Support for survivors

St. Peter’s offers all former students who are survivors of historical abuse by former school staff free access to a confidential Listening Service.  This service allows people to discuss available help and talk to specially trained clinical psychologists in complete privacy. Here is how the Listening Service works:

The Listening Service is run independently of St. Peter’s by clinical psychologists who can speak with those contacting the service. The first contact is by email and, thereafter, the psychologist will make arrangements to speak by telephone or, if practicable, in person. In addition, the Listening Service can arrange any psychological therapy (funded by St. Peter’s) or other assistance that might be required.

All assistance offered by the Listening Service is confidential.  However, in some situations, persons may wish the Listening Service to pass on statements or requests to St Peter’s or the Trust Board and this can also be arranged.

The Listening Service may also arrange apologies or visits to the school for those who may require assurance that safeguarding policies and practices are in place for current students.

If you would like to access more information or support, email the confidential Listening Service at An independent psychologist will get back to you by the next business day following receipt of your email.


Media statement

St. Peter’s Cambridge confirms it is cooperating fully with NZ Police in relation to investigations involving a former staff member.

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Historical Abuse Apology

In November 2021, St. Peter's Trust Board made the proactive decision to issue the following public apology for and acknowledgement of historical abuses of former students by former staff.

On behalf of the St. Peter’s School Trust Board, today I want to acknowledge and apologise for historical cases of sexual, physical and emotional abuse against former students at our school by former staff members or anyone acting in that capacity.

Child abuse is a detestable betrayal of trust, the consequences of which can have lasting effects throughout an individual’s lifetime. For these historical cases of abuse, our trustees offer a sincere and heartfelt apology.

Today we have communicated directly to all alumni to say we are sorry to all former students who suffered abuse while in our care, and for the failure of St. Peter’s to protect them from such abuse occurring.  Current students, staff and parents were also included in this communication. While nothing we do as a school can erase history, we want to do what we can to help those still living and suffering from any long-term effects of past abuses.

St. Peter’s is offering access to a confidential Listening Service to any former students who need support. This service will allow people to discuss available help and talk to specially trained clinical psychologists in complete privacy. In 2018, St. Peter’s made the decision to begin researching all notifications of abuse documented in our files since records began in the 1930s. No matter what came to light, trustees were committed to facing up to the truth and taking steps toward putting things right.

In 2019, trustees contracted independent clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Suzanne Blackwell to review and scrutinise all documentation related to student abuse contained in our school files.   This investigation is now complete and has uncovered 19 individual notifications of historical abuse between 1936 and 1981 relating to 8 former staff members.

While a thorough examination of school file notes indicated some of these historical notifications were handled with the seriousness they deserved, it is clear in some other cases school leaders failed to take a survivor-centric approach and hold perpetrators to account.

The cases uncovered by Dr Blackwell’s research include cases reported to our school and documented either at the time of occurrence or in years following. We acknowledge there could be other undocumented cases.   In recent years, St. Peter’s has initiated many safeguards to protect current and future students who learn and board with us. These have included physical changes to our facilities to make our learning and living environment as safe as possible.

We’ve also invested in ongoing child abuse prevention training for our staff, while implementing a range of child abuse prevention policies, procedures and notification processes.

All of the school’s child abuse safeguarding and protection measures have been reviewed by Dr Blackwell and we continue to work with her to embed robust policies and procedures into our school. Child abuse prevention and safeguarding is also openly discussed with students. We want them to understand that abuse in any form is not tolerated at St. Peter’s.

We want to encourage any alumni who experienced abuse at St. Peter’s to access the confidential Listening Service.  For many of those former students, the school’s acknowledgement of abuse and apology comes many decades too late.

But I want to speak directly to those individuals today:  when you come forward be certain that you will be heard, you will be respected, and you will be cared for with compassion

Those wishing to access the Listening Service can email

john macaskill-smith

St. Peter's Trust Board

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