Pupils at alternative Barking and Dagenham school celebrate graduation

The students at the graduation

The students at the graduation - Credit: Archant

Pupils at a school for those not able to attend mainstream education have celebrated finishing their GCSEs.

Students at LifeLine Institute, based at The Vibe, Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, and run by charity LifeLine on behalf of the council, marked their graduation on Friday.

One pupil, Cristina, 16, said: “I came from Romania almost one year ago. The first time I was told I have a place at [the school] I was scared, but I gave this small school a chance because it was better than laying at home all day, no qualifications, no future.

“I’m proud of what I achieved at LifeLine – confidence, knowledge, friends and unforgettable moments.”

Guest speaker Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, handed out certificates to pupils. He said: “LifeLine gets people ready for work, works with families to keep them together and gets young people back on track. You change people’s lives and give hope in a difficult time.”

Each of the students has a volunteer mentor from the community. Mentors – the working, retired, parents with children and grandparents –give an hour each week during term-time to meet the students.