Former staff questioned over school abuse claims

Badgeworth Court
Image caption Badgeworth Court stopped operating as a boarding school in the 1980s

Five people have been questioned in connection with alleged historical abuse at three boarding schools.

The former teachers and members of staff have been interviewed under caution by Gloucestershire Police.

The men worked at Badgeworth Court and Dowdeswell Court near Cheltenham, and Clouds House near Salisbury.

Five other former school workers, including teachers, have already been arrested and bailed during the inquiry.

The allegations of physical and sexual abuse carried out on boys as young as seven date to the 1960s and 1980s. The schools are now closed.

The police inquiry began in 2015 after a BBC Points West investigation revealed the allegations at the three privately-run special schools.

Officers from the Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Avon and Somerset Police forces have been involved in the investigation.

More than 130 potential victims have been interviewed and 76 have made formal statements of complaints alleging abuse.

Det Ch Insp Jeremy Carter said: "I'm very optimistic there will be cases from at least 15 victims that we will put before the Crown Prosecution Service for them to make a decision in terms of whether the necessary evidential thresholds are met to take these matters to court."

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