May 24 2013 Latest news:
Sheena McKenzie, Reporter
Monday, May 16, 2011
Academy Award-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren has thrown her support behind proposal for a new free school in Wapping.
The local resident urged Government and business leaders to back the project, which could see a secondary school built inside a former brewery.
The Grade II heritage-listed Aldgate Brewery, in Commercial Road, is one of two possible sites named in an application for Wapping High School.
The second site is the Shadwell Centre in the Highway.
The Wapping and Shadwell Secondary Education Trust (WSSET), backed by more than 400 families, now plans to submit the application to Tower Hamlets Council later this month.
The trust said: “For many years families living in Wapping and Shadwell have been disadvantaged by a recognised lack of access to good secondary schools. This has led to high levels of mobility out of the borough, poor community cohesion and coincides with an increasing borough-wide shortfall of year 7 places from 2013. This initiative offers a unique opportunity for a new school in an area of desperate need at no cost to the borough.”
In a statement, Dame Helen Mirren said: “I fully support the project to open a new secondary school for children in Wapping and Shadwell in Tower Hamlets. Shadwell has the highest level of child poverty in England. Plans for the new school, created by the local community will be inclusive and offer local children both an outstanding education and opportunities for life enhancing experiences. I would like to urge the government and business leaders to back this project and ensure real change for some of England’s most deprived children.”