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Kirk man in abuse probe.

Byline: MARION SCOTT EXCLUSIVE

A SENIOR Church of Scotland teacher has been suspended after being accused of beating pupils at a school run by monks more than 20 years ago.

Gregor Dougal has been told to stay away from the Kirk-run residential school because of the allegations surrounding his time at St Ninian's.

The school, in Stirlingshire, is at the centre of what police fear could turn into one of Scotland's biggest abuse scandals.

After working at St Ninian's, near Gartmore, Dougal continued his teaching career and is now deputy head at Ballikinrain residential school, run by the Church of Scotland.

But he has been ordered to carry out other duties in Edinburgh after the allegations emerged.

Last night, Stirling Council confirmed the former schoolmaster was suspended several months ago.

A spokesman said: "Mr Dougal has been suspended following allegations stemming from his time at St Ninian's."

Dougal, who is married with two grown kids, is named along with De La Salle monks, care workers, and other teachers in a writ lodged at the Court of Session alleging abuse and neglect at St Ninian's.

He is named in the civil action brought by Chris Ferns, who is now a social worker.

Father-of-two Chris, 34, attended St Ninian's in the mid-1970's.

Yesterday, he said: "I have also given a statement to the police regarding Mr Dougal."

His writ accuses the teacher and other staff of assaulting and neglecting him between 1974 and 1978.

Yesterday, the Church of Scotland declined to comment.

Dougal, who recently moved from the village of Gartmore to an up-market property in the Torbrex area, also declined to comment.

Ballikinrain School, at Balfron, is a List D school for delinquent pupils. The school hit the headlines in September 1995 when it emerged pupils were being taught how to use guns.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 21, 2001
Words:302
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