A NATIONAL inquiry into the historic abuse of children in care will examine three Ayrshire establishments as part of an upcoming case study.

Geilsland in Beith, Kerelaw in Stevenston, and St Mungo’s in Mauchline are among 39 former residential schools that will form part of the next stage of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI).

The SCAI was set up in 2015 to investigate the nature and extent of the physical, sexual, psychological and emotional abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland. It is also considering the extent to which state and non-state institutions and bodies failed in their duty to protect young people in the care system.

Public hearings about the abuse of children in residential accommodation for young offenders and children and young persons in need of care and protection will begin in the second half of 2023.

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

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

Former residents and staff at the listed establishments are now being encouraged to come forward before the case study gets under way next year.

Lady Smith, chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, said: “Many people have already come forward and we are making good progress with our investigations.

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

“We are particularly keen to hear from former residents, former staff, managers and those involved in inspections.”

SCAI’s investigations into this area of residential care have been ongoing throughout the life of the inquiry. The case study 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.

SCAI has been investigating abuse at those establishments between 1930 and 2014 and continues to do so. They were managed by a range of providers including local authorities, religious bodies, voluntary bodies, and the Scottish Prison Service.

The reporting of abuse and the impact of abuse form part of SCAI’s investigations, as do staff recruitment, training, and culture and they will also be explored during the case study.

The inquiry’s witness support team can be contacted on 0800 0929 300, or emailed at talktous@childabuseinquiry.scot.

You can also write to the inquiry by post at SCAI, PO Box 24202, Edinburgh EH3 1JN.