Viewers in tears at student’s plight on new series Educating Greater Manchester

No one wanted to be his friend

Viewers of a Channel 4 documentary which aired last night were in tears over school student Rani’s struggle to be accepted by his fellow pupils.

The documentary, called Educating Greater Manchester, showed the inner workings of Harrop Fold school in Salford which was once known as the worst school in the UK.

The audience got the chance to follow the interactions of teachers and pupils, but Syrian-born Rani became the star of the show as he explained how tough he had it when he came from his homeland of Syria to study at the school.

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The cameras followed Rani around as he attempted to integrate into the school and make friends. It was hard for him to fit in and he said he was bullied for being an immigrant.

He told the cameras: “In school I am a little bit sad and nervous because in the playground sometimes I can’t understand what they’re saying.” Cue hearts breaking across the nation.

As time went on, Rani was befriended by a lovely pupil called Jack who wanted to help him and the two quickly became the best of buddies. The two spoke about their sweet friendship on This Morning yesterday.

Jack explained why he decided to take Rani under his wing. He told presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: “He was in the corner by himself so I thought he needed a friend so I thought as a person I’ll go up to him and ask him, ‘how are you and where are you from?’

“He said ‘Syria’, and I took a step back and thought, well on the TV you hear bad things about it, so I said ‘come and join us, join our group’, and here we are.”

Rani added: “When I was alone I was really sad because I didn’t have any friends, when Jack came up to me I felt something in my heart and then we were friends.”

Viewers couldn’t help but shed some tears over Rani’s struggle to fit in, and hoards of people took to Twitter after watching Educating Greater Manchester to express their sympathy.

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One person tweeted: “Rani already breaking my heart #educatingmanchester.”

Another said: “It only took 12 minutes and I’m already in tears. Oh Rani #EducatingManchester.”

A third emotional viewer said: “Is anyone else crying over #educatingManchester & the Syrian boy making friends? Kids can teach us adults a lot @Channel4.”

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