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Barking Riverside head urges parents to choose school as first pick

PUBLISHED: 09:10 13 February 2012

Andrew Roberts, vice-principal at Sydney Russell School, who will be headteacher at Barking Riverside.

Andrew Roberts, vice-principal at Sydney Russell School, who will be headteacher at Barking Riverside.

Archant

The new headteacher of Barking Riverside School is urging parents and children to put the new school down as their first choice.

Andrew Roberts, who is currently vice-principal at Sydney Russell School, will be the new head of Barking Riverside.

He believes there is a real need for the school, which has already been seen by some parents, but more interest is still needed to help Barking Riverside receive funding from the government under free school status.

It is that funding which will allow Barking Riverside to move into its own buildings and out of the classrooms at George Carey Primary School, which it will begin using from September.

Mr Roberts said: “There is absolutely no doubt that we need another school.

“The community deserves a school that serves them. The free school bit is imporant because we want to get this school in its own buildings.

“I would ask all prospective parents to put the school down as their first choice.”

The 38-year-old, who is a specialist in geography, went for the role of headteacher after seeing how much the school was wanted by the community.

He said: “I went to the open evening at the school and met lots of the parents and students, and it felt really positive.

“There’s clearly the demand for the school, everyone really wanted this to happen. I could see myself taking it forward.”

Mr Roberts has spent the majority of his teaching career at Sydney Russell and has seen that school improve greatly.

He said: “It has been a privilege seeing that. It’s imporant when I go to Riverside that I will take the systems that I know work well at Sydney Russell with me. They’re tried and tested.

“But Barking Riverside will have its own ethos and be its own school.”

In addition to confirming Mr Roberts’ appointment, Barking Riverside has also appointed a group of teachers who are set to start at the school when it opens in September.

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