A new £3million school extension will help pupils with additional needs learn and live.

East Park, a residential school for children with the most complex support needs, has unveiled new teaching and residential care spaces.

And the cash for the Maryhill school was raised in part by people in the community.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney unveiled the new extension.

He said: “I am extremely grateful to the pupils, families and staff of East Park for inviting me along to help them celebrate the launch of these fantastic new facilities. 

“This development will make a real difference to the lives of the children and young people here. 

“It is clear a huge amount of work has already been done to ensure that the young people of East Park have the support and resources they need to reach their full learning potential and these new facilities will only enhance that.”

The Evening Times first told in 2014 how East Park was looking to expand its building to help even more children and young people aged five to 25 who are on the autism spectrum.

The plans followed a celebration that year for the school’s 140th anniversary, having been founded in 1874 for children with the most complex and challenging needs.

Some pupils have been through several other placements before coming to East Park. 

This £3m development of additional classrooms and residential accommodation has increased facilities to enable East Park to support more children with complex additional support needs from across Scotland.

The new service has been specifically designed for children with highly intensive behavioural support needs related to their learning disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who struggle to share their living and learning space with others.  

School bosses said the four single classrooms provide a calm environment, which lessens children’s anxieties and helps them develop coping strategies. 

East Park is a charity, which earns money from donations and Scottish Government funding, and previously cared for children with wide-ranging physical disabilities.

Its pupils come to the school with difficulties as diverse as blindness and muscular dystrophy as well as autism.

East Park’s Executive Director, Judy Cromarty, added: “Our consistent child-focused approach and ethos, which is promoted and practised across all of East Park services, has resulted in positive outcomes, even for those young people who have come to East Park having challenged other services to the point of exclusion and breakdown.

“It has contributed to our ability to sustain those placements until the young person moves through a successful transition to adult services.”