CIVIC officials have backed a £1.2million cash boost for a Poole special school.

Winchelsea School, Guernsey Road, is in desperate need of refurbishment, Borough of Poole's (BOP) cabinet was told.

It caters for 104 pupils with moderate or severe learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, and speech and language needs.

According to a report, presented to cabinet on Tuesday, half of pupils are taught in temporary classrooms "which are in very poor condition."

The state of the main school building is "below average with many areas in a very poor state of repair," it added.

BOP's cabinet approved the £1.2million funds, which now need to be approved by full council when it convenes towards the end of this month.

Over the last seven years attempts have been made to rebuild the school but to no avail.

The school was originally due to be rebuilt as part of the joint Poole/Bournemouth Building Schools for the Future programme but this was cancelled by the Coalition Government in July 2010.

Then in 2014 Borough of Poole submitted a request to the Department for Education for Winchelsea School to be included in the Priority School Building Programme - however the school was not selected.

In May 2016 the council's chief executive used his emergency powers to approve the allocation of £240,000 from the Capital Maintenance contingency for the refurbishment of pupil toilets at the school.

Now the school is looking to carry out its next phase of refurbishment works which includes a new reception area and staff room, upgrading the boilers and heating and new lighting in the refurbished areas.

The report does warn that improvements to Winchelsea School’s accommodation will not be achieved unless additional funding can be secured from the DofE and the Education Funding Agency.

A statement in the report said: "Supporting the more vulnerable is a key priority for the council. Providing appropriate accommodation to meet the needs of pupils accessing specialist provision in our special schools and the health and safety of school premises are priorities in the Children’s Services capital strategy 2016-2020."