Scotland’s child abuse inquiry will be shown episodes of the BBC documentary series Man Alive featuring a girls’ boarding school in Dundee.
The hearing will watch two episodes of the popular programme, which ran from 1965 to 1981, focusing on the experiences of residents at Balgay Approved School for Girls.
The episodes, titled’ If You Want to Run Away, You Can’ and ‘In Need of Care and Protection’, were first broadcast in October 1967.
They focus on the experiences of residents, their relationships with their families and with school staff, and consider the educational philosophy of the school’s headmaster.
The inquiry will hear evidence in relation to abuse in residential accommodation for young offenders and children, and young people designated by the state as in need of care and protection.
It has already received allegations involving 39 establishments run by the prison service, local authorities, religious groups and charities.
What are the episodes about?
Balgay became an approved school – a residential institution for young offenders – in 1933 and housed scores of girls at a time.
A description of the first episode listed on the BBC’s website states: “Balgay is a girls’ boarding school in Dundee – an exclusive school with only sixty pupils, where each member of the staff has only 10 girls to educate.
“The girls wear school uniform when they go outside the school – and don’t like wearing it. People stare. They stare more at these girls.
“Balgay is not a normal boarding school. For most of the girls it is a place where they learn to begin life – the kind of life other girls can take for granted.
“There are no fees and only one way to become a pupil. You must be sent to Balgay by a court, described as ‘In need of care and protection.’
“It is an approved school. But at a time when the approved school system is under fire perhaps this school in Scotland can show us a different way.”
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was established in 2015 to look into the cases of abuse of children in care in Scotland.
It was supposed to report within four years but eight years on, it has yet to produce a single recommendation for improving care.
The hearings cover a period from 1930 until 2014.
In September, the Inquiry heard efforts to set up any kind of formal investigation had been hampered by an unwillingness to acknowledge how widespread and structural abuse was across Scotland.