New Docklands state school planned to tackle Isle of Dogs’ soaring population

Mark Keary [inset] currently head of Bethnal Green Academy, lobbying for new state school

Mark Keary [inset] currently head of Bethnal Green Academy, lobbying for new state school - Credit: Archant

Plans for a new state school for 1,400 pupils to help tackle the crisis shortage of places in London’s East End’s are being handed to the government.

A non-selective academy school specialising in languages, taking children from four years old up to A-level at 19, is being proposed to meet Docklands’ rocketing population predictions.

Bethnal Green and Shoreditch Education Trust, which runs Bethnal Green Academy, is looking for “a suitable E14 site” to cater for Canary Wharf expansion and the rising population in the Isle of Dogs.

Principal trust executive Mark Keary is to lead a delegation to the Department of Education in Whitehall in May with proposals for the London International New School.

“This will be a pioneering school both locally and nationally,” he said.

“The benefits of learning a foreign language in today’s global world cannot be underestimated. There is also a significant need for new school places, so the school will provide an option for parents.”

The trust hopes to open the school in September necxt year, if it gets the Education Secretary’s green light, with 100 primary places and 100 Year-7 secondary places, both four-form entry with 25 pupils to a class.

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The staggered intake continues year-on-year until the school has a roll-call of 1,400 by 2024.

The trust is aiming to address the rising demand for school places, with Tower Hamlets Council’s projection of 80 per cent increase in the school-age population in Docklands over the next 10 years.

But the new state school won’t come under Town Hall control, because of its proposed ‘academy’ status, to be funded directly from Whitehall.

The Trust is holding two information events for prospective pupils and their parents, the first on Saturday at St Mathias centre in Poplar High Street, 10am-12pm and 2-4pm. The second event is February 7 at Asda’s Isle of Dogs store in East Ferry Road, Millwall, 2-4pm.

Prospective parents with children due to start in Reception or Year-7 in September, 2016, can register interest online.