The  statue  is  a  sarcastic  taunt  to  every  survivor  of  Dr  Guthrie's  schools 

Dr Guthrie's Ragged Schools – Exclusively for sadists to abuse the Impoverished 

In 1970, these schools not only gave children no education, but much less, including very little food, dormitories that mirrored the workhouses of the 1840s, swimming lessons in a now invisible pool where children were sexually assaulted, super treats like having their pockets sewn up in winter, and     outings where children were photographed and filmed naked. 

These schools were never Christian

They were evil   

                                                         Isaiah 44:9

In memory of my friend Frank Docherty, a true fighter for abused children, born in Glasgow on the 25th of May 1944, who passed away on the 30th of April 2017 at the age of 72 

This website is dedicated to the hundreds, if not thousands, of abused and sexually assaulted children who attended Dr Guthrie's schools in Edinburgh

The boys' school closed in 1985 and the girls' school                                                                     in 1986


Whoever the child abusers are, it doesn't really matter. Because no one has ever been arrested, and no one ever will be.

There has been no apology from the Dr Guthrie's Association and under Scottish law survivors can't sue Dr Guthrie's schools.

It's bad enough that those who survived horrific child abuse at Dr Guthrie's schools have no choice but to seek redress from the government. It is completely unacceptable to us survivors that the Dr Guthrie's Association continues to mock us with his statue.

The statue is an insult to all survivors

If you have been a victim of child abuse at one of Dr Guthrie's schools, you should not keep it a secret any longer. If you haven't already told the police, please do so immediately.

Once you have been issued with a crime reference number, you will be able to make a claim for criminal injuries or compensation through the Scottish Government's redress scheme.

No matter how serious the abuse you have suffered, you will not be able to sue Dr Guthrie's Association SCIO in a Scottish court. So don't waste your time trying to take them to court.

You can also contact the Scottish Abuse Inquiry, although I wouldn't recommend it.


    Nobody is accepting responsibility for the abuse

The suffering of the pupils of Dr Guthrie's 'ragged schools' was so horrific that only a tiny fraction    of the 450 Scottish child abuse witness statements I have read come close to describing it. 

According to Edinburgh City Council, they are not accountable for the abuse because they did not employ the workers

      The Scotsman - Thursday 20 February 1969      

When the administration of Scotland's approved schools changes into the hands of local authorities under the new Social Work "Scotland Act"

In December 1970, the same council classified the statue of Thomas Guthrie as B-list

In the same year, children were sexually abused and tortured in Dr Guthrie's schools

The Dr Guthrie's Association claims that because they registered as a charity in 1986, the schools have nothing to do with them and they are not accountable for any abuse

However, before we can obtain any records that a survivor might need about their time at a Dr Guthrie school, the Dr Guthrie's Association must give their permission.

This blatantly corrupt set-up that doesn't take survivors into account is another example of the disregard with which survivors are treated.

Under Scottish law. The only thing Dr Guthrie's Association is being held responsible for is our records, not the abuse.

Many of the schools' records are closed for 100 years: individual closure dates are given in the catalogue. Access to closed records cannot be granted except with written authority from: Azets, Secretaries and Treasurers, Dr. Guthrie's Association SCIO, Exchange Place 3, Semple Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8BL.


In 1970 you drove through the front gate of Dr Guthrie's Boys' School in Liberton, Edinburgh. There was a sign saying 'Dr Guthrie's School for Boys'. I thought that the symbol on the sign resembled the emblem of the Free Church of Scotland.

The Church of Scotland logo is dark blue and the sign was sky blue. Although I'm not sure if the Free Church of Scotland had anything to do with Dr Guthrie's schools - as it would be easier to find a needle in a haystack than information about Dr Guthrie's schools - Thomas Guthrie was a founder member and moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.


So many people have been denied a decent future by these Dr Guthrie's schools. Children who were abused within the walls of the institutions have cried so much that the buildings are saturated with  horror. They were simply children's prisons and torture centres masquerading as schools.

There  is  a  100  year  D  notice  on  Dr  Guthrie's  schools.  No  matter  where  I  look  on  the  internet,  I  can't  find  many  photographs.  There  was  a  swimming  pool  at  the  Boys'  School  which  was  also  used  by  the  local  schools.  I  can't  find  any  photographs  of  the  swimming pool 

Children  who  have  been  abused  within  the  walls  of  the  school  have  cried  so  much  that  the  building  is   filled  with  horror 

In 1970 I was sent to Dr Guthrie's Boys' School. I was eleven years old. I was falsely accused of stealing three empty ginger bottles.  My father struggled with alcoholism and mental illness. He suffered from PTSD and was on a war pension. He ended up as a patient at Erskine Military Hospital.

                                                  Instead of receiving care and protection                                                   I was tortured and abused for 29 months and given virtually no education

I first complained about the abuse in 1988. My complaints were then dismissed and I was told I needed witnesses. I have made no progress since my first complaint in 1988. I contacted the Child Abuse Inquiry in December 2015. No one has been arrested. I haven't received an apology and the Abuse Inquiry has still not investigated Dr Guthrie's schools at the time of writing (28.10.23).

In Scotland, the average life expectancy for people who were in care as children is only 63. These statistics would suggest that more than half of the children who attended Dr Guthrie's schools before 1972 have died. How many victims of abuse have died over the years without ever receiving even the most minimal form of recognition or justice?  


Anyone who attended a Dr Guthrie's Boys' or Girls' School is welcome to post a comment on this website, as are family members. To contact me, please click on one of the options below

                Survivors  have  our  own  Facebook  group                 controlled  and  operated  by  us 


        Please  sign  the  petition  below.  Do  not  let  them        get  away  with  horrible  child  abuse 

      You  can  find  me  at    search for GuthriesSu24583


    Here  is  the  best  lawyer  in  Scotland

Almost eight years after I reported horrific child abuse to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, there has been no apology to me or to any of the survivors of Dr Guthrie's schools.

Children's homes, private fee-paying boarding schools, children in foster care and child migrants have all been investigated. And a full apology has been made to all survivors.


The approved schools, also known as List D schools, are the places where you would expect the most horrific child abuse to have taken place. These institutions have received absolutely no attention. Survivors of Dr Guthrie's schools have to put up with being ignored and hearing about other institutions where children were abused.


What is most appalling is that the institution which tortured and sexually abused the survivors of Dr Guthrie's schools is still being portrayed in the Scottish media and on the internet as some sort of benevolent Christian 'Ragged School'.


Even if Dr Guthrie's schools were approved or List D, we were abused there as children. Survivors of Dr Guthrie's schools suffered the most appalling forms of child abuse and torture. We deserve the same level of justice as other abused children.


   We will not go unheard. We expect justice and closure, as any abused child would want


                                                                        Boys' School

Dr Guthrie's invisible swimming pool, apparently no one cares if you were sexually abused in it


                                                                       Girls' School