Parents get to ‘interview’ stage in campaign for new Wapping High school

A campaign by parents for a new secondary school in London’s deprived East End has got through to the ‘interview’ stage.

Their plans for a Wapping High School—backed by actress Dame Helen Mirren—are a step closer, following a recent protest to Tower Hamlets council.

The proposal has been shortlisted for the Government’s ‘Free School’ initiative.

“Something must be done urgently,” said campaigner Kerstyn Comley.

“There are 500 families in Wapping, Shadwell and Limehouse with no access to a local co-educational secondary for some of the country’s most underprivileged children.”

But the school is unlikely to get approval without additional funding, campaigners fear. The families who have set up the Wapping & Shadwell Secondary Education Trust are urging businesses, banks and charities to chip in.

Tower Hamlets will lack 240 secondary school entry places by 2014, they point out, with the shortage getting worse each year after that.

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The proposed Wapping High will be a community school with a mission to teach English and Maths to a high standard and club activities “to draw out hidden talent.”