Spitalfields Christchurch Primary’s ‘best PTA in UK’ gets Hong Kong seal of approval

Hong Kong delegation drops in to Brick Lane's Christchurch school

Hong Kong delegation drops in to Brick Lane's Christchurch school - Credit: Christchurch Sch

A delegation from Hong Kong dropped into a school in London’s East End that was once in Special Measures to find out how Britain’s “best new PTA” pulled it off to win the national title.

The five visitors from Hong Kong’s Bureau of Education arrived in Brick Lane after reading about last summer’s success by Christchurch CoE Primary when its Parents & Friends Association won PTA-UK’s top award.

Parents made food for the visitors while the school explained how it involved the Spitalfields community to turn round the once-failing primary.

It was in Special Measures just six years ago. Most parents spoke little English, so getting them involved in the school had been difficult.

But the community came forward to form a Parent-Friends association and ran three fundraising events in its first year, planted a garden and started a children’s club with Spitalfields city farm nearby.

The Friends’ committee also raised funds for a new playground, which is being completed later in the year, and approached multi-national companies on the school’s doorstep to get corporate sponsorship for further events.

The delegation said it was keen to put what it had learned on the visit into practice back in Hong Kong.

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The 300-year-old school nestled in the middle of Brick Lane’s Curry Mile is “almost invisible to most passers-by,” one of last summer’s PTA-UK judges said. Now Christchurch has the attention of top educationalists the other side of the world.