Monday, September 28, 1998 Published at 19:18 GMT 20:18 UK
Special school shut in discipline probe
A special school in County Durham has been shut pending an investigation into the methods of restraint and punishment used there.
Three members of staff were suspended "without prejudice" on Friday.
A joint investigation team involving Durham County Council's social services department and Durham Police considered information collected over the weekend.
They recommended that the school be shut indefinitely from Monday so that more detailed inquries could be made.
A news conference was told that over the past two years there had been about a dozen allegations of injuries at the school.
The Acting Assistant Chief Constable of Durham Police, Alan Miller, said: "Teams of police and social services investigators have spoken over the last weekend to pupils who attend the school and as a result of what they have been told further inquiries are clearly necessary.
"We will be reinterviewing a number of children in greater depth as a result of what we have been told."
The Principal Education and Welfare Officer for Durham County Council, Russell Lee, said that two teachers and a member of the support staff had been suspended.
He said the unusual step to close the school had been taken because social services and police agreed that this was the most effective way of carrying out the investigation.
Windlestone Hall has been established for about 20 years. Some of the pupils are full-time boarders, others spend a few days a week there.
There are two telephone helplines for pupils or parents worried about what is happening: 0800 458 7399 and 0800 458 1239.