The opening date for a new school for pupils with special educational needs has been pushed back for a third time.

West Sussex County Council said Woodlands Meed’s main school building will not be completed to an “acceptable standard” to allow students to move in following the Christmas break.

The new facilities in Burgess Hill were supposed to open in time for the autumn term in September.

“Following recent surveyor inspections it is clear that developments at Woodlands Meed are not progressing sufficiently to allow the site to be handed over to the school during the Christmas break, as agreed in September,” the council spokesman said.

“WSCC is extremely disappointed that despite assurances from the contractor for Woodlands Meed, the main school building will not be completed to an acceptable standard in time to allow the transfer from the old to the new building.

“We are working closely with the school and the contractor on establishing a timeline and share the frustration of staff, parents and pupils in there being a further delay in this project being completed.”

The school is set to have a new hydrotherapy pool, 12 new classrooms, more space and specialist learning areas for music, sciences and food technology.