Kingsford Community School

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Kingsford Community School in Top 10 for World's Best School Prize: An Extraordinary Achievement

Kingsford Community School has been recognised as one of the top 10 schools globally in the prestigious World’s Best School Prize! To be shortlisted alone is a phenomenal achievement, as thousands of schools from across the world applied, and Kingsford is one of only two schools in the UK shortlisted within our category, “Overcoming Adversity”. We are proud to have seen this important recognition celebrated across the national press.

The World's Best School Prizes are the most prestigious education awards in the world, providing a global platform for schools to share best practices. Guided by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), these prizes help schools strengthen their institutions and contribute to societal progress. 

Kingsford has been shortlisted within the Overcoming Adversity category for our outstanding work in helping young people overcome challenges, breaking down barriers to success, and providing the best opportunities for making a positive difference in the world. The winning schools will be announced in November, and will receive a $10,000 prize that will contribute to developing further the experiences that Kingsford pupils can take advantage of. 

Now, we need your support and the support of everyone you know! Your vote can help us win the public vote and showcase the strength of our Kingsford community. The school with the highest number of public votes has the additional opportunity of being recognised through a special Community Choice prize. Anyone can vote, of any age – all you need is a valid email address. The online vote is now open and ends at midnight on Friday, 28th June. 

Vote for Kingsford


Please take a moment to cast your vote for Kingsford Community School by clicking on the following link: and clicking on our school’s entry. Please spread the word to all your families and friends and help us by sharing our social media posts. 

Social media accounts to tag: 

Hashtags to include in your posts: 

  • #StrongSchools 

  • #BestSchoolPrizes 

  • #BestSchoolPrizes24 

Your vote is crucial in helping us gain the recognition our community deserves. Let’s come together and showcase the strength and resilience of Kingsford Community School! 


About our entry

Kingsford Community School, a state secondary school in Newham, London, UK, has turned adversity into excellence for its 1,500 students - 72% of whom speak English as a second language with nearly half on free meals in a community confronting knife crime and deep social challenges.

Committed to combatting the socio-economic constraints of its community, Kingsford emphasises high aspirations and determination as pathways to success and tools for breaking glass ceilings. All pupils are nurtured to aspire, succeed and excel, and top-performing pupils secure more than £1 million each year in fully funded scholarships for further study at top independent institutions. The school confronts local issues such as knife crime directly, integrating personal safety and resilience into its educational ethos. Kingsford collaborates with various organisations to raise awareness about safety and provide students with opportunities through a comprehensive curriculum and engagement with external partners where social mobility and cultural and social capital are key features. This holistic approach fosters a safe, supportive learning environment, even in the face of community challenges.

A standout feature of Kingsford’s curriculum is its compulsory Mandarin programme, introduced from the first year of secondary education. This initiative, supported by partnerships with the British Council and the Confucius Institute, has made Kingsford a pioneer in the UK. Kingsford established the country’s first Confucius Classroom, recognised by the Chinese Centre for Language Education and Cooperation as the best in the world. The school's students regularly outperform peers from top independent schools in the prestigious HSK Level 3 proficiency test, with 97% achieving the top Gold mark this year.

The leadership team, led by Joan Deslandes, whose visionary approach has earned her an OBE, fosters an environment where staff and students strive for excellence. The school maintains strong connections with its alumni, tracking their long-term success. Many graduates, including those benefiting from international experiences and scholarships, have pursued successful careers as doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. The school's dedication to fostering motivation and excellence is evident in its students' achievements and their continued engagement with the Kingsford community.

Kingsford’s holistic approach extends to its students' health and wellbeing, emphasising physical and mental health alongside academic success. The school’s pastoral care programme educates students about wellbeing, health, and positive relationships, while leadership opportunities and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) initiatives promote resilience and self-esteem.


Next steps:

The Top 3 finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prizes will be announced in September 2024 followed by the winners in November. The winner of each Prize will be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a Judging Academy comprising distinguished leaders across the globe including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society, and the private sector.

A prize of US$50,000 will be equally shared among the winners of the five Prizes, with each receiving an award of US$10,000. Meanwhile, the winner of the Community Choice Award, as determined by the Public Vote, will receive membership to Best School to Work - an independent, evidence-based mechanism to certify schools for their culture and working environment. Membership comes with detailed feedback, actionable insights, and benchmarking data to help schools transform their culture to attract and retain the best teachers.


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