The social care charity Quarriers has confirmed that it will close three of its facilities for children, with the loss of 69 jobs.
The charity announced in January that it had proposed closing Seafield School in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, and two children’s homes: Merton House in Largs and Williamfield in Irvine, both of which support some of the residential pupils at the school.
Quarriers confirmed yesterday that it would close all three of the facilities in June at the end of the academic year.
It said that Seafield School was forecast to have a deficit of more than £400,000 by the end of March as a result of falling student numbers and that it was unable to absorb such losses.
The charity said it was attempting to redeploy the 69 staff whose jobs would be lost but did not have alternative teaching facilities to redeploy the seven teachers at Seafield, so it would help them to find jobs outside the charity.
A spokesman for the charity said the other 62 employees were care support staff and "may be able to transfer to other projects" within Quarriers.
The charity, which employs about 2,000 staff and had an income of £45.6m in 2012, was forced to cut staff wages at the three facilities in 2011 by 17 per cent, which saved £1.6m.
"After carefully considering a number of alternative options, we are reluctantly announcing the closure of the three services," said Alice Drife, acting chief executive of Quarriers. "We do understand this will be a difficult time for everyone associated with the services.
"However, we have been unable to put Seafield on a sustainable financial footing. Quarriers would not have made this decision if there had been a viable alternative."
Paul Moore, the former chief executive of Quarriers, quit his post in early February to "pursue other opportunities" http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/1230382/Quarriers-chief-executive-Paul-Moore-quits/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH.