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‘The school is the throbbing heart of our community’

Education has the power to forge stronger bonds with communities in disadvantaged areas – and there’s no better example than Manchester Communication Academy. Martin George visits the award-winning school to find out how an innovative local history project is pulling local residents together

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It was a community destroyed by the slum clearances of the 1950s and 1960s, but now one of the most deprived parts of the country is being knitted back together with the help of a local secondary school.

Josie Loftus was 16 when the demolition teams came to her community in Manchester. She says her school, St Patrick’s, was “definitely the heart of the community” before it was closed. “All that went with the slum clearance, and there was no heart to the community. I think this is the heart of the community now, definitely. It throbs from here.”

The “this” she is referring to is Manchester ...

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