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The inner-city London borough with some of the nation’s best schools

* Seven schools from Tower Hamlets in the nation’s top 500

Seven schools from the inner-city London borough of Tower Hamlets have been named in the nation’s top 500 schools by Parent Power Schools Guide, published in The Sunday Times on Sunday 5 December.

The twenty-ninth edition of Parent Power identified the 1,600 highest-achieving state and independent schools in the United Kingdom, ranked by their most recent moderated, pre-pandemic examination results.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:

“Our schools are an engine of opportunity, giving children and young people some of the best education in the country.

“We have a fantastic family of schools in Tower Hamlets, and we work very hard together to ensure our children and young people receive the high-quality education they deserve.

“I’m grateful to our education staff, children, young people, families and the wider community and education partnership for their continuing and coordinated action aimed at improving lives locally.”

Despite the well-known challenges that come with being an inner-city London borough, such as high levels of child poverty and in-work poverty, Tower Hamlets has prioritised its education offer, believing it to be a key driver of social mobility, which “still matters” according to the government’s July 2021 State of the Nation report.

This is seen as particularly important in the context of recent lockdowns, which impacted children and young people’s opportunities for learning, leading to fears that progress made over a decade or more to close the education attainment gap between rich and poor households could be lost.

Keeping families engaged along with high expectations for all of those involved in a child’s learning have been critical to closing this gap and raising aspirations for children and young people in Tower Hamlets.

Tracy Smith, Executive Director, Tower Hamlets’ Education Partnership, said:

“We believe disadvantage is not a barrier to learning — that all children can succeed. There is no ‘secret’ to our success, other than the hard work, dedication and high expectations of our staff, children, and their families. We think schools thrive when they learn from each other to tackle shared challenges and build capacity together.

“Our successful Tower Hamlets’ Education Partnership is a collaborative partnership between schools, which promotes joint approaches and focuses on learning, teaching and school leadership as the route to improvement.

“We are also active in our community, helping children and young people to take full advantage of the opportunities on their doorstep.”

Mayflower Primary School, in Poplar, which finished third in this year’s ranking, has remained one of the nation’s best schools, having previously topped the table in 2020 and 2021.

Dee Bleach, headteacher of Mayflower Primary School, said:

“The Mayflower School community are extremely proud to be recognised as one of the top three Primary schools nationally, for 2022. We strive for excellence and for ways to make learning exciting. Creativity, inclusion, and innovation are at the heart of all we do. This achievement is a real tribute to the hard work of our staff, pupils and the wider community who support us.”

Other schools from the borough to be named in the top 500 include George Green’s Secondary School (10) Bigland Green Primary School (190) Sir William Burrough Primary School (216) Blue Gate Fields Infant School (269) English Martyrs Roman Catholic Primary School (343) and St Edmund’s Roman Catholic Primary School (464).

For over two decades now, schools in Tower Hamlets have been continuously improving, to the point that 96 per cent of schools are now rated ‘Good’ or better by Ofsted, the school’s inspector.