due to new restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic
Boarding Schools hearings postponed
The Inquiry’s case study hearings to examine the abuse of children in Boarding Schools were due to begin later this month. Today (6 January 2021), Lady Smith has reluctantly decided that they will have to be postponed. She appreciates that this is likely to cause disappointment and inconvenience but feels she has no alternative but to do so.
The decision has been taken following careful consideration of all aspects of the latest public health advice and new restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearings will be rescheduled as soon as possible. Further updates will be provided on the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry’s (SCAI) website and via Twitter.
However, the important investigative work of SCAI continues, and the Inquiry has well-developed processes to allow staff to continue work remotely.
Whilst we will not be carrying out face-to-face meetings during this time, our witness support team will continue to operate the Talk to Us phone line and will be supporting applicants and other witnesses through this challenging time. Over the past few months the Inquiry has been harnessing technology to take statements from applicants remotely where appropriate, and this will continue.
Analysis of evidence and drafting of findings in relation to the Marist Brothers and Child Migration case studies is well underway. Findings in relation the Christian Brothers and Benedictines case study are complete and are being prepared for publication. Further information will be available shortly.
The Inquiry’s ‘Talk to Us’ phone lines will continue to operate Monday - Friday between 10am and 4pm until further notice. Individuals can contact the Inquiry’s witness support team by phone on 0800 0929 300, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. BSL users can contact the Inquiry through an online sign interpreter.