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Inquiry chair appeals for witnesses to come forward


Investigations focus on Donaldson’s School for Deaf Children and St Vincent’s School for the Deaf and Blind

An appeal has gone out for help with investigations into Donaldson’s School for Deaf Children, in Edinburgh, and St Vincent’s School for the Deaf and Blind, in Glasgow as part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI).

In a filmed address Lady Smith, inquiry chair, asked for anyone connected with Donaldson’s or St Vincent’s to contact the Inquiry team.

You can find the appeal at:

Lady Smith said: ’If you were a child or young person in residential care at one of these two establishments, or a member of their family, or a member of staff, I am looking for your help.

‘If you are able to provide me with any information about the experiences of children and young people at Donaldson’s and St Vincent’s schools, it will be of considerable assistance to me in the work we are doing here to find out what happened to children in residential care there and, if they suffered abuse, how that happened and how to protect against it happening again now and in the future.

‘Our investigations cover all forms of abuse including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. I will also be looking into any inappropriate practices that may have taken place at these establishments.

‘I understand that coming forward to give evidence to the Inquiry can be really difficult and daunting. I know that it is not at all easy to decide to make the decision to do so. It is for that reason that we have a specialist witness support team who assist all witnesses according to their particular needs, discussing with them what particular support they may require.

‘We have already taken some evidence from those in the deaf community, including British Sign language (BSL) users, but we would like more people to come forward. Please do get in touch with us if you feel at all able to help.’

Public hearings relating to this chapter are likely to start in spring 2025.

SCAI’s witness support team can be contacted by phone on 0800 0929 300 or emailed at

Individuals can also contact the Inquiry by post at SCAI, PO Box 24202, Edinburgh EH3 1JN.



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