A Moray boarding school which taught key royals will give evidence in the ongoing child abuse inquiry this week.
Gordonstoun School will provide an opening statement tomorrow as the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry resumes in Edinburgh.
Launched in 2015, it is one of the widest-ranging public inquiries to have been held in the country and has previously examined residential care and child migration programmes.
The sixth phase of the investigation has considered child abuse at boarding schools, with a particular focus on seven specific establishments, including Gordonstoun, an independent institution which counts Princes Charles and Philip among its alumni.
It was first announced in late 2019, with chairwoman Lady Smith encouraging any former pupils who experienced or witnessed abuse to come forward.
She said there was a particular interest in those who had attended between the 1980s and December 2014.
Tomorrow the child abuse inquiry will hear opening statements from seven boarding schools, including Gordonstoun.
There will also be involvement from Fettes College in Edinburgh, where Tony Blair was a pupil, as well as fellow Edinburgh organisation Merchiston Castle School, Keil School in Dumbarton, Loretto School in Musselburgh, Morrison’s Academy in Crieff, and Queen Victoria School in Dunblane.
Additional statements will be provided by In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas), the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the Care Inspectorate.
Later this week, further evidence will be heard from several of these organisations’ directors and leaders.
In 2015, police launched a probe into Aberlour House, the prep school for Gordonstoun, following allegations of abuse from a number of pupils.
Bosses at Gordonstoun, which took over the running of Aberlour in 2004, then contacted more than 3,000 former students asking them to report any abuse they were aware of.
In January, a spokeswoman for the school said it was “fully committed” to supporting the inquiry and “learning any lessons” from its findings.
She added: “We have already written to all our former students urging them to engage with the inquiry and we hope Lady Smith’s appeal encourages more to do so.
“Gordonstoun is fully committed to helping the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in any way we can as part of this important Scotland-wide project to understand how children were looked after in the past and to learn lessons for the future.
“Although pastoral care at Gordonstoun was described as a ‘model of best practice’ by HM Inspectors from Education Scotland in December 2019, we are not complacent and are committed to learning any lessons we can from the inquiry.”
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry began taking statements from witnesses and victims in 2015.
Since then, harrowing stories have been told by former pupils of establishments including Nazareth House in Aberdeen.
Following the sixth phase of the investigation, attention will be turned towards foster care organisations.
The inquiry’s witness support team can be contacted by calling on 0800 0929 300, or e-mailing email@example.com. People can still come forward with information.
They can also be written to at SCAI, PO Box 24085, Edinburgh EH7 9EA.