Abuse inquiry chair appeals for help investigating schools for deaf children

Public hearings on this part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry are due to begin in the spring of 2025.

Abuse inquiry chair appeals for help investigating schools for deaf children PA Media

The chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) has appealed for help in its investigation of two residential schools for deaf children.

Lady Smith said she wants to contact people who were residents at either Donaldson’s School for Deaf Children in Edinburgh, or St Vincent’s School for the Deaf and Blind in Glasgow.

Donaldson’s moved to a new building in Linlithgow in 2008.

Both schools feature in the SCAI’s examination of residential care establishments for those with long-term healthcare needs, additional support needs, and disabilities at any time up to the end of 2014.

Lady Smith released a video with BSL interpretation to accompany her appeal.

Lady Smith said: “If you were a child or young person in residential care at one of these two establishments, or a member of their family, or a member of staff, I am looking for your help.

“If you are able to provide me with any information about the experiences of children and young people at Donaldson’s and St Vincent’s schools, it will be of considerable assistance to me in the work we are doing here to find out what happened to children in residential care there and, if they suffered abuse, how that happened and how to protect against it happening again now and in the future.

“Our investigations cover all forms of abuse including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

“I will also be looking into any inappropriate practices that may have taken place at these establishments.”

She continued: “I understand that coming forward to give evidence to the inquiry can be really difficult and daunting.

“I know that it is not at all easy to decide to make the decision to do so.

“It is for that reason that we have a specialist witness support team who assist all witnesses according to their particular needs, discussing with them what particular support they may require.”

Public hearings on this part of the inquiry are due to begin in the spring of 2025.

The SCAI’s witness support team can be contacted by phone on 0800 0929 300 or by email at talktous@childabuseinquiry.scot

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