The sixth edition of the annual Colin Pond Scholarship Awards celebrated the top-performing GCSE pupils who have chosen to continue their studies in Barking and Dagenham after finishing Year 11.
Students and their families attended a glamorous event at The Broadway Theatre in Barking, where 64 young people from 13 local schools were awarded a £300 grant each to spend during their A-level studies.
This year's event was sponsored by BD Group, which offers facilities, cleaning and catering services in the borough.
Councillor Elizabeth Kangethe, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, said: "The Colin Pond Trust Scholarship Awards is an important celebration in the borough’s calendar.
"I'm very proud of all the young people who have achieved outstanding results in their GCSEs and delighted that they have chosen to continue their studies in the borough.
“In Barking and Dagenham, we always make sure we give our students the best in education. As a result, we have had over 300 pupils from our schools going to top 33% higher education institutions, including Oxford, Cambridge, University College London and Imperial College London.
“I’d like to thank all teachers and staff who played such a great part in supporting our students and helping them achieve their goals.”
Colin Pond was a councillor in Barking and Dagenham between 1998 and 2001 who had a great interest in education. Before his death in 2001, he left money in a trust to help the borough’s young people continue their studies.
A student from Jo Richardson Community School who attended the event, said: “The Colin Pond Scholarship Awards are a great thing, they motivate people to study harder and achieve their potential.”
A Barking Abbey School pupil, who also won an award this year, said: "I think these awards will give students a push further in life, make them have higher aspirations.”
At the event, the Young Mayor, Zubin Burley commented: “We have a whole crowd of amazing young people who each year consistently go above and beyond to achieve GCSE grades like this that will set them up for their future.”
Nine out of ten schools in Barking and Dagenham are rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.
You can watch a short video of the event here.