Education minister Claire Coutinho has visited schools in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds as the government announced plans to rebuild or expand another 239 schools across the country.

She visited the Sir Bobby Robson School in Ipswich and the Priory School at Bury St Edmunds - both cater for children with special educational needs.

At the Sir Bobby Robson School she met headteacher Adam Dabin, staff and pupils as she toured the new building, which opened three years ago, with local MP Tom Hunt.

Mr Dabin said the fact that the school was built new meant it had the space it needed to cater for pupils with special needs - including break-out rooms and regular classrooms.

It was designed for 60 pupils, but he was confident enough in the facilities and staff to currently have 66 pupils on the books.

He said: "It was good to have a modern centre from day one - we have learned things since we have moved in but it works very well for the pupils and staff."

Suffolk County Council has been severely criticised over recent years for its SEND provision and Mr Hunt said funding had been below average in the past.

He said he planned to keep up the pressure on the government: "This is one of, if not my over-riding priority."

Ms Countinho said she had been impressed by what she had seen at the schools and was pleased that spending on education had increased by 40% over recent years.

It was important to increase spending on SEND provision and the schools she had seen during the visit showed how important that was to the pupils they served.