School boys
Chelfham Mill School shut down after students claim being restrained with force.Getty Images

A private school for troubled boys near Devon has been shut down for investigation after students complained of prison-like treatment.

Students at the Chelfham Mill School complained of physical abuse and said boys who were found to break rules were often restrained by force.

The institution that houses some 40 troubled boys between the ages of seven and 18 was shut down by regulator Ofsted until investigations are complete.

According to a testimonial from a former student, reported BBC News: "The humiliations were much worse [than being restrained] ...pupils sometimes had to wear pyjamas all day, walking around school and at lessons."

While another student said: "It was like a prison for children. I can assure you the abuse is real, it happened to me and I still suffer from it now."

Meanwhile, the school management insists full cooperation while some of the boys from the school have been placed into foster care.

"I can assure you I am committed to supporting the investigation process," said Katy Roberts, the school principal.

The school is to remain closed for at least six weeks.