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The newly-appointed headteacher of a Romford secondary school has spoken of her “privilege” at landing the new role.

Jodie Hassan has this week started at the newly-named St Edward’s Church of England Academy – at the same time that the school joins the renowned Samuel Ward Academy Trust.

Ms Hassan joins St Edward’s from The Urswick School in Hackney, which she helped lead to an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted inspection for leadership and management and behaviour and safety.

She said: “I feel privileged to be leading a school with such a long history and strong community. We are proud of our history and excited about our future.

“From my first visit, it was clear that this is a school with an extraordinary student body -the students are an absolute credit to St Edward’s.

“Parents and carers wish the upmost success for their children and I look forward to working closely together to secure the best outcomes.”

Ms Hassan, who spent her Easter holidays overseeing building work to give the school a new look, also spoke of her excitement at the school joining the Samuel Ward Academy Trust.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of the trust, has written to parents, staff and governors and spoken of a “brighter future” for the secondary school and sixth form.

Mr Coulson said: “We know that the school has had a very strong reputation in the past and the trust is thrilled to be given the opportunity to help lead them to a brighter future.

“We believe it is going to return to being known as one of the finest schools in the area.

“We have been very impressed by the pupils – I have met many who tell me proudly of their determination to do well and to work hard to achieve this.”

Samuel Ward Academy Trust has built up a reputation in Suffolk and beyond with a strong set of secondary, primary and special schools throughout the west of the county as well as achieving Research School-status, the first in the East of England.

From 1st April, the Samuel Ward Academy Trust will consist of a family of six secondary schools, 15 primary schools and a special school.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the trust had been chosen to build a new special free school in Romford.

Mr Coulson added: “The Trust is committed to having educational partnerships with schools across Havering and Barking and Dagenham, with community and Christian groups and, most importantly, with parents.”

To find out more about the school, please visit www.stedwardsacademy.co.uk.