There's nothing like a blossoming childhood friendship to warm even the iciest of hearts, and the return of Channel 4's BAFTA-winning, fly-on-the-wall Educating series had one of the most tear-inducing bromances we've seen in a long time.

Educating Greater Manchester saw the show finding a new home at Harrop Fold Secondary School in Salford.

Image credit: ITV / This Morning

As ever, the popular observational documentary was skilfully edited to weave compelling narratives out of what was no doubt hours upon hours of footage of total chaos within the grounds of the school.

Themes touched on included Donald Trump, Islamophobia and the Manchester bombing, which happened just a few miles down the road as the series was being shot.

However, the most heart-warming tale came in the form of two young LADs and the beginnings of their beautiful friendship.

Rani Assad, an 11-year-old Syrian refugee, was struggling to fit in at Harrop Fold school. The painfully shy boy, who had fled the war with his parents, was having a hard time with bullies and could be seen asking for help as he was pushed, kicked and sworn at.

Enter Jack Stanley, a local kid with a big heart who was quick to take Rani under his wing.

Image credit: Channel 4 / Educating Greater Manchester

The two were quick to hit it off, describing each other as 'brothers' and inventing an elaborate handshake. Rani was even invited over to Jack's house for pizza and chips, marking the first time he'd ever been over to a friend's house to eat.

After Rani graduated from his remedial English classes to mainstream lessons, he and Jack were able to sit together and the pair vowed to remain best mates forever.

Jack's mother, Steph, told the Manchester Evening News: "I'm just so proud of my son. That's just Jack through and through. He will take anybody under their wing if he thinks his assistance will help them. If he sees anybody in any bother, he will go out of his way to make them feel welcome."

Rani's father, Khaled Asaad, 39, also praised Jack. He said: "He's a good guy and has done some nice things. Some children do wrong things but Jack helped my son."

Image credit: Channel 4

Jack isn't the only one to have been showered with praise. Head teacher Drew Povey has been commended for bringing pupils from diverse backgrounds together.

He told the Manchester Evening News: "I'm absolutely bursting with pride for all the school stands for. I think it's a great message to put out that this is how we should integrate. We should understand these complex social issues and integrate people as best we can.

"When you see how kids are in the playground and if they see somebody on their own and include them, I think that's such a great message to be putting put to people that we are in inclusive society and we need to be even more inclusive."

Speaking about Jack, he continued: "He just stepped up to the mark and quite literally put his arms around Rani. He's just seen what needs to be done to make sure Rani is OK."

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4 / Educating Greater Manchester

Mark McGowan

Mark is a journalist at LADbible, who joined in 2015 after a year as a freelance writer. In the past he blogged for independent football fan channel Redmen TV, after graduating from Staffordshire University with degrees in journalism and English literature. He has worked on campaigns such as UOKM8? and IIOC.

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