The school of runaway teenager Megan Stammers and her maths teacher has come under the spotlight for the way it dealt with warnings about a relationship between the pair.
Police across Europe are searching for Megan, 15, and 30-year-old Jeremy Forrest after they eloped to France last Thursday.
It has emerged that concerns were raised to a teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School, in Eastbourne, East Sussex, about the contact between Megan and Forrest following a school trip to Los Angeles in February.
A friend of Megan's said another classmate raised the issue after seeing the pair holding hands together on the return flight, and they would often hug each other, the Daily Mail said.
East Sussex County Council confirmed it and school officials were "addressing and investigating concerns" that were raised about the closeness of Megan and Forrest. An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: "Because the investigations are ongoing we are not going to comment in detail. However, the school and the county council had been addressing and investigating concerns that had been raised, in line with procedure, when this happened. That investigation will continue and we will decide what action to take."
The teenager's mother and stepfather have said they were unaware of any relationship, and Sussex Police was only made aware of it last week. Megan's family has said she had been receiving extra-curricular maths lessons since before the summer, but they did not suspect any relationship between her and Forrest.
Megan's stepfather Martin Stammers, 43, told The Sun that he worked with Forrest two years ago at The Causeway School in Eastbourne, where he teaches.
Mr Stammers told the newspaper: "I knew Forrest as a colleague. He worked at a twin school. He did some work for us about two years ago. He seemed a nice enough fellow - there was nothing out of the ordinary about him. But this is all about Megan and getting her back - then the police can deal with him."
The criticism came as pictures were released of Megan, from Eastbourne, and Forrest on board a ferry bound for France. In one of the images issued by Sussex Police, the pair are seen hand in hand on the Dover to Calais route at 9.30pm last Thursday.
Megan is white, 5ft 6in tall, slim, with long, straight, dark brown hair, blue eyes and was last seen wearing a white vest top and silver chain. Forrest is 6ft, slim with fuzzy facial hair and mousy brown hair. He wears square glasses, dresses casually and has a black star tattoo on his upper left arm. Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Oakwood. A dedicated telephone number and text number which can be used from abroad have been set up. They are 00 44 1273 475432 or text +447786 208090.