Ipswich: ‘I complained about Benson after he made inappropriate comments to girls’, claims ex-pupil

Stephen Benson

Stephen Benson

A FORMER pupil of disgraced teacher Stephen Benson has told how she complained about his behaviour after refusing to be taught by him.

Although Benson’s offences were in relation to his athletics coaching with Ipswich Harriers, the ex-student who attended Copleston High School said she was not surprised by his arrest.

Responding the ex-pupil’s complaint claim Shaun Common, the school’s headteacher, stressed the safety and welfare of students is taken very seriously.

The former student said she told another teacher about her discomfort over being taught by Benson after he was said to have made inappropriate comments about the length of girls’ netball skirts.

The ex-student, who asked not to be named, said: “I know for a fact I made a complaint

“My most hated subject at school was PE. The main reason was Mr Benson was my teacher.

“I had heard from the other girls that he had made inappropriate comments to them, including comments about the length of their netball skirts, and this had frightened me. I point blank refused to wear a skirt.

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“When I refused to go into the changing room, I was asked to go for a meeting with another teacher.

“Upon my receiving a telling off I was asked to explain my refusal to take part in the lesson, which was when I told him about the comments, and the atmosphere Mr Benson created around the young women.

“I distinctly remember the teacher making rough notes on scrap paper, but cannot remember if he said anything.

“I feel responsible in a way for not making more of a scene. It seems my concerns were ignored.”

In response to the woman’s comments and Benson’s court case Shaun Common, principal of Copleston High School, who wasn’t headteacher at the time, said: “The details of this case are deeply shocking and our thoughts are with the victims and their families.

“As a school community we take the welfare and safety of our students very seriously. We work hard to ensure that every student can feel secure and we have strict safeguarding procedures in place which we review and update on a regular basis.”