One of Scotland’s top independent boarding schools has been rocked by allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving a member of staff.

A senior teacher at Loretto School in Musselburgh, East Lothian, the oldest boarding school in Scotland, has been suspended following what the headmaster has confirmed are ‘deeply disturbing’ allegations.

The police and Care Inspectorate have been informed, and an investigation into claims linked to the teacher’s alleged behaviour is now underway.

Details of the precise nature of the complaint have not yet been confirmed, and investigations into the allegations are believed to be at an early stage.

However headteacher Dr Graham Hawley has said they relate to behaviour which is not tolerated at the school.

Loretto School is one of Scotland’s leading fee-paying schools, where parents pay up to £33,600 a year to board senior pupils.

It regularly receives top ratings and is particularly renowned for its drama, music, art and sport.

Headmaster, Dr Graham Hawley said: “As Headmaster and as a parent, I am deeply disturbed by these allegations and I take them very seriously.

“The alleged behaviour is unacceptable and has no place in our community. It is everything that we are not.

“As soon as the allegations were brought to us we took action: we alerted the police, we alerted the Care Inspectorate, we instigated an internal investigation, we suspended the member of staff in question.

“The school has undertaken extensive work to ensure it is as safe an environment as it is possible for a school to be. We have built a culture in which pupils can feel empowered to come forward, to seek and find the support they need in situations like this.”

Loretto School is one of the country’s top private schools, with parents paying up to £33,600 a year to board senior children at its 85 acre leafy campus, which features its own golf academy. Around 400 boys and girls attend Loretto Senior School, with around 70 per cent opting to board.

A further 200 attend the Junior School, while the nursery caters for children from birth to five years old.

Former pupils at the school, which was founded in 1827, include broadcaster Andrew Marr, former Chancellors of the Exchequer Norman Lamont and Alistair Darling and motor racing legend Jim Clarke. Movie director Don Boyd, whose films have included Scum, Look Back in Anger and The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, is also a former pupil at the school.

Last year’s Tatler Schools Guide placed Loretto School in the top seven per cent nationally and singled out the “spectacular dance and drama” studio for particular praise.

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate confirmed a probe is underway. He said: “We have been notified by the Loretto School of an allegation involving a member of staff.

“We are working closely with the school. Anyone with a concern about a care service can contact us on 0345 600 9527.”

Dr Hawley added: “Given the sensitivities of this situation, the investigation, and involvement of the authorities, I am limited in what more I can say; however, I am committed to ensuring that Loretto is a school where no behaviour of this alleged kind will ever be tolerated.”