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Top-rated schools are to be even more special.

Two of the region's schools rated among the best in the country are being asked to take on a second specialism.

Ashington High School, Northumberland, and Emmanuel College, Gateshead, have each been asked to take on a second specialism as part of a Government project to raise attainment.

The schools had attained the highest value-added scores in the country. These measure by how much a school improves its pupils.

Ashington, already a sports college, has been asked to develop programmes to train school leaders and Emmanuel, a city technology college, will add a business specialism.

Ashington head Ken Tonge said: "When we go to other schools, we get to see some very good practice. You never visit a school without coming back with something you can use.

"It's also a great way of developing my senior team."

Emmanuel College principal Jonathan Winch said: "We have always had an enterprising culture at Emmanuel.

"I am delighted that this can-do approach which runs throughout college life has been recognised."

Around 100 schools have been granted the new status ( they will get an extra pounds 60,000 a year.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 8, 2006
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