Principal says private school will looks to re-register once police investigation is complete.

A North Devon school that has given up its licence to operate has said it will look to re-open once an investigation into abuse claims is complete.

Chelfham Mill School principal Katy Roberts told the Gazette that the school, between Barnstaple and Bratton Fleming, had voluntarily resigned its registration until all enquiries are concluded.

She said: “The school hopes to re-register as a school following the conclusion of the investigation.

“The school hopes that the investigation can be concluded as soon as possible.”

In July, education watchdog Ofsted suspended the school’s registration to operate as police launched an investigation into claims of physical abuse at the school.

Ofsted has this week confirmed that the suspension remained in place.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “As is normal procedure, Ofsted will review the circumstances around the case before any further decision is made.”

Earlier this year, an Ofsted social care interim inspection report said the private residential school, for boys aged seven to 18 with emotional and behavioural problems, had ‘declined in effectiveness’ since being judged ‘adequate’ in 2014.

Police sources have told the BBC their investigation is expected to take several months.