jimmy Savile had any contact with Notre Dame school or any of our [diocesan] children’s homes”.
It has now emerged that Savile, said to be the country’s most prolific paedophile, was invited onto the premises at the school in the early 1970s to present an award to pupils.
The Diocese says “there is no reason to doubt” the visit took place after a former teacher at the school contacted the Yorkshire Evening Post to highlight the incident. A separate comment left on a website said: “As a former Notre Dame girl I remember Jimmy Savile coming to the school in about 1972/73. He came to present an award for charity fund raising so to say that he was never there is inaccurate.”
In response, Mr Grady said the probe carried out in 2012 was into whether Savile had regular contact with the school and would not have noted one-off visits.
Among the other sites under investigation are Northways Residential School in Clifford, near Wetherby, which closed in 1997, and Beechcroft Children’s Home, which was said to be in Leeds but whose history is unclear. Other schools and homes in focus are spread across England.
All three Yorkshire investigations are being led by Leeds City Council.