Barking and Dagenham Council’s cabinet member for education met the Head Teacher and pupils to see how the building works at Barking Abbey School are gathering pace.

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter met Head Teacher, Jo Tupman, and students at the school’s Longbridge Road campus to see how the new specialist teaching accommodation with dining hall, and sports facilities are taking shape.

The new buildings are part of a £21 million investment in the school’s expansion which will enable a further 90 pupils per year group to be admitted, along with additional sixth form places at the Sandringham Road site.

The expansion of the school includes general teaching, specialist teaching accommodation such as Design Technology, IT, Art, Science and a new 690 sqm sports hall, which has been designed to Sports England specification. at the Longbridge Road site. Some remodelling and refurbishment of the existing buildings are also taking place.

Cllr Carpenter said: “The first new building is really taking shape and already looking great. Over the past four years we have ploughed £110 million into expanding schools so we can keep pace with our increasing school age population.

“Because of this we are among the top authorities in London in making sure pupils get their first preference.”

Ms Tupman, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the school, our families and wider local community to have the facilities that they deserve. Our new buildings and facilities will further enhance and enrich our students’ learning experiences.”

Over the last 10 months the representatives from Barking and Dagenham Council, Be First, and the school have been working with Neilcott Building Contractors (including architects from award winning Rivington Street Studio), to design buildings that maintain the character of both sites.

Iain Ferguson, Commercial Director at Be First said: “Be First is about building sustainable communities and great schools are at the heart of them.”