GLASS-LINED corridors, an Internet cafe, two pools, two lakes, one beach, nine pitches, £1.7m of furniture and four performance halls.

As an experiment, the Haughton Education Village, in Darlington, is a grand one.

By the time the £33m all-inclusive school opens in November, education bosses boast it will be "the best school in Britain".

The village combines Haughton Community College, Springfield Primary School and Beaumont Hill Special School -pupils aged two to 19 will wear the same uniform, share the same facilities and work together under one school badge.

The education village is pioneering in many ways, and local education authorities across the UK are watching with interest. Many have already visited the site, scores more are keeping up with its progress online.

The village has been designed to combine bright colours and the best possible use of natural light. It seems to be made almost entirely of glass at this early stage of construction.

The complex pushes a plethora of Government buttons -inclusion, wrap-around care, community hub, extended school. Trendy Labour Party catchphrases are sprouting to life for 1,400 Darlington children who will learn there this year.

Kevin Duffy, Darlington Borough Council's education premises development manager, who has steered the project since its conception, said: "It is ground-breaking. No one has ever done this before."

The site, off Salters Lane South, is starting to take shape. With six months to go, the main building is up, the roof is on, and classrooms, corridors and cupboards have been laid out.

The performance and dance studios are bright orange and red, the large sports hall is royal blue and the library and IT suite are sunshine yellow.

Six classroom blocks lead off what the architects call an indoor broken-back street. Although primary and infant children have their own areas, as Mr Duffy said, "the secondary school is the whole school", so infants will mix with teenagers.

At this stage, the school skeleton more closely resembles a five-star hotel or conference hall than any school seen before.

All 85 teaching spaces in the school have interactive whiteboards and wireless technology in their roofs. Pupils will use laptops, which will hook up to the school network wirelessly.

The school typifies the Labour Government's drive towards inclusion, which aims to keep children with special needs in mainstream schools. Everything about the education village has been designed so pupils with physical disabilities and learning difficulties will feel no different from their peers.

There are three lifts in the village, but bridges will connect the front and back of the school at first-floor level.

Mr Duffy said: "If a child in a wheelchair goes into lessons with a friend, they can come in together, no one needs to go off and find a lift."

Similarly, children with special needs such as autism will be taught across the corridor from their colleagues. There are facilities for gifted and talented students to work in small groups.

Mr Duffy said: "It is a hearts and minds thing. At the moment, we have our special school on the edge of town. Now we will be putting our special needs pupils at the heart of the village.

"So, by the time these pupils get to the age of 15, it will be normal to work alongside people with special needs."

The school has two lakes, one has a sensory shingle beach for children with profound disabilities, and the other is for studying wildlife.

A road curves around the complex so parents can drop their children off near their classrooms. White canopies will stretch away from the main building so pupils do not get exposed to the weather on the way to lessons.

Subject areas, such as science and technology, will be colour-coded, with the paint on the walls matching the colour on children's timetables.

Walking into what will be the visitor reception, where there is now mud and rubble, there will be comfy seats and a plasma TV screen. Visitors will pass through security gates before they can get in the school.

In front of the reception is the learning resource centre, which is yellow on the outside, with a large round window feature, which Mr Duffy is particularly proud of. "I had to fight for that" he says, "it represents the school's special IT status."

The school will have a performance hall, two drama studios, a dance studio and recording and music practice room. The football pitches have the same drainage system as Chelsea Football Club.

The performance hall opens out wide to the village green, so that in the summer, pupils will be able to stage open-air plays and shows.

The money for the project has come through the Government's private finance initiative. Private company Kajima will pay for the building and the upkeep for 25 years. The council will pay Kajima money every year and, in 25 years, will take over ownership of the education village.

The idea is to create a school that doubles as a community centre, so residents can use the facilities in the evenings for education and sporting activities. In fact, the village is not a school in the traditional sense of the word, and will be run by a chief executive -Della Smith, the headteacher of Beaumont Hill Special School.

There will be a cafeteria, bistro and themed dining areas overlooking the village green.

Mr Duffy said the building was on target to be completed in September and open in October.

He is proud of the school, which the council, architects Ryder HKS and the three headteachers have been working on for the past three years.

"It is going to be fantastic. The aim is to build the best school in the country; not just different, better," he says standing on the rubble that will soon become the village green, "In the end, we hope to raise standards and with facilities like this, it will raise standards."