Stratford sixth form named best in country

The London Academy of Excellence headteacher John Weeks with some of his students

The London Academy of Excellence headteacher John Weeks with some of his students - Credit: Archant

When it comes to the best state sixth form in the country, you don’t need to look much further than your own doorstep.

The London Academy of Excellence headteacher John Weeks with some of his students

The London Academy of Excellence headteacher John Weeks with some of his students - Credit: Archant

The London Academy of Excellence has received the accolade in the Sunday Times’ schools of the year awards.

It’s something that headmaster of the Stratford High Street sixth form, John Weeks, is proud of.

“It’s fantastic for our school to receive this accolade,” he said.

“We’re the first free school to do so, and it’s testament to the hard work of our staff and students.”

The achievement is made even more remarkable by the fact that it only opened three years ago.

The sixth form is supported by independent schools including Brighton College, Eton and Caterham.

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There are strong links between the sixth form and its partner schools, who give their names to its houses, with Year 12 students partnered up with a buddy from another school.

“I still speak to my buddy as we’re applying for the same course,” explained 17-year-old Alima Kamarkheyl, who hopes to study law at either the London School of Economics or Oxford.

She’s not alone with having Oxbridge aspirations, with previous students showing the current cohort that the top universities can be achievable.

Part of the school’s ethos is in preparing students for life after the sixth form, with one period a week dedicated to the university admissions process.

This summer’s A-level success saw it top the national sixth form charts, despite 89 per cent of its top achievers living among the country’s most deprived 20pc of postcodes.

“This is about raising aspirations amongst the poorest children in our community,” Mr Weeks said.

“This school is a fantastic example of the independent schools sector and the state sector working together to maximise the life chances of children from one of the most deprived areas in the country.”

The academy was praised by the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales.

He told the Recorder: “This is a fantastic news for a school that is offering young people a top class educational experience for all.

“Staff should take a bow for helping students achieve high attainment levels and ensuring they get the best start on whatever academic or career path they take.”

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