RNIB The Institute for Turning a Blind Eye

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry following concerns over safeguarding at RNIB flagship ‘Pears Centre’ the children’s home (formerly called Rushton Hall school).

An Ofsted report in January, following a series of poor reports, said a high number of incidents and accidents involving pupils could lead to withdrawal of Pears Centre’s registration.

Back in 2003 the head teacher and another senior staff member of Rushton Hall school were suspended  after the school was judged to fall below minimum standards.

The Charity Commission Investigation

‘The inquiry will focus in particular on the trustees’ governance and oversight of safeguarding arrangements in the charities’ schools and care homes and will be reviewing whether trustees reported all relevant safeguarding incidents which have occurred to the Commission.

The Commission’s investigation will examine the extent to which the trustees of the charities have taken and are taking reasonable steps to protect users at the Pears Centre from harm.’

The RNIB’s chief executive Sally Harvey resigned as the investigation started. She was only in post from October 2017 having been acting CEO for a year before that.


Six or eighteen months tenure as Chief Executive is not long to solve deep seated problems and effect culture change. There are various scenarios for Sally Harvey’s departure including scapegoating, departure before being pushed and resignation on principle as it happened on her watch.

Is this a  ‘tip of the iceberg’ case as experience shows that when problems seem bad they are often even worse?



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