Co-founder/senior advisor Community Links Kevin Jenkins wants our young to achieve and stay in Newham

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- Credit: Archant

I would like to add my congratulations to all of Newham’s 16 and 18-year-olds on their outstanding educational achievements highlighted in the Recorder over the past couple of weeks.

While the newspaper highlights the really outstanding personal achievements of which there are so many which is even more encouraging in that these achievements are underpinned by so many excellent performances and achievements from their peers.

Once again the overall results confirm how much the education experience and the opportunities to achieve have continued to improve year on year in Newham.

Long gone are the days when education in the borough was hitting all the headlines in the press for all the wrong reasons.

This sustained improvement is a credit to the long-term vision and determination of each Newham Council over the past 30 years to raise standards, the schools who have responded to the challenge and to the young people themselves who with the support of their parents have responded to the challenge of raised aspirations and achievement so much.

But beware, it is far too easy to slip.

If, like me, you believe that education is a lifelong process and the early years are the most important when the foundations for future achievement are laid, we should not forget the crucial and vital work carried out by Newham children’s centres, especially for children with needs, disabilities and/or at risk.

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As Newham Council faces the challenge of finding a further £40million (circa) reduction in services I urge it not to waiver on its commitment to keeping children’s centres open.

On paper it may be easier than other reductions but if it does, I fear the outcomes at 16 and 18 suffer.

If today’s Newham young people are to access the fruits of the unprecedented regeneration opportunities in Newham over the next 20 years, then a first-rate education followed by training and employment is essential.

We are well on the way to Newham being the place where our next generation wish to live, stay and achieve – I urge the council not to place at risk the long-term vision that so many have worked so hard for and for so long to achieve. More from Kevin Jenkins

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