Two top public schools attended by Prince Charles and Tony Blair are being investigated by a major national inquiry into child abuse.
Gordonstoun, the alma mater of the heir to the throne, and Fettes College – where the former Labour Prime Minister was a pupil – both feature in the statutory probe.
Other private schools under investigation include Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, Loretto School in Musselburgh and Morrison’s Academy in Crieff.
The boarding schools are being probed as part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into more than 60 residential care establishments which have been identified as sites of alleged child abuse or neglect.
Gordonstoun, the alma mater of Prince Charles, is being investigated by a major national inquiry into child abuse
Lady Smith, chairman of the inquiry, revealed a list of organisations which are coming under scrutiny for the treatment of children in care, including some that were run by the Catholic Church and Barnardo’s.
The judge said: ‘We are investigating what reports of abuse were made, whether any such reports of abuse were known about in official circles, what was done about them and, if nothing was done, why not?
‘If abuse was known about but covered up, we will not hesitate to say so.’
More than 100 locations where abuse is said to have taken place have been pinpointed by the inquiry, which was set up by the Scottish Government and launched in October 2015.
A forthcoming publicity drive will see posters in bus shelters and advertising abroad to encourage more victims to come forward.
Gordonstoun School in Moray said: ‘Cases of non-recent abuse must be unimaginably distressing for the victims and their families and the work that the [inquiry] is undertaking will, we hope, draw important lessons from the past and make children safer in the future.’
Fettes College (pictured), where Tony Blair was a student, is also part of the inquiry. The school in Edinburgh said it ‘will assist fully’ with the inquiry
A former teacher at Gordonstoun has been accused of child sex crimes dating back to the 1980s.
Andrew Keir, a retired physics teacher, has appeared in court charged with acting in a lewd and indecent manner to two 13-year-old pupils in the 1980s.
Fettes College in Edinburgh said the school ‘will assist fully’ with the inquiry.
A spokesman for Loretto School in Musselburgh, East Lothian said the school had a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to abuse, adding: ‘It is truly heart-breaking to learn that similar standards may not have applied in the past.’
In 2013, James Rainy Brown, 75, a Merchiston Castle teacher for 52 years, committed suicide after learning that police were investigating claims of ‘inappropriate conduct’ towards pupils. The claims involved lewd comments, not physical offences.
Gordon Cruden, a former Merchiston teacher, was found guilty in 2015 of three charges of indecent exposure at the school covering a period between 1980 and 1985.
He was given an absolute discharge and last year was reported to be teaching French at a boarding school in Oxfordshire.
Queen Elizabeth II visited Gordonstoun as Prince Charles’s school days ended. She is pictured above in 1967 with Mr Robert Chew, the Headmaster, who retired the same year
Prince Charles wears a duffel-coat over his kilt as he shows visitors around the Gordonstoun school in 1966
Merchiston Castle is the only all-boys independent boarding school in Scotland – for 7 to 18-year-olds – and is based in the Colinton area of Edinburgh.
Last night a school spokesman said: ‘We will be co-operating with the inquiry to the fullest possible extent.’
The now-closed Keil School in Dumbarton is also being looked at by the inquiry.
Morrison’s Academy in Crieff, Perthshire, where Trainspotting actor Ewan McGregor was a pupil, features in the inquiry because it was once a boarding school.
Last night its rector Gareth Warren said the school had ‘not received any direct complaint so the team at Morrison’s Academy is not aware of the nature of any complaint’.
Lady Smith told a hearing at Parliament House in Edinburgh yesterday that the inquiry is ‘determined to get to the bottom of any systemic failures that occurred’.
Lady Smith said 170 people had contacted the inquiry by June last year and ‘many more have done so since then’
*There are three ways to contact the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry: by post at PO BOX 24085, Edinburgh EH7 9EA; by email at [email protected] or by calling the freephone number 0800 0929 300.