Children thrive in typical suburban town
SUZANNE McNALLY in Manchester
Alan and Helen Cheung became popular pupils at Egerton Park Community High School in Denton on the outskirts of Manchester.
The school is state-run, its position in national league tables is average, and governors have had to come to terms with mounting insurance costs since a spate of vandalism and arson attacks last year.
The youngsters have prospered at the school.
Sixteen-year-old Alan's nine General Certificate of Secondary Education passes are well above average, and a caring staff have helped make Egerton Park a popular choice for local parents.
Alan helped to set up an anti-bullying campaign, and the headmaster has adopted a strong approach to fight drug taking and bad behaviour, which are common but often ignored in Manchester schools.
The Cheungs' home town of Hyde is one of eight that make up the borough of Tameside, which lies to the east of Manchester.
The town has a population of 35,000 and was built on cotton, engineering and coal mining.
Tameside suffers its fair share of serious crime and vandalism, although statistically it compares favourably to the nearby City of Manchester, areas of which are notorious for car crime, drug taking and gang fights.