A Darlington school has been praised by Prime Minister Tony Blair for excellence in special needs education.

Dame Della Smith, headteacher at Beaumont Hill Special School, in Darlington, attended a reception at Downing Street where Mr Blair thanked schools and organisations from all over the country for their work.

"Everyone here is playing a leading role in the field of special educational needs," he said at the event on Monday.

"This reception is an opportunity to recognise and thank you for all the important work you do."