Police investigate prep school abuse claims

  • 11th June 2024

Northamptonshire police are conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of historic sexual and physical abuse at Maidwell Hall School, The Times has reported.

The investigation has been instigated following allegations by 60-year-old Earl Spencer in his book A Very Private School, where he says a teacher interfered with him in his dormitory bed when her was 11 years old, while another hit him over the head so hard that he drew blood and also took boys for naked swimming lessons in the school’s lake.

Earlier this year Spenser told The Times that the school’s head as the time, John Porch, inflicted “unbelievably painful punishments” spanking children’s bare bottoms with a variety of weapons, causing bruising and drawing blood. Porch died in 2022.

Spencer said: “It was all about making the boys as frightened as possible. The whole process of being punished was ritualistic.”

A spokesman for Maidwell Hall School said: It is difficult to read about practices which were, sadly, sometimes believed to be normal and acceptable at the time.

The school added: “Almost every facet of school life has evolved since the 1970s.”

Northamptonshire police said: “We are in the early stages of investigating a number of non-recent allegations of sexual abuse at Maidwell Hall School. Northamptonshire police takes all allegations of abuse very seriously and where reports are made to us, we will pursue all available lines of inquiry to help bring perpetrators to justice.”

Keep Updated

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest news.