London Academy of Excellence

London Academy of Excellence Visit to Brighton College

In 2011 Brighton College was the driving force behind a project to found a brand new Sixth Form College in Stratford, East London, for 400 6th formers from in and around the London Borough of Newham, where academic opportunities are limited. With its roots in the successful Brighton/Kingsford partnership, the aim was to provide pupils with the sort of education offered in an independent school to help them gain access to the country's top universities. The government's Free School scheme provided the funding for the school; and 7 other independent schools were invited to oversee curriculum areas and in some cases provide teachers on secondment. The other schools involved are: Caterham, City of London, Eton, Forest, Highgate, KCS Wimbledon and Roedean.

In September 2012 LAE opened in a former office block skilfully re-furbished to provide all the classroom and laboratory facilities needed for the 12 A level subjects that are on offer; and with its attractive communal spaces and light and airy café it has the feel of a university faculty building. The 6th formers themselves, who are required to dress in a smart and business-like way, are delighted with their new school and are impressing their Head Master, Robert Wilne, formerly a deputy at Highgate School, and his 20-strong staff with their hard work and positive attitude.

The timetable is more rigorous than many have been used to in their previous schools. All are expected to participate in games and after-school activities, in addition to contributing to LAE's OutReach programme, whereby once a week they go out into local primary and secondary schools helping to nourish the aspirations of younger pupils.

The house system is an integral part of LAE. There are currently 4 houses, rising to 8 next year. They are all named after partner schools. Brighton House visited the college in November 2012 and part of the day was given over to a forum to discuss how the relationship might be developed in cultural, sporting and social ways.

To discover more about the work and ethos of LAE, do visit the website on http://www.excellencelondon.ac.uk/