BIGGS, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, has revealed that he attended Morpeth School last week to see pupils collecting their “A”-level results. The reason for the delay in announcing the visit has not been made clear. He has not released any pictures of his visit, but we bring you a library photo of the mayor instead.
The Council has reported that “A”-level results across the Borough have improved. Provisional data apparently shows that 80.1% of students passed at least three “A”-levels at grades between A* and E – which is a rise of over 7% on last year’s results. It seems that under Mayor John Biggs the Borough’s secondary schools are maintaining the levels of improvement seen under his predecessory, Mayor Lutfur Rahman.
The headteacher of Morpeth School, Jemima Reilly, welcomed the results in words which would surely be echoed by all secondary school headteachers in the Borough, saying, “These results build on the success of last year’s achievements and are a clear testament to the hard work of staff and students. We are all very proud of our students who have risen to the challenges we have set them and we would like to congratulate them on their achievements and wish them every success in the next stage of their lives.”
The improvement in results comes at a difficult time for Tower Hamlets Schools as they face large cuts in central government funding from September – at a time when the Council is not able to offer any compensation because of government cuts to its own funding. The Tower Hamlets family of secondary schools is beginning to fray at the edges as secondary schools which used to be so determined to remain as “maintained schools” begin to edge towards looking at academy status.
Mayor Biggs mirrored this fracture as he handed out congratulations to pupils and staff without mentioning the Council, saying: “These are fantastic results and the students and staff and who have worked so hard to achieve them deserve the highest praise. The support of parents and teachers is essential in producing such strong results for our borough and I congratulate you all.”
Cllr Amy Whitelock Gibbs, the new Cabinet Member for Education & Children’s Services, welcomed the first “A”-level results under her watch, saying, “I am very pleased for all our students who have studied so hard for their A-levels and other sixth form qualifications. Students put a lot of work into their studies over an intense two year period and it has really paid off. I know that they would all want me to extend their thanks to their teachers, parents and carers for supporting them so well. I wish all students who collected their results a bright and successful future.”
Whether Cllr Whitelock Gibbs can find a strategy for the Council to support secondary schools in maintaining these results in the remaining part of the municipal year remains to be seen.