Social services investigate Winchester College bullying allegations
Teachers contacted child protection officials after a pupil complained of abuse by four older boys at the 627-year-old school last week.
It is understood that the teenagers were sent home but not formally suspended while the claims were investigated.
Police have not been called in and the case is being handed back to the school to be dealt with as in internal disciplinary matter.
Social services sources dismissed a report that the allegation involved a sexual assault in a dormitory.
“It was a matter of verbal abuse rather than anything physical that happened to the boy,” a source said.
Dr Steve Bailey, a housemaster and the £28,000-a-year school’s acting head of child protection, said: “I can confirm that we have been dealing with a child protection issue during the past week and we have gone through our normal child protection procedures.”
Hampshire Police confirmed it had no record of a complaint being referred to it.
A spokeswoman for Hampshire County Council said that children’s services were aware of the case but no further action is to be taken.
Steve Crocker, Hampshire’s deputy director for children’s services, said: “Hampshire County Council was contacted by Winchester College last week and made aware of allegations of verbal abuse and bullying.
“The college has dealt with the situation appropriately with the police and the alleged victim and no further involvement from the police or ourselves was requested or deemed necessary.”
Founded in 1382, Winchester is one of England’s most prestigious public schools.
In 2001 it was at the centre of a drugs scandal when more than 40 boys, including the then headmaster Dr Nicholas Tate’s son Oliver, were punished for taking cannabis and underage drinking.