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Eight cash in at the Co-op

The Co-operative Group has named the eight schools to which it will give financial backing in their bids to gain specialist status. The schools, which the group has pledged to back with pound;50,000 if their bids are successful, are: Castle Manor upper school, Suffolk; Andrew Marvell school, Hull; St Benet Biscop Roman Catholic high, Northumberland; Forest Gate community school, London; Fulston Manor school, Kent; Cullompton community college, Devon; Sir Thomas Boughey high school, Staffordshire; and Epinay special school, Tyne and Wear.

All the schools involved are bidding for business and enterprise status.

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