The London Academy of Excellence (LAE)

I read with real delight about the amazing achievements of the first students graduating from this newly formed Sixth Form College.  Large numbers have qualified for Russell Group universities including Oxbridge. These are young people from Newham, one of our most deprived boroughs,  where this kind of success was hitherto unheard.

It has undoubtedly been achieved by assiduous students inspired by excellent teaching.  The College unashamedly focuses on traditional academic subjects. Demand for places is massively oversubscribed.

LAE is the ultimate, for now, realisation of two visionary heads.  Richard Cairns of Brighton College and Joan Deslandes of Kingsford Community School.  It all began with a fortunate few Kingsford sudents moving to post 16 places at Brighton.  I recall hearing them speak so eloquently of their experience.  Now thanks to the Free School initiative,  Richard and Joan were able to expand the opportunity to hundreds of young people by opening a sixth form that combined the best of Kingsford and Brighton right on their Newham doorstep.

The key to the whole thing was collaboration between a state and an independent school.  Now LAE collaborates with a group of some 10 independent schools.  Each contributes to their strength.  The results are there for all to see.

Forest School in East London  where I am a governor has contributed to the teaching of English and UCAS  preparation. Forest is in no doubt that that they have benefitted equally from the partnership.

It is clearly a win win formula.  Let us see more such collaborations between state and independent schools committed to equality of opportunity and mutual benefit.

Congratulations once again to the first LAE Year 13 cohort and to their teachers and indeed to Richard and Joan for their sustained commitment.

19.8.14

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One Response to The London Academy of Excellence (LAE)

  1. Liz,
    As an East London college principal, I share your delight at the achievements of young East Londoners. You rightly praise the London Academy of Excellence for its large numbers qualified for Russell group universities including Oxbridge. But when you go on to describe Newham as a borough “where this kind of success was hitherto unheard” I think it only fair to point out that this is not the case. Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc), just down the road from LAE, has been serving the same area for over 20 years and sends large numbers of students annually to university (767 last year) including many to the Russell group and some to Oxbridge (2 this year). In fact, I think that this summer, our Russell group numbers (74) were higher than those from LAE. Without wishing to detract from the success of this new provider, I think it is also important to acknowledge the success of other more established providers.
    As you say yourself in a later post: “details can be irritating, it is so much easier to read the headlines”.
    Eddie Playfair – Principal NewVIc.

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