Abuse inquiry sets date to scrutinise Scotland’s top private schools

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Some of Scotland’s top private schools are to face scrutiny at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) next year.

The sixth phase of investigations of abuse in residential care will centre on allegations made about provision at leading boarding schools.

The SCAI said establishments expected to be covered include Prince Charles’ former school Gordonstoun, Keil School in Dumbarton, Loretto School in Musselburgh, Merchiston Castle School and Fettes College in Edinburgh and Queen Victoria School in Dunblane.

The SCAI is also to consider Morrison’s Academy in Crieff, which is a day school now but was a boarding school during part of the period covered by the inquiry.

The inquiry will start to cover the boarding schools from Summer of 2020. Announcing the timetable Lady Smith, Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, issued an appeal for more witnesses to come forward.

She said: “In 2020, we plan to progress to case study hearings in relation to our investigations into abuse in boarding schools.

“We are interested in hearing from anyone about their experiences in boarding schools, particularly people who may have more recent experiences of having attended one of the schools currently under wider investigation from the 1980’s up to December 2014.

“I would encourage anyone who has evidence to offer in relation to any of the investigations listed on our website to get in touch. We want to hear from you.”

She said that people who might be able to help the inquiry should get in touch even if they had already reported any experiences to police or other agencies or had claims investigated in other arenas. “That does not matter – please also talk to us.”

In Spring 2020 to Inquiry will return to considering the history and governance of institutions and expert evidence on the legislative and regulatory framework for children in care – work begun in the first phase of the inquiry which had to be put on hold due to the lack of availability of a witness.

An investigation of Foster Care has also been announced and is expected to start around the end of 2020. Current work looking at child care establishments run by male religious orders which will conclude in late 2019. After that the inquriy will co nclude the year by looking at the abuse of children sent away from Scotland during child migration programmes.

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