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Education chiefs quizzed after 'accidental overspend'

Two education chiefs have been suspended pending an inquiry into an accidental overspend of pound;3.5 million on lifelong learning in Leicester.

Education director Steven Andrews and head of lifelong learning John Crookes both deny any mishandling of the council's finances.

John Chowcat, general secretary of the National Association of Educational Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants (NAEIAC), said: "The potential allegations against Mr Andrews and Mr Crookes are unfounded and unacceptable, as will become clear in the course of any follow-up proceedings. The pair will be fully vindicated and NAEIAC will ensure they get professional representation and strong legal support at every stage."

Two more Leicester officers have been told that they are also being investigated but that they will not be suspended.

Independent accountants Robson Rhodes established that a number of failures in a review of lifelong learning were responsible for the funding gap.

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