Former Gordonstoun pupil speaks out over historic abuse

John Findlay - 'no ill' against Gordonstoun
John Findlay – ‘no ill’ against Gordonstoun

ANOTHER FORMER GORDONSTOUN pupil has decided to speak out over historic abuse at the Moray private school.

John Findlay was a pupil at Aberlour House in 1990 where he said he was assaulted by a teacher after suffering an injury in a game of rugby. Mr Findlay, 37, was just 12-years-old at the time and claimed a teacher gave him strong painkillers before the sexual assault.

Mr Findlay spoke out in a BBC Scotland interview in which he called for the school to “take more responsibility” for alleged historic sexual abuse. In response the school has insisted that they had and continue to help police with investigations into the claims.

Police did become involved in the 1990 incident but the teacher claimed that Mr Findlay had imagined the abuse. Assurances were given that the teacher would never return to a classroom and on that basis Mr Findlay’s parents did not insist on prosecution.

However, the teacher did go on to work again at an overseas school.  Mr Findlay said: “I regret deeply that, even though I was only 12 at the time, I did not have the common sense to say ‘no’ – this person should be punished for this now.

“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.”

A Gordonstoun spokeswoman said that they were “sad and sorry” at the experience Mr Findlay underwent, adding that they had spoken with him and his family to convey that.

She added: “We only have limited records from the time but we know that once the school was told about this instance of abuse the headmaster responded immediately.

“Police were called and the teacher in question was sacked in December 1990 having been at the school for three months. We understand that it was Aberlour House’s strong intention that he 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.”

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