Morrison’s Academy in Crieff Historical Child Abuse Scotland

Perthshire school under abuse inquiry spotlight

Morrison’s Academy one of 60 children’s establishments probed

Picture: PA.
Lady Smith addresses the media at yesterday’s preliminary hearing of the national child abuse inquiry.

A Perthshire school is to be investigated during the probe into historic child abuse in Scotland.

Morrison’s Academy in Crieff is one of more than 60 residential care establishments for youngsters being investigated by the team working on Scotland’s national child abuse inquiry, its chairwoman has said.

They are among more than 100 locations where the abuse of children is alleged to have taken place, Lady Smith announced.

The probe centres on the time when Morrison’s was a boarding school.

Other schools specifically being investigated by inquiry staff are Fettes College, Gordonstoun, the former Keil School, Loretto School and Merchiston Castle School, the hearing was told.

Eight children’s homes and secure units across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Fife are also being looked into, the inquiry team revealed at a preliminary hearing yesterday.

Faith-based organisations being looked at include those run by religious orders including the Benedictines, Sisters of Nazareth and the Christian Brothers.

St Ninian’s in Falkland, Fife, which was run by the Catholic Christian Brothers organisation, is being looked at.

Morrison’s Academy rector Gareth Warren said: “The school has not received any direct complaint so the team at Morrison’s Academy is not aware of the nature of any complaint relating to the school.

“We will be supporting the important work of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry by completing all the requested documentation and reporting required dating back to 1930.

“We have informed Morrison’s Academy staff and current parents and our first report submission deadline is April 28 2017.”

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is examining historical allegations of the abuse of children in care and has been taking statements from witnesses since last spring.

Lady Smith told the hearing at Parliament House that the inquiry is “determined to get to the bottom of any systemic failures that occurred”.

She appealed to anyone with relevant evidence to come forward and speak to the inquiry.

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

“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.”

Senior judge Lady Smith said 170 people had contacted the inquiry by June last year and “many more have done so since then”.

Turning to institutions, 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 covers the period within living memory of any person who has suffered abuse, but will not extend beyond December 17 2014. It is due to report to ministers by 2019.

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