But the Scottish government said that for the inquiry to reach clear conclusions and recommendations it must focus on a set remit and time frame.
Survivors’ organisations are demanding a rethink – even though the government says this would delay the process.
Victims have said the Education Secretary who announced the inquiry must act quickly to widen the remit.
The Labour party said the inquiry – which was announced by the Scottish government a year ago – would not be able to investigate many cases of abuse, unlike similar investigations in other countries.
It also called for a compensation scheme to be set up to help victims.
Alan Draper of the In Care Survivors’ group said: “The government have discretion to change the remit so that’s why we’re seeking an urgent meeting with the education secretary – to attempt to get her to change the remit.”
So far the inquiry has not taken any evidence, but already there are calls for major changes to be made in how it will operate.
Abuse carried out in boarding schools will be investigated; other cases, in parishes, in day schools, or youth organisations will not.
Andi Lavery, an abuse survivor who is now the spokesman for the White Flowers Alba group, said: “The feeling is it’s a cover-up.
“The same paedophile priests abused children in primary schools and in boarding schools and in residential homes but the children who were abused by the same paedophiles are not covered – it was the child they harmed not the institution.”
In the Scottish Parliament, Labour have been meeting survivors, and are calling for more to be done to help them while the inquiry goes on.
Graeme Pearson MSP, Labour’s justice spokesman, said: “I have written to the cabinet secretary to indicate that the survivors seek redress and seek psychological support and other agency support too.
“The sooner that’s delivered the better.”
Survivors in Scotland point to the inquiry in Northern Ireland which has a wider remit – and also offers victims financial redress in some cases.
David Shaw, whose abuse will be examined by the inquiry, said: “There’s still no redress. There’s still no help or financial assistance for anything for the victims.”