Keil un­der scru­tiny

Abuse probe into school which closed in 2000

Lennox Herald - - NEWS -

A for­mer Dum­bar­ton board­ing school is be­ing probed by in­ves­ti­ga­tors from the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry.

Judge Lady Smith re­vealed that the in­quiry is in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether his­tor­i­cal abuse took place at fee-pay­ing Keil School in Kirk­ton­hill.

The board­ing school – which closed 17 years ago – will be looked at along with 60 res­i­den­tial care cen­tres as part of the in­quiry into wide­spread abuse in Scot­land.

Lady Smith – speak­ing at a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing of the in­quiry at the Court of Ses­sion in Ed­in­burgh last week – also said that more than 100 lo­ca­tions where abuse is said to have taken place have been iden­ti­fied.

In a state­ment, she urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion about abuse to come for­ward.

She said: “So far, we have iden­ti­fied more than 100 lo­ca­tions where abuse of chil­dren is said to have taken place but we know that there are many more than that.

“The in­quiry team is cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing over 60 res­i­den­tial care es­tab­lish­ments for chil­dren in or­der to gather, from those who ran them and oth­ers, ev­i­dence about how chil­dren who were be­ing cared for in a range of dif­fer­ent set­tings and by a num­ber of dif­fer­ent types of care or­gan­i­sa­tions were treated.”

Speak­ing of the part of the probe that re­lates to the lo­cal pri­vate school, she added: “The in­quiry team is in­ves­ti­gat­ing board­ing schools.

“Specif­i­cally, they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing Fettes Col­lege, Gor­don­stoun, the for­mer Keil School in Dum­bar­ton, Loretto School, Mer­chis­ton Cas­tle School, and Mor­ri­son’s Acad­emy (at the time it was a board­ing school).

“Other board­ing schools may also be in­ves­ti­gated to ob­tain as full a pic­ture as pos­si­ble of the na­ture and ex­tent of abuse in board­ing schools.”

Prince Charles and Prince Philip both at­tended Gor­don­stoun as teenagers and for­mer Prime Min­is­ter leader Tony Blair at­tended Fettes.

Lady Smith said that the in­quiry needed the in­put of vic­tims.

She added: “I want to re­it­er­ate the calls that have al­ready been made to any­one and ev­ery­one who has rel­e­vant ev­i­dence to come for­ward.

“What­ever you have to con­trib­ute, we want to hear it.

“We are de­ter­mined to find out the truth about what hap­pened to chil­dren in care, where, how and why.

“We want to find out why the abuse was not pre­vented, why it was not stopped and what needs to be done to pro­tect chil­dren in care in the fu­ture.

“That is what we are hear to do. We ask for the con­tin­ued sup­port of those who have al­ready come for­ward and the help of those not done so.”

Lady Smith, who was ap­pointed to the post in July 2016, said the in­quiry had started tak­ing state­ments from al­leged vic­tims last Spring.

She said that the pur­pose was to es­tab­lish how chil­dren were able to be abused in care and what could be done to pro­tect them in the fu­ture.

Lady Smith said the re­mit of the in­quiry was to in­ves­ti­gate the na­ture and ex­tent of abuse of chil­dren in care set­tings in Scot­land within “the liv­ing mem­ory of any who pro­vides in­for­ma­tion about it, up to De­cem­ber 2014”.

But she said it had no power to award “mone­tary com­pen­sa­tion” and wasn’t a sub­sti­tute for crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings.

Lady Smith also said that many po­ten­tial vic­tims of abuse were sent to Canada, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

The in­quiry is tak­ing steps to trace them and en­cour­age them to come for­ward.

Those who wish to con­tact the in­quiry can tele­phone 0800 092 9300 or email talk­tous@child­abu­sein­quiry. scot. They can al­ter­na­tively visit the in­quiry’s web­site at www. child­abu­sein­quiry.scot.

Derelict He­lenslee House on the for­mer Keil School site, be­fore re­de­vel­op­ment

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