Free breakfast offer as secondary school in Plaistow controversially becomes an academy

Cumberland School headteacher Gillian Dineen. Pic: Arthur Communications

Cumberland School headteacher Gillian Dineen. Pic: Arthur Communications - Credit: Archant

A secondary school in Plaistow has controversially become an academy after joining a high-achieving trust behind one of the most successful GCSE results in the country.

Teachers at Cumberland School protesting over plans to turn the school into an academy. Pic: Ken Mea

Teachers at Cumberland School protesting over plans to turn the school into an academy. Pic: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Cumberland School in Oban Close, is now under the umbrella of Newham based Community Schools Trust (CST) which is run by the same leadership team as Forest Gate Community School (FGCS).

FGCS has an ‘outstanding’ rating from education watchdog Ofsted and posted the sixth best GCSE results in the nation last year while Cumberland School is rated as ‘requires improvement’.

However the move will anger hundreds of campaigners who protested outside the school against the academisation plans and staff members who held three walkouts.

The two schools will share expertise, good practice and resources but each will retain their own identity, including name and uniform.

Teachers outside Cumberland School protesting over plans to turn the school into an Academy

Teachers outside Cumberland School protesting over plans to turn the school into an Academy - Credit: Archant


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CST have promised Cumberland School will be given extra funding for experienced teachers, resources for special education needs provision and a free breakfast for all staff and students.

Cumberland School headteacher Gillian Dineen said: “We are fortunate to be working closely with the leadership team at Forest Gate Community School, the sixth highest performing school in the country.

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“Their input has already proven incredibly useful, and I am confident what is being implemented will impact significantly on the academic progress of pupils.

“The school’s journey to outstanding is an exciting one and I look forward to our whole school community celebrating the future successes of our students.”

Teachers outside Cumberland School protesting over plans to turn the school into an Academy

Teachers outside Cumberland School protesting over plans to turn the school into an Academy - Credit: Archant

Simon Elliott, Cumberland School executive headteacher and CST CEO, added: “We understand that by partnering with Cumberland School we are making a very big commitment to the students, families and staff at this school.

“We accept this challenge and welcome the opportunity to offer more young people in Newham the kind of education that provides life changing opportunities.

“At Forest Gate Community School, we worked extremely hard to turn it from a school failing to live up to its potential to one of the very best in the country.

“Families at Cumberland School can expect the same rigorous approach to driving up academic standards.

“With the help of Gillian and her talented team, we will help to turn Cumberland into an outstanding school.”

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