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One woman, who attended a school between the late 1990s and early 2000s, said: “There was one girl I knew who married someone more than 20 years older. It was so sexualised, they were sexualising children.” Another former pupil who attended an ACE school in the 1990s said a girl at her school had married a man at 16, when he was in his 40s, and who she had met when he began teaching at her school.The man she married had known her since she was seven years old and he was 30. She said: “You were told from a young age that your role is to support a man and God will lead you to him.
position the child so he is leaning forward with his hands on a desk or chair and with his feet spread.They said that the church groups believed at the time that corporal punishment was “God’s will” as it stopped children from sinning. Then you were bent over a chair with your trousers down and wearing just your underwear. She says knowing corporal punishment was happening to other children was extremely distressing: “I remember feeling sick.Corporal punishment was outlawed in UK private schools in 1998 and there is no suggestion the ACE schools breached that law. You would be led up to the vestry to a fold down desk, inside was a cardboard case and in that was the cane. I was so frightened I dug my nails into my hands.” A 1993 copy of the ACE teachers’ training manual, seen by The Independentappears to instruct teachers in how to administer corporal punishment when children have “sinned” in ritualised religious ceremonies.One former pupil alleged that in the 1990s pupils at school assemblies would start convulsing amid “blood curdling screams” as prayers were said for the holy spirit to rid children of demons.The alleged abuse is said to have taken place many years ago at a number of schools in the UK that follow the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum, a form of learning that originated in the southern Baptist states of the US.More than 1,000 4-18 year olds are currently taught in 30 ACE schools in the UK, all of them registered as private institutions.
Although the schools are bound by the same safeguarding and child protection regulations as the state sector, former pupils want assurances that monitoring of these schools is more effective than when they attended. I just took it.” Pupils who have traditionally attended the schools tend to come from Christian families who follow a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.
By extension, it is believed that children must teach themselves in order to be closer to God.
Children are expected to spend the first half of each school day teaching themselves by reading textbooks in silence.
The former pupils contacted The Independentafter reading our June report revealing that some of these schools still teach children that girls must submit to men, homosexuality is unnatural and that creationism is a fact.
They said the article jolted their memories of their own experiences.
David Waldock who attended an ACE school between the ages of 11 and 16 prior to 1998 said: “I was beaten with a cane by teachers while a pupil at an ACE school. It says: “Demerits are for procedural violations; the paddle is for moral violations.” The manual then lists a step by step process for hitting children.