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One of the best;Special needs

Piper Hill special school "demonstrates the best in this highly diverse and important sector of education..."

So said chief inspector Chris Woodhead last week, commending Piper Hill as one of 22 outstanding special schools in his annual report.

Piper Hill, in Manchester, caters for 11 to 19-year-olds with severe learning difficulties. Because pupils' needs are diverse - ranging from multiple learning disabilities to challenging behaviour - there are three curricula.

They are: a modified national curriculum that mirrors a mainstream school but at a slower pace; a post-16 curriculum which has well-established college links; and a sensory curriculum for those with profound learning difficulties.

Art by Piper Hill children is on show at an exhibition at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. The project was led by an artist in residence at the school last April.

Michael Prestage

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