City Livery Companies often have affiliations with schools as part of their remit of Education and for the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers, their connection with Royal Docks Community School started in 2008.
Since then successive Masters have attended the annual prize giving where an award is given by WCHCD to the boy and girl who, in the school’s opinion, have made exceptional personal progress, plus other prizes and books for academic success. The WCHCD have organised trips out in taxis, installed a greenhouse and now the school is preparing to plant a ‘Royal Charter Orchard’ with money donated by the Company following the attendance of the Head Teacher and Head Boy and Girl at last year’s presentation of a Royal Charter by Prince Charles to the WCHCD.
In 2014 Andrew Overton, a Past Master of WCHCD, became a governor at the school, with a view to helping them with marketing and promoting the school to the outside world on schemes such as work experience and apprenticeships.
The Royal Docks Community School is a purpose built, mixed, community comprehensive school for students aged 11 to 16, with approximately 800 students on the school roll. Opened in 1999, the school building has achieved national architectural recognition for its design. The School is a rapidly improving fully inclusive mixed school, which is now at an exciting stage in its development with a 3 year plan to become outstanding. Their values are to ‘aspire, learn, co-operate and achieve.’ The student population is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. It is also a fully inclusive school with 25 students who have profound, severe and multiple learning difficulties. They are taught by a specialist team of teachers and support staff but are fully integrated into the life of the school.
The school benefits from a committed, dedicated and hardworking team of teachers and support staff, headed up by the Head Teacher Wendy Bower, who was appointed in January 2014. The whole team is focused on raising standards and improving the quality of teaching and learning. The WCHCD is looking to develop its link with the school further with visits to Livery Halls in the city, speakers from the cab trade and others, as well as helping provide work experience and shadowing within cab trade businesses. The present Master of the WCHCD, Malcolm Paice is helping the school with its employability programme which aims to prepare students for work with CV, interview and professional profile skills, as well as working with businesses and organisations to offer work experience and full time employment opportunities.
Last month the newest Liveryman of the WCHCD, a licensed taxi driver, Kevin Hennessey, went along to the school to talk to pupils about the history of London, using some of the knowledge he gained during the Cab Guide Course. The WCHCD is planning to develop its relationship with the Royal Docks Community School further every year and is encouraging more of its members and associated contacts to get involved.