Police have launched an investigation into claims vulnerable children at a north-east special school were physically abused.
Parents of pupils at Westfield School in Fraserburgh were told about the allegations in a letter from education chiefs.
Three members of staff have been told to stay away from work while the inquiry is ongoing, although they have not been formally suspended.
The school caters for children as young as just six weeks.
The mother of one Westfield pupil said last night: “I’m obviously very concerned because these children are very vulnerable.
“I don’t want to give my name in case it comes back on my child.”
A police spokesman said: “We can confirm we are conducting an investigation following complaints received of allegations of physical abuse of children at Westfield School in Fraserburgh.
“Police are working closely with colleagues from Aberdeenshire Council and the Care Inspectorate to safeguard the wellbeing of children at the school.”
The local authority confirmed an investigation was under way and that three staff would not return to the Argyll Road school in the meantime.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We are co-operating fully with Police Scotland as they conduct their investigation into these serious allegations regarding Westfield School.
“This is understandably a worrying time for staff, pupils, parents and carers and we are providing support to the school while the investigation takes place.”
He added that as the allegations were now the subject of a live police investigation, it would be “inappropriate” for the local authority to comment further.
Investigating officers are also co-ordinating with the Care Inspectorate – the national body responsible for monitoring care standards in Scotland.
A spokesman said: “The Care Inspectorate is aware that Police Scotland are conducting an investigation following concerns about the health, safety and wellbeing of children at this service.
“The safety and wellbeing of children is always our first priority and we are working closely with Aberdeenshire Council and Police Scotland to ensure that the rights of children are respected and their needs met.”
Westfield is part of the Fraserburgh Community Schools Network and is the first in the area to cater for children as young as six weeks old.
A statement on the school’s website says: “The school supports pupils from birth to post-16 with a range of needs from severe and complex additional support needs to more moderate learning needs.
“Specialist provision for pupils on the autistic spectrum is also provided.”
There are currently about 50 pupils attending Westfield School across all age groups.
In 2013 councillors earmarked more than £2million to build a new family centre – aimed at helping parents learn life skills – on the site.