An extra 15 secondary school places for children with social, emotional and mental health issues in Alresford have been approved.

Hampshire County Council has granted extra funding to boost the number of places within schools which are independent, such as academies.

Hampshire County Council expects that for September, Perins School can provide the provision for the area.

In East Hampshire, there are areas among the highest 10 per cent in the county for concerns over mental health and wellbeing.

On January 19, the executive member for education, Cllr Steve Forster, approved the work at Perins which will see 15 new spaces for young people with the additional needs.

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On his decision day, Cllr Forster said: “This is a real win for children, the community, and the authority. It is the perfect example of investing to improve things, and I’m happy to approve the recommendations.”

The council said Perins School, which has 1,179 pupils aged between 11 and 16, has an available garden area where a new modular building could be installed and provide an additional classroom space required for the provision.

A two-classroom unit is planned and will include toilets, office, storage, and small group rooms. The school has also requested a covered walkway to link to another building, which will be considered.

The cost of installing the new classroom and a walkway is thought to be up to £500,000.

Capital costs for the project have been included in the Children’s Services Capital Programme, approved by executive lead member of children, Cllr Edward Heron, but must be considered and approved by the full council in February.