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Toby Evans, head of humanities at Springhill High School in Rochdale

As a concept and principle of joining up gifted and talented pupils from four neighbouring schools, it's an excellent idea. It's given the pupils from these schools a chance to meet up with each other, showing them that there's more to life, even locally, than just their own school.

Towards the end of the second day, and especially on the way home, they were starting to swap ideas between school groups. We're looking at having them complete their consortium bids by early November, then putting on an evening at one of the schools to present their bids to each other and their parents.

We want more of these Gamp;T children to aspire to and go to university - this Excellence Challenge is one way of helping them towards this.

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