A GOVERNMENT minister has agreed to meet an MP to discuss an "appalling" case of abuse at a Hampshire special school.

Caroline Nokes raised the tribunal ruling on Stanbridge Earls School, in Romsey, during education questions at Westminster.

The special school was heavily criticised by a panel, which said it had failed to protect a young girl who said she had been raped by fellow students.

A Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal said systems in place at Stanbridge Earls School had been "unsystematic, unprofessional, ad hoc and completely inadequate".

Ms Nokes, the Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, said special schools were not subject to the same level of scrutiny as those in the state sector.

She said: "Given the appalling case of sexual abuse and the recent tribunal ruling at a school in my constituency which specialises in teaching children with special educational needs, will my hon. Friend agree to meet me as a matter of urgency to discuss what measures can be taken to improve that situation?"

Schools Minister Edward Timpson said he was happy to meet Ms Nokes for a more detailed discussion.

He added: "Every school must have a child protection policy and the new Ofsted multi-agency inspection that comes in later this year will be a strong way of ensuring that there is a much more co-ordinated response to safeguarding and child protection, not just within schools but right across all agencies."