On Thursday 23rd August I had the privilege of photographing the 2018 intake at one of London’s most remarkable educational success stories.
The London Academy of Excellence (LAE) is a dedicated sixth-form college in the heart of Stratford, in east London. Even though LAE was only established in 2012, it is already doing an exceptional job of living up to its name. Over 10% of its graduating students received offers from Oxford or Cambridge colleges last year. An outstanding achievement by any measure, but even more impressive when you take into account LAE’s core focus on promoting social mobility: children on free school meals and those in care are always offered places first, so long as they meet the grade requirements at GCSE.
The day taking head shot pictures of the new intake was hugely enjoyable, and very busy! It was GCSE results day and over 3,000 young people had applied for approximately 250 places. My job was to take individual photos of all the successful candidates, so the school would have a photographic record of each student and be able to prepare their id cards prior to the new term commencing.
This meant taking over 270 unique images over the course of the day. We set up a temporary studio in the same hall that the incoming students discussed their courses with their prospective tutors. The process was very streamlined – it needed to be! – and the new students, and their parents, really enjoyed the professional set-up.
It was a huge pleasure to play a small part in such an important day for so many bright young people. Their excitement and enthusiasm was pretty infectious, and I have no doubt LAE will be sending even more talented scholars to Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities in the years to come.