UK News

Child abuse inquiry to focus on Edinburgh Academy

The inquiry is chaired by Lady Smith (Nick Mailer/PA)
Lucinda Cameron, PA Scotland

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will focus on Edinburgh Academy when it resumes public hearings on boarding schools in late summer.

The inquiry has been investigating residential care provisions at boarding schools for a number of years and has looked at schools including Fettes College in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Academy will be its focus from August.

BBC presenter Nicky Campbell has said he was abused while at the school and the inquiry team has urged others to get in touch.

Inquiry chairwoman Lady Smith said: “Since the beginning of public hearings examining boarding schools in March 2021, there has been an increase in applicants coming forward, including those who boarded at Edinburgh Academy and other witnesses.

“Their evidence includes information about Edinburgh Academy and allegations of abuse by a number of its former staff.

“It is normal for applicants to come forward during and after evidential hearings. Those hearings and the publicity surrounding them encourage them to get in touch.

“In these particular circumstances, I have decided further evidence about the care of children who boarded at the Edinburgh Academy should be heard in public hearings, as part of the boarding schools case study.

“Evidence relating to Edinburgh Academy has been gathered for some time. Many people have already come forward.

“We would encourage anyone with relevant information to get in touch with the inquiry's witness support team as soon as possible.”

An Edinburgh Academy spokeswoman said: “We fully support the decision which allows former pupils who have bravely come forward to have their voices heard and provide evidence as part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI).

“As we have done from the outset of the SCAI being established in 2015, we will continue to support the inquiry and work closely with the relevant authorities.

“We would also like to reiterate that we deeply regret what has happened in the past. As any like-minded person, we are appalled by such behaviour and we would encourage anyone who has been the victim of abuse to contact Police Scotland.”

The inquiry's boarding schools case study has examined the background, administration and regulation of boarding schools in Scotland, and the experiences of boarders at some specific schools.

The inquiry, which aims to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care, is considering evidence up to December 17 2014, and which is within the living memory of any person who suffered abuse.