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Special school sets up online appeal for new facilities

Ash Lea School Credit: ITV News Central

Our Education Correspondent has spent the day with staff and pupils at Ash Lea School in Nottinghamshire.

Here is his report:

A rundown special school in Nottinghamshire is so desperate for new facilities it's set up an online appeal to raise a million pounds.

Ash Lea School in Cotgrave has 78 pupils aged from three to 19 with a range of physical and learning disabilities. Many are taught in three portable classrooms which staff say should have been scrapped several years ago. Nottinghamshire County Council plans to replace these in the near future.

The school is also struggling with a lack of space - the doorways and corridors are narrow for wheelchairs, and it's difficult to fit all the pupils into the hall. In addition, there are no fixed hoists for lifting children and the school has no sensory room or hydrotherapy pool.

Earlier this year, Ash Lea failed in a bid for a new build as part of the Government's Priority School Building Programme. The school was judged to be in a "reasonable" state of repair. Deputy headteacher Jane Moore says the web appeal is a last resort as they have to do something for the sake of the children.

The Department for Education says funding for the Priority School Building Programme is targeted where it is needed the most and according to the size and condition of individual school blocks.

Ash Lea School Credit: ITV News Central

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14-year-old girl missing since Saturday

Heather Hutchinson Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Police are searching for a 14-year-old girl who has gone missing.

Heather Hutchinson was last seen leaving her home in Forest Fields in Nottingham at about 10am on Saturday.

She was meant to visit family in the Basford area but she never arrived and has not been seen since.

Heather is white, 5ft tall, of slight build and has long black hair. Police say she looks older than her years and was last seen wearing a black jacket, leggings or jeans and white trainers.

Anyone who sees Heather should call police on 101.

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