TWO grammar school students have been accused of rape following scathing criticism from an alumna about the school’s “toxic male culture”.

Hundreds of allegations of abuse at Colchester Royal Grammar School were sent to former student Scarlett Mansfield after she shared a blog post about her “traumatic” experiences there.

Scarlett, 26, attended the school as a sixth former after its leading academic reputation motivated her to apply.


Allegations - Scarlett Mansfield 

But last month she wrote a blog post describing what she said was a “toxic male culture”

at the school which sparked 200 current and former students to share their own accounts of alleged sexual abuse.

One victim alleged she was raped in the school grounds and another claimed her friend was raped by a student from the school.

The allegations were subsequently sent to Ofsted by Scarlett, which has now carried out an inspection of the school.

The Gazette contacted Colchester Royal Grammar School head John Russell about the allegations.

He stated it is right and correct that issues around attitudes and cultures existing within society, particularly towards women and girls, are at the forefront of discussion and debate.

“These are incredibly important topics and ones that we do not shy away from,” he added.

In the light of Scarlett’s viral blog post, Mr Russell was accused of “joining in on a rape joke” in 2016.

He strenuously denies the claim, but has apologised for a comment made, and had been agreed in advance with some of those involved, that it was “poorly worded and ill-considered”.

Mr Russell said since his appointment a significant amount of work has been undertaken to enhance the school’s work in this area.

“This is, however, such an important topic, that there is always more that can be done to improve,” he added.

“We will always listen, always look for what we can do better and always embrace new ideas and best practice.”

No stone will be left unturned when it comes to supporting students, he said.

He added: “It is totally unacceptable if misogyny and harassment in any form takes place and it is deeply wrong for anyone to act as a bystander on such issues.

“We will ensure that CRGS is a community where people feel safe, valued and able to be their authentic selves, free from all forms of discrimination.”

In response, Scarlett said: “These things don’t change overnight.

“While I welcome all the new moves announced by the headmaster, I am concerned they’re relying too much on current students to educate others.

“I would love for them to consult external organisations, such as Sexpression UK, to see if a partnership could be set up with the University of Essex to provide sex education or consent lessons by trained higher education students.”

Scarlett is also calling on the school to get an external organisation, such as VictimFocus, to come up with an age-appropriate evaluation process to survey students termly.