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Songs of praise

Heads of Britain's choir schools are singing the praises of the Labour party after it pledged to safeguard their future.

The Choir Schools Association, which represents 39 schools, contacted the shadow education team, according to its chairman John Baxter. He told the CSA conference at Wells cathedral school that shadow education minister Peter Kilfoyle and shadow education secretary David Blunkett were reassuring.

"Rest assured," said Mr Kilfoyle. "Choir schools will be safe with us. " And Mr Blunkett went further, saying: "We regard choral talent as a special need and we are looking for the means to meet this using specialist facilities which are not readily available in the state sector."

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