An update on work at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

The scheduled return to witness hearings at the Scottish Abuse Inquiry’s (SCAI) new venue at Mint House, 20 West Register Street, Edinburgh, was postponed from 6 to 8 October 2021. On reconvening in the morning of 8 October, Lady Smith, Chair of SCAI, apologised for the delay, explaining that it was “unavoidable and was due to the requirements of the last items of snagging work.”

SCAI has now heard evidence at the new venue in relation to Gordonstoun School in Elgin and has started to hear evidence on Queen Victoria School in Dunblane. Between now and the end of this year, SCAI is also scheduled to hear evidence on Keil School in Dumbarton and Fettes College in Edinburgh. In January 2022, SCAI intends to hear evidence in relation to Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh and then closing submissions on the entire boarding school case study, including evidence heard in May 2021 at the previous venue on Loretto School in Musselburgh and Morrison’s Academy in Crieff. SCAI hopes to complete the boarding school case study by late February 2022.

After the boarding school case study, SCAI plans to hear from expert witnesses, in a group and probably over two days, on matters concerning the psychology of those who commit abuse of children in care in the context of SCAI’s work on preventing such abuse.

In late spring 2022, SCAI intends to start a foster care case study, with Lady Smith explaining on 8 October that “this will be a substantial case study and it’s likely to run for some months.”

Another recent development at SCAI is the publication of a finalised research paper reviewing societal attitudes of children in the period 1900 – 2014/15, link here.  

From its inception in October 2015 to 30 September 2021, SCAI had cost £48,854,127.

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