A FORMER headteacher has appeared in court charged with molesting almost 20 children including at the Ruskin Junior School in Swindon.

Creighton Muirhead, 65, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of indecent assault, buggery and inciting a boy under 14 to commit an act of gross indecency when he appeared before Guildford Crown Court this month, Surrey Live reports.

It is alleged he preyed on 19 children under the age of 14 at The Weald School in Surrey and Ruskin Junior School, Stratton.

Muirhead, of Lechlade, Gloucestershire, has been bailed for the trial at Guildford Crown Court next January. The trial is expected to last up to two months.

In 2004 experienced schools head Muirhead enjoyed brief fame as one of a band of headteachers bucking the health and safety trend and allowing conker matches to continue at his school.