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Excellence in Cities

Liverpool was one of the first urban areas to receive Excellence in Cities money: pound;15million per year. It is spent on many schemes: homework and breakfast clubs, developing gifted and talented pupils and learning mentors to support struggling pupils. In fact, its learning mentor training pack is being used by authorities across the country so successful has it been.

John Dennis, the man responsible for co-ordinating the Excellence in Liverpool programme, is proud f the effect it has had in cutting the numbers excluded from school. "We're changing the culture in schools so that they are going the extra mile to find ways to keep pupils involved,"he says. Last academic year, exclusions were cut by a third to meet a target of 120. This year the aim is to reduce it to 65.

"It looks as if we will get fairly close to that," says Dennis, "which makes me very proud."

Reports by Sue Jones Esther Leach and Neil Levis

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