PUPILS from a Southend special school are looking forward to a residential drama course, thanks to a dance academy in Leigh.

The Amanda Restell Academy of Dance were awarded £250 for winning the best float prize at the 2013 Leigh Lights.

The money was donated by Southend Airport for the prize winners to donate to a charity of their choice and the dance academy has chosen St Nicholas Special School in Southend.

Amanda Restell, who runs the academy, said: “We have 700 pupils in the school and we consulted as many of them as possible over who they thought should get the money.

“We selected St Nicholas Special School as they do such fantastic work, but also it is local to us and we really wanted to put something back into our immediate community.”

The school has more than 80 pupils, aged 11-16 years, with special needs and headteacher June Mitchell said they would not have been able to provide the course without the money.

She said: “It is wonderful and we want to thank everyone involved for their generosity.”

The cheque presentation was made by airport business development manager Paul Haynes on a visit to the dance academy.

He said: “We are delighted to be able to support a local school that is doing so much to help teenagers in our community.”