Jeremy Sierla
Father Jeremy Sierla left the school in 2012Ampleworth College

A monk who was alleged to have run a "sex club" for young boys was allowed to stay at one of the country's leading Catholic schools for eight years after the claims were first made.

Father Jeremy Sierla remained at £30,000-a-year Ampleforth College where he was alleged to have summoned pupils to his study in their pyjamas, plied them with alcohol and forced them to perform sex acts, reported the Times.

A criminal investigation into Sierla was launched 2004, but no charges were brought. Despite this, police were so concerned about the monk's behaviour that they wrote to the Department for Education (DfE) asking that he be denied access to children and that he should not be allowed "anywhere near a school".

Sierla continued to live at the school for a further eight years until education officials ruled his presence at Ampleforth was "incompatible with good safeguarding practice".

A source told the Times that during the investigation, examinations of the monk's computer found he posed as a young girl to speak to boys on internet chatrooms. He was also found to have owned a photograph of a former pupil aged 12 at the time. The image was said not to be indecent.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the case file against Sierla was destroyed several years ago.

Sierla denied the allegations against him and said he "gladly co-operated" with authorities.

The DfE said that it was unable to discuss individual cases but said it was "paramount that children are protected at school and that there are robust safeguards in place". A spokesperson added: "Where schools fail to meet standards, we will not hesitate to take action."

A school spokesman said that Sierla's continued presence at Ampleforth was approved at a meeting of safeguarding professionals in 2004 and that his case was reviewed again in 2007 by an independent safeguarding commission. It took a further five years before the DfE told Ampleforth he should not be allowed on school grounds. He then left.