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School joins project to help deprived area families

A west Belfast school is the first in Northern Ireland to take part in an international programme aimed at helping young children and families in deprived areas get more out of education.

Save the Children has carried out a pilot project of the Families and Schools Together (FAST) initiative at St Bernadette's Girls' Primary School in Ballymurphy.

A graduation ceremony for the three to five-year-old pupils and their families took place on Tuesday to mark the end of the eight weeks' training — but they will stay together for the next two years, supported by Save the Children.

FAST supports families in poorer communities by working with parents and children inside schools.

During the initiative at St Bernadette's, a trained core team of parents, community workers and teachers worked with 22 families.

Now endorsed by the UN, the project is currently being used in eight countries worldwide.

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