The chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is urging former pupils and staff from boarding schools to share their experiences.
Lady Smith’s call for evidence comes ahead of the Phase 6 case study, beginning this summer, which will investigate the abuse of children in boarding schools.
The first part of the case study will focus on the background and context for boarding schools, including inspections.
The second part will focus on several specific institutions.
The establishments currently being investigated and expected to feature in the case study are:
- Fettes College, Edinburgh
- Gordonstoun School, Elgin
- Keil School, Dumbarton
- Loretto School, Musselburgh
- Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh
- Morrison’s Academy, Crieff (during the time it was a boarding school)
- Queen Victoria School, Dunblane
Appealing for anyone who has experience of being abused – and anyone who has information about abuse in any boarding school in Scotland – to come forward, Lady Smith said: “If you have any such information, even if you have already made a report to the police, or been involved in another investigation, that doesn’t matter, you can still speak to us.
“I know that it can be difficult and very emotional to talk about such experiences, however, we have a highly experienced witness support team and they will help and support you throughout the process.
“We’ll do all we can to help you feel safe and secure when you speak to us.”
You can contact the inquiry’s witness support team via 0800 0929 300 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals can also write to SCAI, PO Box 24085, Edinburgh, EH7 9EA.
BSL users can contact the inquiry through an online sign interpreter.
The SCAI is currently examining the abuse of children whose departure from Scotland was part of the child migration programmes.
The child migrant case study began in December 2019, before taking a short break.
Public hearings in relation to the Phase 5 case study will recommence at the end of February.
The boarding schools case study is expected to start in July.