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Parents 'can have say' on abuser
Parents of children at a school where a convicted paedophile taught are to have the opportunity to express concerns to police.
American national William Vahey, 64, who was found dead last month, taught history and geography to students at Southbank International School in London from 2009 to last year.
Images of between 50 and 60 students from the school were found on his computer, the school's executive principal has said.
The teacher, who is believed to have also abused children at other schools around the world, killed himself two days after investigators filed a warrant to search a computer drive belonging to him containing pornographic images of at least 90 boys aged from 12 to 14, who appeared to be drugged and unconscious.
The school's chair of governors, Sir Chris Woodhead, said tonight that there would be a meeting for parents on Monday. He would not say where and when it would take place.
"It is being held so parents can express their concerns and have their say," he said.
"We expect that police will attend, and staff from Westminster child protection, and the NSPCC.
"The main anxiety of parents is predictable, they want information as soon as possible about whether there are images of their children discovered on Vahey's computer."
Sir Chris, former chief inspector of Ofsted, has already said he was left sickened by the revelations, describing the matter as the "worst thing that I've ever been involved in in 40 years of education".
The investigation is being led by the FBI, which said the photos were catalogued with dates and locations that corresponded with overnight trips that Vahey had taken with students since 2008.
He was convicted over a child sex offence in California in 1969 but appears to have failed to sign the sexual offenders' register, which allowed him to slip through the net and go on to work in several schools.
In a letter to parents yesterday, Graham Lacey, executive principal at Southbank, urged any pupils who had experienced anything disturbing to come forward.
He wrote: "As a staff we feel upset, angry and betrayed. We can only imagine what you as parents must feel."
The letter added details of the checks that were made when Vahey joined the school, when he was subject to a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check, which is standard procedure and revealed nothing untoward.
A second check, three years later, produced similarly positive results and Mr Lacey added that three references the school obtained were "outstanding" and "specifically stated that there were no safeguarding issues".
Mr Lacey said he was an "extremely popular teacher" and several parents had even expressed their sadness about his leaving the school.
He said there had been one incident that occurred, which was investigated by school management at the time, but both the parents and the child stated they did not want to pursue the matter any further.
Vahey taught in various international schools, which has led the FBI to believe his victims are from all over the world. Because of the fact that he drugged them, some might not even know they were abused.
He was confronted about the images by a colleague at the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, Nicaragua, where he had most recently been teaching, and he confessed that he was molested as a child and had preyed on boys all his life, plying them with sleeping pills before abusing them.
Vahey, who had a home in London as well as in South Carolina, was found dead in Luverne, Minnesota, on March 21.
Scotland Yard has said it is helping the FBI with its inquiries.
A spokesman has said: "Officers from the sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse investigation team are assessing and evaluating intelligence passed to the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) by US authorities, and actively seeking any evidence whilst working with partner agencies to ensure that potential victims are supported."
Police believe the alleged victims are boys, who may be aged between 10 to 14 years.