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Q&A: My Newham - Mouhssin Ismail, principal of Newham Collegiate Sixth Form College.

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 November 2018

Michelle Teckchand

Mouhssin Ismail, principal of Newham Collegiate Sixth Form College, recently won the GG2 Leadership Award, which recognises high achievers within black, asian and ethnic minority groups.

What’s your connection with the borough?

I was born in Plaistow Hospital and lived in Forest Gate before my family moved to Ilford in the 1980s.

East Ham Town Hall, where Newham Collegiate Sixth Form (NCS) hosts its guest lecturers and has its assemblies, was the venue for many of my friends’ and family’s weddings.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

There is so much untapped potential and talent amongst our young people and if we can just channel and focus this energy in the right direction the outcomes will be spectacular.

You are beginning to see this with the outcomes the NCS are achieving – our young people are achieving better results than their privileged peers and where parents once looked outside the borough for educational excellence we are seeing a reversal of this trend.

What one thing would you change?

I would increase funding for schools and colleges.

Use three words to describe the area.

Diverse, cohesive, progressive.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

My brother, Khalid Ismail.

His dedication to his sport, his commitment to personal growth and his desire to learn and improve is inspiring.

What new law would you introduce if you were prime minister?

It’s not a new law, but I would find ways to encourage more teachers to live, work and stay in London. If a teacher works in a less privileged area they would be entitled to subsidised housing.

Having high quality graduates teaching in areas like Newham is key to improving social mobility.

If you were editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

I would focus on as many positive local stories as possible.

Residents need to see and hear about people from similar backgrounds doing well so they too can feel it is possible.

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