Canning Town teenager wins independent school scholarship

Teniola Akinola Picture: Tom Barnes

Teniola Akinola Picture: Tom Barnes - Credit: Tom Barnes

A teenager from Canning Town has won a £30, 000-a-year scholarship to a top independent school.

Teniola Akinola, 16, will study A-levels in history, physics and chemistry at City of London Freemen’s School, Surrey, in September.

She was awarded the scholarship having been recommended for a place by youth charity Eastside Young Leader Academy.

She follows in the footsteps of Iyanuoluwa Agbedejobi, 16, who left the Pretoria Road, Canning Town school last year to study on a £76,000 scholarship at Wellington College.

City of London Freemen’s School counts Clash singer Joe Strummer, BAFTA award-winning actor Andrew Garfield and artist Gavin Turk among its alumni.

Teniola said: “It is going to be a big adjustment. East London is a very different place to Surrey. Yes, I want to fit in but I have to be true to myself, and that is what I will be.

“It is an amazing opportunity for me because I will get to meet and mix with different sorts of people.

Most Read

“I can’t thank Eastlea School and Eastside enough for the help they have given me.”

Teniola has set her sights on a place at a top university and after hopes to work as a human rights lawyer.

She added: “I have not accepted a place at the school just to be bottom of the heap. I am very competitive.

“When I get there, I want to be the best and prove I am there on merit.

“This opportunity is the kind of springboard I hope will be the first step towards the career I want.

“There is so much injustice in the world where people are not treated fairly. I think the place where you can make a difference is in human rights and the law.”

Eastlea’s headteacher Stephen Gillatt said: “We are very fortunate that we have such a strong relationship with the Eastside Young Leader Academy.

“Following on from last’s years success, we now have yet another pupil leaving us for a top independent school.

“The message this sends to our pupils is that if you have the right attitude at this school there is no limit to what you can achieve.”