Gordonstoun school faces more pressure over pupil sex abuse
5 June 2015
- From the section NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland
The Gordonstoun public school in Moray is facing further pressure over claims of historical sexual abuse at its former prep school, Aberlour House.
An ex-pupil, whose case is known to the school and police, has told BBC Scotland the school must take more responsibility for the alleged abuse.
John Findlay claimed a teacher at Aberlour House, sacked for assaulting him, went on to work elsewhere.
Gordonstoun said it had helped the police with their inquiries.
Last month a former female pupil told BBC Scotland how a rape case against another teacher at the same school collapsed.
Mr Findlay, 37, said he was assaulted in a dormitory at the Moray school at the age of 12.
He said the teacher who allegedly attacked him had earlier given him painkillers for a rugby injury.
The teacher, who has since died, was sacked by Aberlour House.
The police were involved at the time but John’s father Andrew, also a former Gordonstoun pupil, decided against prosecution after receiving assurances that the man would never teach again.
But the family has been told more recently that he did go on to work at another school in England.
Mr Findlay said: “I feel sick now thinking about it – a massive blow. I regret deeply that, even although I was only 12 years old, I should have had the common sense to say no, this person should be punished for this now.”
Gordonstoun is already looking into Mr Findlay’s case, but he has challenged the school to take more responsibility for what happened in the past.
He said: ” I wish nothing ill against the school. I have two young boys and I wouldn’t hesitate in enrolling them in Gordonstoun or Aberlour House.
“However, they teach trust and responsibility and therefore by that same element you shouldn’t shirk responsibility.”
Mr Findlay has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, which he believes was caused by the alleged assault.
He has recently been contacted by a classmate claiming he was abused by the same teacher and he hopes his decision to go public will encourage other victims of historic abuse to confront the past.
The Observer Magazine uncovered initial claims of historic abuse at Gordonstoun.
A Gordonstoun spokeswoman said they were “very sad and sorry” about Mr Findlay’s traumatic experience at the prep school.
“Aberlour House operated as a separate school at the time and only moved to Gordonstoun in 2004 so we have inherited limited records. But we know that once the school was told about the abuse by John and his parents, the then headmaster responded immediately.
“The police were called and Aberlour House helped them with their investigations.”
The teacher was sacked in December 1990, having been at the school for three months, she added.
“We understand that it was Aberlour House’s strong intention that [the man] would not teach again and steps were taken to add him to the registered offenders list. It was awful to learn recently that [he] had been able to hide his past and teach again abroad.
“We are aware that there is another case against [him] and we will help the police with any inquiries in whatever way we can.”
The school said it had taken a number of steps to address any allegations of historic abuse.
These included writing to former students urging them to contact the police if they have evidence or allegations of criminal behaviour, and apologising to those known to have suffered abuse at the school.
“We will continue to help any ex-student who was affected by these issues in whatever way we can,” added the spokeswoman.