The school sends a bus to ensure students show up for their GCSEs | British News

Francis Bray, Principal of Waterside Academy. See SWNS story SWNAgcse. An east London school sends staff out on the school bus in the mornings to ensure students make it to their all-important GCSE exams. Throughout the exam period, Waterside Academy in Hackney has been visiting children on a daily basis who they fear may miss their exams. This included students who were classified as at-risk and those who had little attendance throughout their school years. Teachers often have to get the kids out of bed to make sure they don't miss their GCSEs.

Toot toot, your exam bus is here! (Image: SWNS)

A school has taken an extreme step to ensure its students pass their important exams.

Waterside Academy in Hackney, east London, fears vulnerable young people and those with low attendance could miss out on their important GCSEs.

So they decided to make sure they got out of bed in the morning by knocking on their doors.

Headmaster Francis Bray said: “We had the children studying for their exams at 7.30am every day and they are here after school every day until 4.30pm.”

“Many of our families cannot afford an expensive private tutor to help their students with their GCSEs, so we provide them with one for free.”

“Our teachers came at half-time and gave up their weekends. We have left nothing to chance. After all the work, we will not accept that some students just don’t show up.

“Maybe they don’t know that because they’re only 15 or 16, but they’re at a critical time in their life and education.” “Passing their GCSE means they can take the next step.”

Waterside Academy in Hackney Credit Google

Waterside Academy in Hackney, east London, is concerned some students may miss their important GCSEs (Image: Google Maps)

The school has implemented various strategies to give students the best chance of passing their exams.

Measures include mandatory daily after-school reviews and exam practice sessions on weekends and school holidays.

Year 11 students must arrive at school by 7:30 a.m. for the mandatory review lessons and stay after school until 4:30 p.m. each day for further reviews.

Waterside Academy serves one of the poorest communities in the UK. About 60% of students are considered disadvantaged and entitled to free school meals.

The chief executive of the Community Schools Trust, which runs the school, Simon Elliott, said: “This is non-negotiable in all our schools.”

“There are some youngsters who can fail their GCSE exams and still succeed, but the majority of kids don’t fall into that category.”

“Staying in full-time education is critical to their future life chances.” “Our job is to make sure they stay on the right track.”

Ofsted rates the trust as good.

Earlier in the year, MPs heard that children who fail GCSEs are often stuck in a vicious cycle of retaking tests that are statistically less likely to pass each time.

Other research found that students whose families used food banks saw their children get lower GCSE grades than expected.

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Justin Scaccy

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