On a mission to include

11th November 2005 at 00:00
Faith schools have been accused of failing to take their fair share of special needs pupils - but St Philip's Church of England primary is certainly not one of them.

More than a third of the 100 children on the roll at the school, in a deprived part of Salford, have emotional, behavioural or physical difficulties, well over average.

The school has built a strong local reputation for its ability to tutor children with often complex needs. It now houses two special speech and language units, giving intensive teaching to pupils with autism and language problems.

Craig Heaton, the head, said: "This school gets its strength from its church ethos and the support of the community. You have quite tough, inner-city children mixing with and caring for other pupils with special needs - that's not something that can be reflected in a bunch of national statistics.

"Some faith schools may use their admissions powers to select pupils who are, for example, regular church-goers. But many other schools, this one included, use the extra support they get from the church simply to provide a caring and inclusive environment for all pupils."

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