A national child abuse probe has encouraged former pupils and staff from a north-east school with royal connections to step forward with their experiences.
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is due to hold hearings about boarding schools in the summer to investigate wrongdoing.
Prince Charles’ former school Gordonstoun, near Elgin, is one of several establishments expected to feature in what will be the sixth phase of the investigation.
Yesterday inquiry chairwoman Lady Smith encouraged any former pupils who were abused or who witnessed it happening to come forward.
She 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.”
Other schools expected to feature include Fettes College and Merchiston Castle School, both in Edinburgh, Queen Victoria School in Dunblane, Keil School in Dumbarton, Loretto School in Musselburgh and Morrison’s Academy in Crieff.
However, Lady Smith has also stressed that the hearings will listen to experiences from any boarding school in Scotland.
Yesterday Gordonstoun explained it was “fully committed” to supporting the inquiry.
A spokeswoman said: “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 first phase of the hearings, which are expected to begin in July, will focus on the background and inspections of boarding schools with the second phase featuring specific institutions.
Anyone interested in sharing their experiences can contact the inquiry’s support team by calling 0800 0929 300, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to SCAI, PO Box 24085, Edinburgh, EH7 9EA.