Five men have appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh accused of a catalogue of abuse at a special school in Fife.
Some 42 children are alleged to have been victims mostly of assault but also of sexual abuse between 1981 and 2013.
Philip Barton, 64, Angus Munn, 55, Nigel Lloyd, 59, Ian Nutman, 60, and Robert de Koning, 65, denied the charges against them at a preliminary hearing in the High Court in Edinburgh.
Among the allegations are that Barton pulled a boy’s mattress so he fell to the ground and struck his head then seized him by the throat and pinned him to the ground.
Barton is alleged to have tipped another boy from his bed into a wall, dragged him downstairs and forced him to walk barefoot on gravel.
He repeatedly struck another boy in the face with his elbow, it is alleged, and watched one boy and others in a communal shower then repeatedly struck his buttocks.
Barton seized another boy by his already injured hand, it is alleged, and during a struggle with a girl caused her arm to smash through a glass window.
Two other boys were allegedly rendered unconscious, one when Barton pushed his head to the ground restricting his breathing and another when Munn forced him to the ground and lay on top of him.
Barton, of Inch View, Aberdour, faces 42 charges of assault, causing severe injury in three cases and endangering life in seven. He is also accused of two counts of indecent assault and one of either indecent assault or sexual abuse.
Munn, of Cunzie Neuk, Kinghorn, is accused of 11 counts of assault, two of them to severe injury and four endangering life.
Lloyd, St Marys Place, Kinross, faces five charges of assault.
Nutman, of Valley Gardens South, Kirkcaldy, is accused of 10 counts of assault, one of them endangering life and one charge of sexual abuse.
De Koning, of Ravenscraig, Kirkcaldy, is on one charge of assault, four of sexual abuse and two of indecent assault.
The men are expected to stand trial some time next year.
At the High Court on Tuesday, Lord Uist allowed a motion by advocate depute Joanna McDonald, prosecuting, for a further hearing before the case progresses.
Ms McDonald told the court there were several outstanding issues, including dealing with social work records for which extra resources had been drafted in.
Lord Uist said: “It is clear there is a great deal of preparation still to be done in this case.
“I shall grant the Crown motion, which is not opposed, for a continued preliminary hearing in this case.
“All of the accused must attend the continued preliminary hearing on October 7.”