More than 50 Formby High pupils claim they were abused by paedophile teacher

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Formby High say that at the school today, safeguarding their students is of 'paramount importance'. Credit: ITV News

More than 50 former pupils are bringing a civil case against Sefton Council over claims they suffered years of child abuse at the hands of a teacher more than 30 years ago.

Ian Farquarson, the head of lower school at Formby High School, has been accused of being a prolific sexual predator who targeted dozens of boys between 1975 and 1992.

He was taken to trial in 1989 on charges of gross indecency against several boys.

However, he was cleared of that charge at Crosby Magistrates' Court, claiming the boys had "tried to get him into trouble" after he had to "discipline" them.

Farquarson was allowed to carry on teaching when the case was dismissed.

He took his own life in May 1992 after being summoned to the headmaster's office regarding a complaint about his conduct.

Jason is one of more than fifty former pupils planning on suing Sefton Council over abuse claims Credit: ITV News

Speaking out today, one former pupil, Jason, told ITV News that he was one of the 'survivors' in the case.

He said of the alleged abuse taking place at Formby High: 'It was common knowledge. Everyone knew he (Mr Farquarson) was a paedophile.'

He went on: 'I didn't realise how many victims were involved. I thought he was doing what he was doing to me because he didn't like me. I just thought he was bullying me.

"I didn't understand the sexual nature of it. I just thought he didn't like me.'

Jason described how Mr Farquarson got permission from the headteacher to take him out of class twice a week. During these private meetings, Farquarson allegedly sexually abused him.

He told us: 'He was a nasty man. He was short and fat. He chain-smoked. [...] He was trying to hurt me.'

After the teacher took his own life, Jason says his 'blood ran cold'.

Jason is one of more than fifty alleged victims now looking to sue Sefton Council for the abuse they suffered.

For Jason, he simply wants the council to acknowledge what happened and apologise.

Philip Aindow has waived his anonymity to speak to the media about the case Credit: Liverpool Echo syndication

Another alleged victim, Philip Aindow, who has waived his anonymity, told the Liverpool Echo: "In my generation, you were brought up to trust these types of people in authority. They were people in positions of trust. Who can you trust in the end?"

Now Andrew Grove & Co Solicitors, based in Cambridgeshire, said it will "shortly" be issuing civil court proceedings against Sefton Council on behalf of 57 former pupils.

Sefton Council said: A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “These allegations are of a serious nature and we are actively engaging in the legal process.

"As such, we cannot comment further in relation to this ongoing matter.

“We, of course, have deep sympathy for all victims of sexual abuse and anyone who may be affected by this case.”

A spokesperson from Formby High School said: Mr Wood, Headteacher, said: “As a school community we are horrified by these allegations of historic sexual abuse, and our thoughts are with the victims.

"It is difficult for us to comment further as these incidents took place more than 30 years ago, before the current Trust was in charge of the school.

"However, the safety and wellbeing of our students at Formby High School is paramount and we can assure you we have extremely robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place to protect all of our students."