A FORMER official at a now-closed Dumbarton boarding school says the discovery that pupils at the school had been abused was "devastating".

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry began taking evidence this month as it looks into abuse allegations at seven Scottish boarding schools, including Keil School in Kirktonhill, Dumbarton.

Rodger Harvey-Jamieson, a former clerk to the board of governors at Keil, which closed in 2000, gave evidence to the inquiry on Tuesday.

He said nothing was reported to the board of governors, or to the school's founders, the Mackinnon-Macneill Trust, of which he is a trustee, about concerns over staff members until they heard of a police investigation.

“It was a complete shock to the system to discover that there had been failures which allowed abuse to take place,” he said.

"The trust acknowledges that between 1997 and 2000 some children suffered abuse at the school.

“We had absolutely no inkling or suspicion that that sort of abuse was going on at the school. It’s devastating that it should’ve taken place.

“Again, I want to offer our profound sympathy to all who have been affected by this.”

Meanwhile, the head of one of Edinburgh's best-known boarding schools told the inquiry on Tuesday that concern over a “predatory culture” is an issue for all schools.

Jonathan Anderson, headmaster at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, said singling out boys-only schools in relation to the issue is “not fair”.

He said: "I think it is an issue across all schools. I think it’s unfair to single out boys’ schools as I think it’s a societal issue.

“I think it’s about how we educate young men, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

“Being able to have a frank discussion with them in a boys-only space is very healthy in that regard. To say it’s only an issue for boys’ schools is not fair.”

The inquiry, being heard before Lady Smith in Edinburgh, continues.