Newham’s Education Links launches consultation to become free school

Education Links has launched a public consultation after lodging an application to become an Altern

Education Links has launched a public consultation after lodging an application to become an Alternative Provision Free School. Pictured are Geraldine Blake, Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Davies, Principal and student Ross Sheehen, age13 - Credit: Archant

Education Links, which takes on youngsters excluded from mainstream education, has launched a formal consultation to become a free school.

Although Education Links, which is run by the charity Community Links, was registered as an independent school in 2009, it has now applied to the Department for Education for Alternative Provision Free School status. This will give the school financial security to plan for the long term, broaden its curriculum and strengthen its team.

The school is based in Stratford and operates from five Community Links centres across Newham, it provides alternative education for around 120 students aged 11 to 16.

At an event attended by head teachers from Newham, representatives from Newham Council as well as others working in education, Geraldine Blake, CEO of Community Links and Sandy Davies, principal of Education Links, set out their vision for the school.

Geraldine Blake said although the charity had been providing quality education in the borough for nearly a decade, it was “now time for Education Links to become a totally independent, sustainable school for the future.

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“The transition to free school offers an amazing opportunity to do that.”

Ross Sheehan, 13, from East Ham is one of the school’s students. He said: “I have been here for two years now because at school I did not get on well with the teachers.

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“Here it is smaller groups and I feel I will get the help I need. It has made me a lot better with my reading and writing”.

The consultation period will run until the end of February. Anyone can take part by emailing or by writing to them at Education Links, 195 Vicarage Lane, Stratford, E15 4HJ.

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