A SCOTTISH private school has been described as "a cesspit of sadism and paedophilia" by a former pupil.

Kenneth, who wishes to remain anonymous, alleged that he was often targeted with vicious beatings at Edinburgh Academy when he was a child.

He told the BBC the school was “hell on earth”.

Kenneth, who was at the school from 1965 to 1978, said that beatings started when he was just 10 or 11.

READ MORE: BBC presenter says he was victim of abuse at Scottish private school

He claimed the pupils “all lived in fear” of the “sadistic and brutal treatment” experienced at Edinburgh Academy.

The 62-year-old said one time a teacher punched him so hard he had to be sent home, while another time a groundsman had stroked his leg in a changing room and invited him back to his home.

After complaining about the groundsman, Kenneth said he was moved to a different part of the school.

At least 17 former teachers and staff have been accused of molesting boys between 1953 and the early 1990s.

Kenneth’s testimony comes after BBC broadcaster Nicky Campbell said he was abused at the school.

"I'm grateful to Nicky Campbell because he opened up the door for me, allowed me to step through into the light, or towards the light at least, and put some of that darkness behind me," he said.

Campbell has said the abuse at the school has had a “profound effect” on his life.

Kenneth described a “culture of violence” at the private school, saying he was often singled out and assaulted.

The man said he had started to wear five or six pairs of underwear to protect himself but said that “eventually they found out and I started to get beaten on the bare buttocks”.

He added: “I can't ever remember receiving detention or 100 lines. It was always straight to maximum punishment."

While at the school, Kenneth alegged that one teacher insisted boys not wear underpants under their rugby shorts.

He said: "He would march down the row of boys and pull forward the underpants to look and see.

"If we did have underpants on we had to go and get changed and come back. I was certainly very disturbed by that."

Kenneth said that by his mid-teens he had attempted to take his own life, and that he still suffers from “stress and anxiety”.

He has avoided Edinburgh ever since.

He said: "Whenever I saw an Edinburgh Academy school uniform or passed the school, I found that after that I had a series of sleepless nights, nightmares.”

He added: "I was a precocious, happy little child until the beatings started. And I turned into this terrified little boy. Home was my refuge and school was just this hell."

READ MORE: Teacher at Fettes College in Edinburgh made my life hell, woman tells abuse inquiry

Kenneth urged others to come forward. He said: "You will be believed now. Don't be afraid of that, because we all have to act together to ensure that this kind of thing can never, ever happen again."

In a statement, Edinburgh Academy said it was "appalled by such behaviour" and apologised "wholeheartedly" to those concerned.

"We deeply regret what has happened in the past and would encourage anyone who has been the victim of abuse to contact Police Scotland," it said.

It added that things have changed at the school since the 1970s, and that there are now safeguarding measures in place for children and young people “with child protection absolutely core to the ethos of the academy."