A bestselling novelist has told how he attempted suicide after suffering bullying and abuse at one of Scotland's top private schools.

CJ Sansom spoke of the torment he suffered at George Watson's College in Edinburgh as dozens of other complaints of abuse at the exclusive school also surfaced.

Mr Sansom, well known for his historical crime novels such as the Shardlake series, said his time at the college in the 1950s and 1960s was plagued by verbal abuse and marginalisation at the hands of staff and pupils.

He revealed that, at the age of 15, he tried to take his own life with a "massive overdose" of his mother's sleeping pills.

Writing about his childhood in the Sunday Times, he said he was "mocked and isolated" by pupils and that teachers turned a blind eye to his bullying and sometimes collaborated in it.

Mr Sansom claims he became "seriously mentally ill: completely isolated, hardly aware of what was being said in the classroom, consumed with rage, plagued by migraines and tormented by thoughts of suicide and burning down the school".

The writer added that he chose to speak out after reading reports of a high profile bullying case, which resulted in a ruling by the Registrar of Independent Schools.

The school was criticised for failing to safeguard a student's welfare after a former pupil told how she suffered sustained bullying, including violent physical assault.

Green MSP Andy Wightman, who highlighted the case in parliament, said he has now received 25 further reports of abuse involving former pupils of the school, which charges almost £12,000 a year.

Mr Wightman said: "I was approached by people whom either reported to me that they had been bullied themselves, or that they know people who had been or were aware of bullying issues."

School principal Melvyn Roffe rejected accusations of a "culture of denial" among staff and said the school is "constantly looking to update and improve our practices and learn from the past".

He added: "We implore Mr Wightman to encourage those who have contacted him to speak to the appropriate authorities or to contact us directly. We pledge that any complaints will be reviewed to the highest possible scrutiny."

Mr Roffe also apologised "unreservedly" to Mr Sansom for the abuse he suffered while at the school.