Publish date: 15 Sep 2023

On Tuesday 19 September the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will begin its public hearings in relation to Phase 8 of its investigations: The abuse of children in residential accommodation for young offenders and children, and young persons in need of care and protection.

The focus of this case study is residential accommodation provided or used by the state between 1930 and 2014 to accommodate (a) young offenders under the age of 18 (and children and young persons under 18 awaiting trial), and (b) children and young persons under 18 in need of care and protection.

This accommodation was managed by a range of providers including local authorities, religious bodies, voluntary bodies, and the Scottish Prison Service. 

SCAI’s investigations into this area of residential care have been ongoing throughout the life of the Inquiry. The case study, which is expected to be lengthy, will look at: 

  • Residential establishments in Scotland used as approved schools, List D schools, secure accommodation, remand homes, and assessment centres; and
  • Borstal institutions, remand institutions, detention centres and young offenders’ institutions run by the Scottish Prison Service.

The period covered by SCAI’s investigations into abuse at those establishments extends from 1930 to 2014. 

The case study will explore the nature and extent of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse including the abusive use of corporal punishment, restraint and segregation.

Reporting and impact have been and continue to be aspects of SCAI’s investigations, as do staff recruitment, training, and culture; they will also be explored during the case study.

The first part of the case study will feature evidence from relevant experts, regulatory bodies and inspectorates as well as evidence from providers. SCAI will then hear evidence in relation to a number of particular establishments. That part of the case study will include evidence from individuals who experienced abuse and a range of other witnesses.

Openings statements from representatives of parties with Leave to Appear will begin on Tuesday at the Inquiry’s venue at Mint House, 20 West Register Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AA.

Thirty-nine establishments have been confirmed as being included in the case study: 

  • Balgay/Parkview
  • Balgowan
  • Ballikinrain
  • Barlinnie (Borstal and YOI)
  • Balnacraig, Perth
  • Balrossie
  • Beechwood
  • Bellfield
  • Brimmond
  • Burnside/Harestane
  • Calder House
  • Cardross Park
  • Dr Guthrie’s Boys
  • Dr Guthrie’s Girls
  • Geilsland
  • Glenochil (Detention Centre and YOI)
  • Kerelaw (Residential and Secure)
  • Kibble
  • Langlands Park
  • Larchgrove
  • Loaningdale
  • Longriggend
  • Newfield
  • Oakbank School, Aberdeen
  • Polmont
  • Rossie/Rossie Farm
  • St Andrew’s, Shandon
  • St Euphrasia’s/ Dalbeth/Good Shepherd Centre
  • St John Bosco’s, Aberdour
  • St John’s, Springboig
  • St Joseph’s, Tranent
  • St Katharine’s and Howdenhall/Gilmerton/Liberton Assessment Centre and Edinburgh Secure Services (ESS)
  • St Mary’s Kenmure, Bishopbriggs
  • St Mungo’s, Mauchline
  • St Ninian’s, Gartmore
  • St Philip’s, Plains
  • Thornly Park, Paisley
  • Tynepark School, Midlothian
  • Wellington, Penicuik

Lady Smith discusses Phase 8 of the Inquiry

Lady Smith explains more about the approach to the case study – which will be a substantial one, with hearings expected to continue through 2024.

Hearings relating to establishments run by the Scottish Prison Service start on 31 October 2023, and these will run from then until the end of the year.