Oakwood School inquiry: Headmaster Stephen Player summonsed

The former headmaster of an independent school in Northampton has been summonsed to court to face child cruelty and assault allegations.

Stephen Player, 59, the ex-headmaster of Spratton Hall, is due before Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court next month along with three other men.

He faces allegations from the 1980s relating to Oakwood School in Suffolk.

Graham Underwood, chair of governors at Spratton Hall, said Mr Player had recently retired from the prep school.

'Confidential letters'

"He had been planning to retire for some time and has brought it forward," Mr Underwood said.

"Parents of school pupils had been informed of this decision by confidential personal letters from Mr Player and myself."

Suffolk Police investigating historical physical and sexual abuse of children over a 21-year period in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s issued the summons.

Oakwood opened in 1974 and was a school for young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The school closed temporarily in December 1999 after county council concerns and it shut permanently in 2000.

Mr Player has been summonsed to appear before the court on 1 October.

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