Exclusive: Queen to visit Drapers’ Academy in Harold Hill

The Drapers’ Academy is set to be given a Royal seal of approval when the Queen officially opens its new building.

The monarch will be making her first visit to Harold Hill and second visit to Havering when she calls at the school in Settle Road on Friday October 26.

Principal Matthew Slater said: “We are absolutely delighted that in this Jubilee year the Queen has found the time to visit the school and Harold Hill.

“Its the first time that she has come to the borough and we are just happy that she has chosen to open our new building.”

The details of the visit, which was first revealed on social network site, Streetlife has not yet been confirmed, but Mr Slater says that he wants all of the primary schools in the area to be involved.

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Last week, students at the school were finally able to take a look around their new building after almost two years since the Academy was formed.

The �24m campus forms part of Havering Council’s Harold Hill Ambitions which aims to regenerate the area and improve the quality of life for residents.

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The school also had a double celebration as they achieved their best ever GCSE results with a pass rate of 62 per cent for five GCSEs including English and maths, making it one of the fastest improving schools in the country.

Mr Slater said: “We have had record results this year and education has been transformed.

“We are just delighted that the children will get the chance to meet the Queen and it feels like its a reward for all the outstanding work the pupils and teachers have put in.”

Mr Slater invited the Queen to the school nine months ago and in August he found out that his invitation had been accepted.

He broke the news to the students last week at a special assembly.

The Queen last visited Havering in 2003 after the borough was left out of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

George Barlow, a pupil at Redden Court School in Cotswold Road, Harold Wood, wrote a letter to the Palace asking for a Royal visit.

Keith Darvill, leader of the Havering Labour Party and Harold Hill Councillor said: “Its great for Harold Hill and the students at Drapers’ Academy.

“They should all feel very proud and the whole community will be pleased.”

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