Compensation, which could run into six figures, is to be paid to former pupils of a residential boys school at Brighouse who claimed they were physically and sexually abused.

An out-of-court agreement has been reached between solicitors representing the former boarders and lawyers and insurers of the school, following allegations of historic abuse dating back to the 1960s.

The claims were made against staff working at the William Henry Smith School, a residential special school in Brighouse, in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Alan Collins, of Pannone Solicitors in Manchester, who represented 30 former pupils, confirmed an agreement had been reached with the school’s insurers and lawyers to give them compensation for their experiences.

Mr Collins said: “This case has been going on for many years. The people I represented have been, or are to be, compensated in respect of their allegations of physical and sexual abuse in the 1960s and 1970s.

“The allegations involved a range of staff. If they are true, the abuse was endemic at that time.”

Mr Collins said the amount of compensation to be paid was confidential. The sums differed, depending on the nature of the abuse.

He added: “This is an agreed out-of-court settlement, after many years of investigation and litigation.

“This was historic abuse and the school would no doubt say it does not relate to the school now.

“If the allegations are found to be correct this was a school, at that time, that was clearly badly managed and employed totally inappropriate people to look after vulnerable teenagers.

“It was a residential school for maladjusted teenage boys who were in need of additional care and education. In many cases, that was the last thing they got, and just exacerbated their problems.”

One former pupil, who attended the school between 1981 and 1984, said he was being paid £7,500 compensation and £6,000 for legal fees.

The man, now aged 45, said he was beaten black and blue, had his face smashed into a sink, and was sexually abused.

He complained about his treatment to education authorities and his social worker in 2004 and started a campaign and support group.

He said: “I started the ball rolling to get to this point. We always knew what went off at the school. It was disgusting. The school knew full well what was going on.

“It has taken much longer, and been much harder, than it should have been to get to where we are now. It has been a long fight and we have now got some form of justice.

“But we are not going to get proper justice. That would have been the locking up of the staff responsible for what happened to us. Nobody did anything about it.

“It is just a small victory and does not help me with what I have been through.”

Nobody from the school was available for comment.