A SPECIALIST school for children and young people with disabilities in Poole has received the keys for a new £48,000 minibus which will enable students to get out and about in the community.

Montacute School on Canford Heath Road, which opened the doors to the new multi-million-pound buildings for the first time in October last year, have been presented with the bright green wheelchair-accessible vehicle to be used by the school's 75 pupils aged from two to 19.

Members of the charity, The Lord's Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, were on hand to give the keys of the specially-adapted vehicle, supplied by Essex Auto Group, to head teacher Gill Owen.

They also took a tour of the school's new buildings, which features sensory and soft play rooms, life skills room for older students, hall, and swimming pool.

Bob Kemp, chairman of the Wessex Lord's Taveners, said the minibus scheme for The Lord's Taveners started in 1976 and since then they have been able to hand over the keys for more than 1,100 vehicles.

"This minibus is unusual in the fact that it has been sponsored by Andrew and Zoe Law's Family Charitable Foundation. Congratulations also go to the school for fundraising £15,000 because the costs don't stop once you have the minibus as you have to pay to run it as well."

Head teacher Gill Owen said the staff feel so lucky to have a school that is going to take them forward into the future, but they cannot carry out all their work alone and must continue to fundraise for additional things they may need.

"This beautiful bus is going to enable us to take any of our children out into the community, to be seen and to be known in the community," she said.

Karon Nougher, fundraising co-ordinator at the school, said that the new minibus will replace one of their older vehicles. She added that it will enable the students who have complex learning difficulties or disabilities to go outside the school to various places including the park and supermarkets, to learn some of the responsibilities they will have outside education as they grow up.