Edinburgh private school apologises for historical abuse

  • 1st September 2023

The Edinburgh Academy has apologised for “brutal and unrestrained” historic abuse as the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry took closing submissions in its investigation into the school, The National has reported.

Almost 50 witnesses have given evidence and 20 teaching staff at the school have been subject to allegations, including a child being beaten with a cricket bat, another pupil suffering a “small bleed on the brain”, a child being strangled, and boys being paid to swim naked. Most of evidence has covered the years between 1954 and 1995.

Corporal punishment was banned in Scottish private schools in 2000, but the hearing heard that “disproportionate sadistic violence” was common in the school in the 1970s and a “culture of fear” prevailed, with former teacher, Iain Wares, described by a lawyer for survivors as “one of the most prolific abusers in Scottish criminal history”.

The Edinburgh Academy acknowledged the “brutal and unrestrained” violence and admitted “serious sexual abuse was widespread”, and expressed regret that police were not brought in to deal with Wares in the 1970s. He was instead recommended to Fettes College.

Wares and fellow teacher Hamish Dawson, who died in 2009, were publicly named during the inquiry. Wares was dismissed in 1979 and now lives in South Africa.

Keep Updated

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest news.