From Barking and Dagenham Post, by Sophie Morton

A Dagenham school has been crowned school of the year after being recognised for the opportunities it provides.

Jo Richardson Community School was victorious in the making a difference category at the Pearson Teaching Awards.

Judges found that the school goes “above and beyond” to provide a good education as well as “endless opportunities” for all pupils.

These include trips to countries including Kenya, Malaysia and Borneo to carry out community projects, with pupils holding fundraising activities to pay for them.

Headteacher Ges Smith, who received the award from author Michael Morpurgo, said: “I am extremely proud to have achieved this award and it is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved, from students, teachers and parents to support staff and governors.

“We are one community at Jo Richardson and we don’t leave any student behind.”