CLAIMS that disgraced entertainer Jimmy Savile abused children at schools and children's homes including one for severely disabled children in the Cotswolds, are being investigated.

Education Secretary Michael Gove this morning announced a list of more than 20 children's homes and schools across England where there are claims that Savile may have abused youngsters.

The list includes the former Action for Children-run institution Penhurst School, in Chipping Norton, which closed last May.

Allegations dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s have been handed to the Department for Education (DfE) following a review of documents by the Metropolitan Police.

In a written statement, Mr Gove said: "Having reviewed the information I have decided that the Department for Education should pass the information to the appropriate organisations for further investigation.

"In most cases the work will be conducted by the relevant local authority; in others the relevant institution or a legacy organisation will take the lead."

Mr Gove said he has appointed mental health and human rights lawyer Lucy Scott-Moncrieff to provide independent oversight and quality assurance of the process in a similar role to that of Kate Lampard in the NHS trust investigations.

"I have asked Lucy Scott-Moncrieff to ensure that investigating organisations take all practicable steps to establish what happened and why at the time of the incidents and any lessons there might be to inform current safeguarding practice in our schools and children’s homes," he added.

A spokesperson for Action for Children said: “We are committed to keeping children safe and have robust measures in place to do so.

“We are co-operating with the Department for Education and will conduct a full investigation into Savile’s possible visits to our former school in the 1970s.”

"If anyone has any information, they should ring our independent telephone line on 0800 980 4502.

"We want to reassure people who may be concerned that there has been no allegation of any improper conduct.”