A Perth residential school will be investigated as part of a nationwide probe into historic child abuse, it has emerged.
Balnacraig School has appeared on a list of 17 extra institutions that will be scrutinised by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI).
It brings the total number of establishments where abuse is believed to have taken place to 86.
Lady Smith, who chairs the inquiry, has also confirmed Queen Victoria School in Dunblane and Ovenstone Residential School in Fife have also been identified.
The latest expansion of the far-reaching probe comes three years after former Balnacraig School head teacher David Cowling was jailed for molesting two pupils in the 1970s.
Perth Sheriff Court was told his relationship with one victim was so blatant he was forced to resign, but it was not reported as a crime for four decades.
The sheriff told Cowling he had “abused the trust” of vulnerable children.
Last year, it emerged Morrison’s Academy in Crieff was also part of the inquiry. The probe centres on the time when Morrison’s was a boarding school.
Alison Morley, chief executive at Balnacraig said: “The welfare and safety of young people is at the core of our work and our safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures are robust, comprehensive and fully compliant with current Scottish legislation and national guidance.
“The care we provide at Balnacraig was recently inspected with no concerns.
“We are committed to assisting the inquiry as it continues its investigations, however our priority always remains to supporting the young people currently at Balnacraig.”
A spokesman for Dunblane’s Queen Victoria School, which is operated by the Ministry of Defence, responded to the SCAI’s expanding probe: “All historic allegations of sexual abuse involving the school were reported to the police at the time,” he said.
“We take any allegations of this nature extremely seriously and always co-operate fully with any police inquiry.”
Gordon Wardrope, education manager with Fife Council, said: “We’re aware of the investigation into the former Ovenstone Residential School, and will assist the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI).”
Lady Smith has made a public plea for information.
“Please would anyone who has any relevant information about any of these institutions contact the inquiry.
“It does not matter whether you have already made a report to the police or to anyone else, and it does not matter whether or not you have been involved in any other investigation.
“You can still talk to us and we want to hear from you.”
She added: “I am well aware that it can be difficult and very emotional to talk about experiences in care and I want to take this opportunity to give an assurance that we have a dedicated witness support team here who will help and support anyone providing evidence to us.
“They will do so throughout the process.”
The latest list includes eight non-religious and voluntary organisations, five local authority establishments, two healthcare premises and the St Andrew’s School, Shandon, Dunbartonshire.
Queen Victoria School is the only boarding school on the list.
At his court hearing in 2015, jurors heard how ex-school head Cowling targeted one pupil by kissing and cuddling her, progressing to full sex.
The encounters took place at a caravan in the school grounds, a garage and in the victim’s school bedroom.
The SCAI is tasked with examining historical allegations of the abuse of children in care.
It began taking statements from witnesses in the spring of 2016 and commenced public hearings in May last year.
It has already heard evidence on institutions run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul and the Sisters of Nazareth during earlier public hearings.
A third phase of the case study hearings will begin in October with an investigation of residential childcare establishments run by large-scale care providers Quarriers, Aberlour and Barnardo’s.