Fresh allegations of physical and sexual abuse made against former Fettes College teacher

Fettes – which is Scotland’s costliest private school – said it took such claims “extremely seriously”.

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 7:30 am
Fettes – which is Scotland’s costliest private school – said it took such claims “extremely seriously”.

Fresh allegations of physical and sexual abuse made against a former teacher at one of Scotland’s top private schools are being investigated by detectives.

Last week, a former Fettes College pupil told BBC Scotland’s Drivetime programme that he had been assaulted there in the 1970s.

Two other men have now spoken to the programme about alleged abuse which they experienced at the school.

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Fettes – which is Scotland’s costliest private school – said it took such claims “extremely seriously”.

The school said it encouraged any alleged victims to contact Police Scotland and the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Drivetime presenter Johnnie Beattie interviewed a man last week who said abuse regularly took place in a classroom full of students while he was attending the preparatory school.

He claimed one teacher would call boys, who were aged 11 or 12 years old, up to his desk, where he would touch them underneath their shorts.

The former pupil, who is now in his 50s, has submitted written evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Following the interview, two more men contacted the programme to tell their stories.

One said that the teacher would “openly” fondle boys while marking their work in the classroom.

He said that on another occasion the teacher took him out of the classroom and he was “beaten up” in a changing room.

“I was absolutely petrified,” he said.

The man said that everyone knew about the teacher’s behaviour, but that nothing was done.

Another man told Drivetime that he had been assaulted in a “particularly vicious manner” by the same teacher when he was 12 years old.

He said his parent found out what had happened, and the issue was raised with the school.

He said the teacher was put on a month’s sabbatical to “get his head straight”, and that he then returned to teaching another class before eventually leaving Scotland.

It has been suggested the man at the centre of the allegations left without a blemish against his name and was able to teach young children abroad. Sources have indicated that he will be arrested if he returns to the UK.

A spokesman for Fettes described the men’s stories as “extremely harrowing” and said it co-operated with the authorities in any case of alleged abuse.

He added: “Fettes College takes all claims of non-recent child abuse extremely seriously and we have been advised by Police Scotland to encourage anyone with an allegation to contact them.

“We also advise them to contact the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.”

The spokesman continued: “Fettes College is dedicated to ensuring that all pupils and staff live together in a safe environment.

“Safeguarding is central to all that we do and is integral to the ethos of the school. It is the duty of all members of staff, throughout the Fettes community, to play an active role in promoting the wellbeing of all our pupils.”

Police Scotland confirmed that it had recently received a report about non-recent child abuse at Fettes and said inquiries were at an early stage.