Top achieving GCSE students celebrated at Colin Pond Trust Scholarship Awards
The annual Colin Pond Trust Scholarship Awards recognised young people who achieved outstanding grades in their GCSE exams.
Students and their families attended a glamorous event at The Broadway Theatre in Barking, where the 62 young people were each handed a £300 grant 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.
"I'm very proud of all our young people for achieving such brilliant GCSE results, particularly during what has been a very challenging time, and pleased they have chosen to continue their education in our borough."
In its fifth year, the awards acknowledged the top-performing GCSE pupils who have chosen to continue their studies in Barking and Dagenham after finishing Year 11.
Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, and a trustee of the Colin Pond Trust, said: "The Colin Pond Trust Scholarship Awards is an important annual celebration.
"I'm very proud of all our young people for achieving such brilliant GCSE results, particularly during what has been a very challenging time, and pleased they have chosen to continue their education in our borough.
"We continue to get students into all the top universities in the country, so our students need to stay with us in Barking and Dagenham and not think that the grass is greener in other boroughs.
"Thanks to the teachers and school staff who have worked tirelessly to help our pupils achieve their goals, and to parents for their invaluable support during difficult times."
Colin Pond was a councillor in Barking and Dagenham between 1998 and 2001, who had a lifelong interest in education. Before his death in 2001, he left money in a trust fund to help the borough's young people continue further education.
A student from Barking Abbey School, who won the scholarship last year, said: "I am extremely grateful to have been given this scholarship as the money has enabled me to purchase my first personal laptop, an invaluable investment for my studies.
"The award has encouraged me to continue working hard academically, as it reaffirmed that hard work does get recognised, and your background should not prevent you from having high aspirations."
Speaking at the event, the Young Mayor, Labella Anum, was full of praise for education in the borough. She commented: "I think education in Barking and Dagenham is genuinely such an amazing resource, my school is amazing."
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.