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BBC Radio Wales broadcasts from St Christopher's School
St Christopher's, Wrexham
St Christopher's runs a number of businesses such as a hair and beauty salon

BBC Radio Wales presenter Roy Noble broadcast his afternoon show live from Wrexham's St Christopher's School after hearing about its award winning enterprise projects.

The show heard from people involved in businesses set up by head teacher Maxine Pittaway such as a hair and beauty salon, car valeting, a café, market garden and woodcraft business.

The idea behind the businesses, as well as other projects, is to help get pupils involved in community life, to gain qualifications as well as jobs.

You can hear Roy's interview with Mrs Pittaway as she explains how St Christopher's has been involved in community enterprise for two decades. It started when, as a classroom teacher, she convinced colleagues to set up a hair salon.

And Mrs Pittaway recalls how - not that long ago - special schools, and their pupils, were hidden away whereas today they are considered as "mainstream" as any other school.

In an interview in The Guardian newspaper after winning the enterprise award last autumn, Mrs Pittaway said: "I felt our young people could do far more than what they were being allowed to do.

Maxine Pittaway
Maxine Pittaway, head teacher at St Christopher's

"Today, we do NVQ levels one and two in hair and beauty, and children get OCN credits for whatever they do. But it all started from that seed - the belief that education should be about what you can do and not what you can't."

St Christopher's was judged the national winner in the DCSF award for enterprise in the 2009 Teaching Awards after winning the heat for Wales.

Special needs head wins UK award
26 Oct 09 |  Wales


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