A SPECIAL school has been ordered to pay more than £86,000 to the parents of a teenager at the centre of sexual abuse claims.

As previously reported, a vulnerable girl suffered “appalling abuse” at the hands of another student at Stanbridge Earls School in Romsey having been groomed with explicit texts.

The school was slammed by a tribunal for being “unsystematic, unprofessional, ad hoc and completely inadequate” when it came to protecting the youngster, who can't be named for legal reasons.

Now the same body, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, has ruled that her parents should receive tens of thousands of pounds in costs they built up during the proceedings.

In their original findings, panel members said the school had discriminated against the girl and accused head teacher Peter Trythall of a “failure of responsibility”.

Concerns about the school also reached Westminster when schools minister Edward Timpson agreed to meet MP for Romsey and Southampton North Caroline Nokes to discuss the issue.

School bosses have spoken of their “deep regret” over the issue and called the emergency meeting so they could work with outside agencies to put right any shortcomings as soon as possible.

Speaking after the tribunal made its order for costs, the girl's parents said: “It was never about cost, but we are grateful for the ruling of the Tribunal.”

A school spokesman was not available for comment.

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