A PRIVATE school which promotes vegetarianism, yoga and meditation could open in Southend.

Backers behind the venture, dubbed the Epicquest School, are currently searching for a suitable site in the town, with Westcliff believed to be high on the agenda.

They hope the school, which would be open to children aged eight to 18, will be up and running within six months.

The idea is the brainchild of Julian Esposito, a Southend man and teacher with 13 years of experience. Mr Esposito, 37, said he was inspired by his travels to the far east.

He said: “I found the maths pass rate in the east to be far superior to ours - 90 or 95 per cent as opposed to 30 to 40 per cent.

“I looked at why this was so different and I decided it was because of smaller class numbers and their different curriculum. I think ours is far too strict.

“To get away from that you need to come away from Government funding and look at education in a different way.”

The venture will be funded by tuition fees, based on a formula of £50 per subject, per child, per month.

Mr Esposito hopes Southend Council will refer children who have struggled to fit in at mainstream schools to Epicquest