Students get creative

Wed 10 April 2019, 1:14 pm

Pupils at a school in Dagenham are enjoying a new education space, built as part of a £6 million expansion to encourage involvement in the arts.

The investment at Robert Clack School has provided a new dedicated space for drama and music, and the school’s refit will also include 17 new classrooms and a sixth-form room.

The development will refurbish and extend the dining hall, school entrance, reception and administration area, and follows a £4 million expansion of the school’s lower site last year.

Headteacher Russell Taylor said: “Some years ago, Robert Clack School agreed to expand its provision in order to support the council in providing more school places for the young people of our borough. 

“As a heavily oversubscribed school, we are pleased our new buildings and facilities mean that more children can now be offered a place at their first-choice school.

“Robert Clack has always been committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum, which includes recognition of the importance of the arts, music and drama.”

Mike O’Dell, project leader of Mid-Group, which built the new school buildings, said: “We’re proud to be part of building a brave school like Robert Clack, where they are building lives and communities with their progressive outlook and values.”

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement, said: “We are expanding our excellent schools like Robert Clack with the result that more parents in our borough are able to get their first choice of school for their child than anywhere else in London.

“And on top of this, more students are getting into the top Russell Group universities than ever before." 

Tom Mather, construction director for the council’s regeneration company Be First, advised on the expansion. He added: “Be First is not just about building affordable homes for local people, we’re also helping to build communities and great schools like Robert Clack. 

“It’s great to see the school embracing the arts because Barking and Dagenham is fast becoming known as London’s latest creative hotspot with new artists’ housing, workspaces and galleries popping up here.”

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