Update from the Independent Review

Today we shared findings & recommendations of the independent review with current staff and former staff who contributed to the review. Read the findings and the response from the Board of Trustees.

Trigger Warning/Content Warning: sexual harassment, assault and abuse

Independent Review: A Summary of Findings and Recommendations

Tyneside Cinema Review - Executive Summary

22nd October 2020

Please see the response below from the Board of Trustees in relation to the independent review.

As Tyneside Cinema’s Board of Trustees, we received the final report produced by Turning Moment earlier this week. We would firstly like to place on record our thanks to Dave Barrett and his team who have led the independent review, culminating in the report and recommendations.

In cooperating fully with the review team over the last few months and having now received the report’s detailed findings, we are truly shocked and distressed by its conclusions.

We are unequivocal in our acceptance of the report; we accept all the findings and conclusions. First and foremost, we apologise profusely to anyone affected currently or previously by the culture and behaviours that have been identified as being systemic at the Cinema over the last seven years. The report makes clear how difficult some of the 100 participants found the experience, and we thank them for their courage in coming forward and bringing the issues to light. No one should work at or visit an organisation where they are either unsafe or feel unsafe.

Moving forward, the Cinema has already commenced the process of change and reform. A new interim CEO will be appointed shortly to steer the Cinema forward in these increasingly challenging times. The process to evolve and strengthen the Cinema’s governance will continue and a search for a new Chair will start immediately.

The Board of Trustees also reiterate our commitment to implement every one of the recommendations made by the Turning Moment team and make a further commitment to publicly update on progress every three months via the Tyneside Cinema website.

Finally, we wish to say a special thank you to the staff of Tyneside Cinema, who have been working tirelessly recently under the uncertainty of the investigation as we prepare to reopen the Cinema in the coming weeks. We understand that the staff will shortly be publishing a public statement in response to the review; we fully welcome this. We will continue to work closely with the staff into the future to implement the recommendations of the report and make Tyneside Cinema a safe place to work.

If you any questions you can contact the Board of Trustees on trustees@tynesidecinema.co.uk


Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Why haven’t you published the full report and the full set of recommendations?

​An important principle in a review such as this is to provide contributors with the confidence that what they disclose will remain fully confidential.  Only under these circumstances will people feel safe to speak openly about the issues that have affected them.  Some of the issues that were shared with Turning Moment during the course of the review were extremely sensitive and personal. It was therefore essential for Turning Moment to protect the identities of all contributors and ensure their comments were anonymised. Even with this level of protection in place, Turning Moment have a clear and legal duty to ensure that contributors’ contributions remain confidential and that those individuals cannot be identified. Only Turning Moment know who contributed to the review. Both Turning Moment and the Trustees take this principle extremely seriously. For this reason, the full report cannot be shared with anyone other than the Trustees.

  1. Why was the report not published immediately upon being made available to the Trustees?

The Trustees received the full report and executive summary on the afternoon of Monday 19 October.  The full report is a 257-page document which we needed to read and digest, alongside the executive summary, in order to be able to speak to its findings when they were made available to staff, stakeholders and the general public.  We needed a short amount of time to be able to do this.

  1. Did the Chief Executive and/or Chair know what was in the report before it was published?

No one outside of the Turning Moment team had sight of the report before it was published to the Board of Trustees.

  1. Why did the Chief Executive and Chair resign?

The Chief Executive and Chair both recognised that, in order to give the Tyneside Cinema the best opportunity for future success, it was right that they both move aside and allow a new team to take over.

  1. Why haven’t all the Trustees resigned?

One Trustee resigned when the allegations were raised in the summer and the Chair will leave now that the report has been published. Another Trustee is coming to the end of their tenure. The remaining Trustees are committed to the future success of Tyneside Cinema and want to help by implementing the recommendations and building bridges with all of the Cinema’s staff. The Board will be reviewing the make-up of the Trustees and will move in 2021 to consider changes needed in response to the review.

  1. Why was the Interim Chief Executive position advertised before the report was published?

In a charity, the Chief Executive is the key point of contact for the Trustees and is also responsible for leading the organisation, making decisions and managing relationships with stakeholders and the charity’s beneficiaries.  The Cinema therefore needs to appoint a new Interim Chief Executive in order to be able to fill this role and move forward with implementation of all of the report’s recommendations.

  1. Did the review consider alternative leadership models or structures?

The scope of the review was focussed on ‘the organisation’s people policy, practice and culture, and its relationship with/impact on leadership and employee experience at all levels’. It did not, therefore, consider alternative leadership models or structures.  Given the findings of the report, the Trustees do not consider it the appropriate time to consider alternative business structures.  However, they have committed to listening to the staff and will consider any suggestions they make in future in this regard.

  1. Is Tyneside Cinema now a safe place to work?

With immediate effect the Cinema takes a zero tolerance to any abuse or behaviour that makes employees and customers feel unsafe. Solving the safeguarding issues is the number one priority of the Cinema; this comes above all else. The Trustees will be ensuring that the management team enact immediate change to that effect in order to be able to reopen the Cinema.

  1. How can we know that the recommendations will be implemented? How will you be publicly accountable?

The Trustees fully accept the findings of the review and are committed to implementing all of the recommendations.  We are committed to working tirelessly with the new management team to enact genuine change and we will issue public updates every three months on how we are progressing the implementation of all of the recommendations.

 

25 September 2020

Please see the update below from the Chief Executive and the Chair.

Further to this statement, we would like to clarify that Tyneside Cinema will not be reopening until the report and recommendations of the independent review have been published.

Statement

Tyneside Cinema Chair, Lucy Armstrong has announced that both she and Chief Executive Holli Keeble will be standing down from their roles at the cinema. Holli Keeble will be leaving in the coming days and Lucy Armstrong will step down as soon as the results of the independent review that has been commissioned have been made public. An interim CEO and Chair will be subsequently appointed.

 

Commenting on this decision Lucy said “We both recognise that in order to give the Tyneside Cinema the best opportunity for future success it is right that we both move aside and allow a new team to take over.

“We were deeply concerned by the distressing reports of sexual abuse and bullying that we received and those which appeared on social media. In response, I and the Trustees commissioned a rigorous, independent review which will be reporting in the next few weeks and the key findings and recommendations will be made public. The Trustees have committed to implement those findings in full.

“We are also in the advanced stages of our plans to ensure the safe and smooth reopening of the cinema which continues to be our foremost priority. We have kept our key stakeholders informed throughout our decision making.

“As part of our re-opening plans, staff will be involved in sessions to review the conclusions of the review, prior to their release to the public”

 

Holli commented, “We have worked hard to put the framework in place to sustain the future of the Tyneside Cinema, and we believe that it is in the best interests of the charity that a new team takes these plans forward.

“I know I speak for us both when I say that our priority has always been to see the Tyneside Cinema as a safe, welcoming space for everyone. Undoubtedly, serious mistakes have been made and the review is looking at every aspect of people’s experiences both past and present, to learn those lessons.

Lucy said, “Putting a new team in place to take the organisation forward and implement the recommendations of the review will take some time, but we believe that the result will be the thriving, and inclusive Tyneside Cinema we all want to see.”

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