Tutors suspended as Lowestoft education centre shut

AN investigation has been launched after Suffolk County Council closed an education centre in Lowestoft, suspending two tutors.

The Eastbridge Tuition Centre was one of three Education Other Than In School (EOTAS) provisions in Suffolk, providing short-term education for children who have specific needs, meaning they are better catered for outside mainstream schools.

The centre was closed last week after an audit of the authority's EOTAS provision rate two of the county's centres as satisfactory but the third, Eastbridge, was not found to be failing to meet the required standards.

Inspectors raised concerns over problems with the supervision of the children and health and safety concerns.

Twelve children, aged between seven and 13, were taught at the centre.

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A spokesman for the county council said the authority's education officials took 'immediate action', closing the facility and finding alternative arrangements for the children, matching each of their specific needs.

Graham Newman, the authority's portfolio holder for children, schools, and young people's services, said the swift action was taken 'in the interests of the children'.

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He said: 'The education, health and welfare of children are primary concerns for Suffolk County Council.

'The audit we conducted discovered our high standards were not being met so we took immediate action in the interests of the children.

'The provision was closed, appropriate alternative arrangements were made for the children for the remaining days of the educational year and a full investigation has been launched.

'It would be inappropriate to comment further on the investigation suffice to say that the county council will always prioritise the interests of young people when investigating matters such as these.'

EOTAS provision covers all forms of education carried outside mainstream schools. It can include children who are home tutored, are unable to attend school due to illness or disability or children who have behavioural problems.

The Eastbridge Tuition Centre could not be contacted at the time of going to press.

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