New Forest Gate headteacher, 31, aims to inspire young women to aim for top jobs

Forest Gate Community School headteacher Thahmina Begum with pupils. Picture: Tom Barnes

Forest Gate Community School headteacher Thahmina Begum with pupils. Picture: Tom Barnes - Credit: Tom Barnes

Forest Gate Community School’s new headteacher aims to prove age is only a number as she takes over the school at just 31.

Thahmina Begum is thought to be one of the youngest women in the country to take the top job at a school.

She has stepped up from her role as deputy headteacher to take the reins having led the school's English department, ranked the best in the country two years ago.

She said the school will maintain its reputation for high academic standards by refocusing efforts on recruiting and retaining top teachers.

She said: "The reason this school has been consistently ranked among the very best in the country for the last four years is that we have been able to recruit and keep top teachers.

"I may be biased but I think we have the very best teachers in the country at this school and the results certainly back that up.

"I predict our results will be even better next year than in previous years, which will be some achievement

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"We are known as a school with high academic standards with a strong focus on discipline which will remain the case but I am also interested in developing student learning that goes beyond the classroom.

"Helping them to become more rounded, culturally aware young people so that they can compete for the top universities and in the jobs market."

Thahmina hopes her appointment as headteacher will help to inspire young women in the community to aspire to top jobs.

She said: "I am aware that taking on this role at such a young age puts me in the spotlight. I want to use this position to affect positive change in the community.

"It is of vital importance that we continue to push home the message that it is ok for our young women to be ambitious for themselves."

Executive headteacher Simon Elliott added: "I am both envious and awed by the prodigal talents of Thahmina, who despite her relative youth is among the most talented leader I have worked with.

"As the head of English and subsequently assistant and deputy headteacher she has made a significant contribution to the continuing success of this school."