A housemaster at one of the country's leading independent Catholic boys' boarding schools has been suspended over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a sixth-former.
Father Christian Shore, a master at Ampleforth College, near York, is being investigated "concerning events affecting a sixth-form student that are said to have taken place more than a decade ago", a statement from the school said last night.
It said it had referred the allegations to social services, adding: "We have a very clear policy that requires that any suspicion of this kind must be immediately and thoroughly investigated, regardless of the period that may have elapsed. While the investigation takes place, it is, of course, necessary for the person concerned to be away from the school."
The spokesman said that no other complaints had been made to the school.
Ampleforth, which was established in 1802, provides places for 500 pupils aged 13 to 18. It has recently admitted girls to the sixth form. It is mainly boarding with fees of up to nearly £15,000 a year.
Roman Catholic pupils are offered a "full religious education in the Roman Catholic faith". However, the school also welcomes pupils from other Christian denominations.
The school is proud of its academic record. "Outstanding academic results reflect Ampleforth's policy of stretching the intellectually gifted while offering help to those less able," the school's website says.
In his introduction to potential students, the headmaster, Father Leo Chamberlain, writes: "The result is an education academically rigorous and full of individual opportunities now, but just as committed to the moral and spiritual qualities which Old Amplefordians will carry with them through the rest of their lives."