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April 7, 2004

Special school saved from closure thanks to Chronicle

From: - UK - Apr 7, 2004

By Holdthefrontpage staff

The Newcastle Evening Chronicle has helped save a world-renowned school for deaf and disabled children from closure.

Newcastle's Northern Counties School for the Deaf came under threat following a decline in the number of pupils, and a Government policy of integrating more special needs youngsters in to mainstream schools.

In January the Chronicle launched a campaign to save the school from closure, highlighting the work done by staff to help vulnerable youngsters, and parents also provided testimonies about the high standard of care given to their children.

And following the Chronicle's efforts - and protests from the parents - the school will now stay open through a partnership with another organisation, the Percy Hedley Foundation.

Chronicle editor Paul Robertson said: "It was a cause we could not ignore.

"We could not help but be moved by the positive reaction of pupils to the level of care given by staff at the school. It was clear they were getting a specialised education which could not possibly be replicated in a mainstream school.

"The parents were distraught that the school may have to close and it was heartwarming to see their joy when it was announced it would be saved."

Frances Taylor, head teacher at Northern Counties School, said: "I would like to thank the Chronicle for all the help and support they have given us.

"A special mention has been made on our website to the Chronicle who have proved they really care and are committed to the community and people in the region."

© NEP 2004, 2003, 2002