Top ballet school to close after allegations of sexual misconduct

Ballet West in Taynuilt, Argyll, said it had been “driven to the point of insolvency” due to “events over the last two weeks”

The board of trustees said it had launched an internal inquiry, committed to an external inquiry and informed police.
The board of trustees said it had launched an internal inquiry, committed to an external inquiry and informed police.

A ballet school is to close after allegations of sexual misconduct led to a police investigation.

In a statement, the board of trustees at Ballet West in Taynuilt, Argyll, said it had been “driven to the point of insolvency” due to “events over the last two weeks”.

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It said Eileen Blackburn, of French Duncan LLP, has been appointed by Oban Sheriff Court as provisional liquidator and will now manage the school’s financial affairs.

All business activities will cease or be wound down.

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Police Scotland said last week that it was investigating a number of reports related to the school.

It followed an ITV investigation that found more than 60 women had made allegations of inappropriate behaviour against a teacher.

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The staff member denied any wrongdoing and resigned his position.

The board of trustees said it had launched an internal inquiry, committed to an external inquiry and informed police.

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It said it had “hoped the board’s prompt action would allay fears in terms of student safety going forward”.

But it said that Bath Spa University – whose students “accounted for almost 70% of the school’s student intake” – ended its relationship, the Royal Academy of Dance withdrew their accreditation and the Scottish Qualifications Authority gave notice of termination for the HNC/HND courses at the school.

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“In short, these developments rendered the business of Ballet West unviable,” the statement said.

It added: “In addition to our own internal inquiries, on which we gave an update to parents last week, we agreed to instruct an independent QC to conduct an external investigation.

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“Due to the liquidation, the funding is not now available for that to proceed and that is a matter of deep regret.