Executive Recruitment
Two people sat in Vicky park on a sunny day

About the borough

Message from the Chair of the Full Consultative of Headteachers

Dear prospective candidate,

I hope you find the following gives you an honest glimpse into life working in Tower Hamlets.We are a vibrant borough to work in. We serve a community where geographically the wealth of the city is juxtaposed with severe levels of deprivation. Through this, we are afforded great levels of opportunity to really make a difference together with a richly, diverse community which I find truly rewarding.

Connections are a strength of the borough and that is why I stay; I am never alone. I am well supported by Headteacher colleagues but am also grateful for other skills and expertise provided; such as the Tower Hamlets Education Partnership (THEP). A partnership that inspires, listens to the needs of schools and is positively responsive. A partnership which is mutually supportive of schools, the LA and its functions.

These strong relationships also extend beyond Education directly and include for example, our Mayor, John Biggs and Cllr Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Young People; both visit schools regularly and support us with wider issues both locally and nationally.

School development is a continuing strength of the borough and data shows that Tower Hamlets schools do exceptionally well nationally; particularly considering our context; for example, high levels of deprivation and many children newly arrived from other countries with little or no English. There are very few schools that aren’t considered ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in Tower Hamlets according to Ofsted.

Although these times are difficult and there is a high level of uncertainty; this is where innovation lives. (The development of THEP is an excellent example of this.) We are grateful that the council has also managed to retain many services that support schools so well that have since long gone in other boroughs.

During the pandemic, I enjoyed working closely with our Directors; particularly Education and Partnerships which resulted in some ground-breaking ways of managing lockdown; for example the tracking and support for our vulnerable families. Much of this work continuing to develop as we look to embed it into our practice now and well-beyond the pandemic.

It can be exhilarating to work here but there are significant challenges; and ones we will continue to work on together. Our Corporate Director’s RESET strategy demonstrates these well.

I’ve been in Tower Hamlets for 12 years and I plan to be here a lot longer. There are very good reasons for that! I hope you further discover them as you make enquiries into the role of Divisional Director for Education and Partnerships.

All the best,

Belinda King, Headteacher

Kobi Nazrul Primary School 

The best of London in one borough

We are one of the fastest growing and most densely populated places in the UK

  • Our population has grown by almost 20 per cent since 2011 to 308,000 – it is expected to reach 365,200 by 2027 (19 per cent increase).
  • We have fantastic transport links – 26 London Underground and DLR stations serving seven lines including Crossrail – the second highest of any London borough.
  • More homes built here than almost anywhere else.
  • We are a young borough – the average age is just 31 and 46 per cent of our population are aged between 20 and 39.

We are home to international business districts which generate the third highest economic output in the UK

  • Canary Wharf has 120,000 people working in 37 office buildings, 300 shops, cafés and restaurants and more than 200 cultural events every year.
  • City Fringe includes Whitechapel, Aldgate and Spitalfields. It is being developed to support London’s financial sector, the growing digital creative businesses in Tech City and has plans for a world-class life science centre.

We host some of London’s best destinations

  • Historic attractions including the Tower of London, the V&A Museum of Childhood and the Museum of London, Docklands and Tower Bridge.
  • Over 120 parks including Victoria Park, voted London’s most loved park, and part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
  • World famous markets including Spitalfields, Columbia Road and Petticoat Lane. Brick Lane is a melting pot of food and culture, everything from renowned curry houses and Jewish beigel shops to the Old Truman Brewery with its own market.
  • Major music festivals and events such as All Points East, the Mela and the London Marathon.
  • World class culture with 22 art galleries including the Whitechapel Gallery, amazing street art and venues such as Wilton's Music Hall and Rich Mix.

We are a centre for world class learning and innovation

  • Queen Mary University of London is one of the top universities in the country and helping to create a life science centre in Whitechapel.
  • Barts NHS Trust hospitals train more than 4,000 people at any one time for medical careers.
  • Two million visits a year to the borough's eight Idea Stores and libraries.
  • The Government Digital Service is driving cutting-edge innovation from its headquarters in Whitechapel.

We are a world borough with a proud history of diversity and equality

  • Over 137 languages are spoken – 43 per cent of residents were born in over 200 different countries.
  • 86 per cent of residents say they get on well with one another.
  • Our residents fought fascism in the Battle of Cable Street and the roots of the Suffragette movement are in Roman Road.
  • The London Docks were the drop-off point for immigrants to the UK as well as being the centre of world trade.

Read more in Our Place Narrative

Our location

Tower Hamlets is one of the best connected boroughs in London and accessibility is improving all the time. The Jubilee Line has recently been upgraded to improve capacity and frequency. The Docklands Light Railway is undergoing a major transformation with the introduction of a 'three car upgrade', increasing capacity by 50 per cent. The antiquated East London Line has recently closed to allow a major upgrade and extensions to West Croydon in the south and Dalston in the north.

In the longer term, Crossrail will provide a step change in improved public transport capacity to the borough and act as a major catalyst for further regeneration. Two new Crossrail stations are proposed in the borough at Whitechapel and the Isle of Dogs.

The borough supports the project in principle but has consistently striven to reduce the environmental impacts of such a massive engineering project. The council has led on these negotiations during the parliamentary process and has to date secured more than twice as many formal undertakings and assurance from the promoters of the project than any other borough. The tunnelling methodology has changed radically, surface interventions reduced, noise mitigation and proposed construction hours reduced directly as a result of the borough's lobbying. All these measures are aimed at reducing environmental impacts of construction.

Easily connected

Tower Hamlets is located to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames in east London. It is well connected with its tube, bus and train links across the borough to the City and the West End. It is also served by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) - the only fully accessible railway in the UK - and City Airport is right around the corner. Click here to see our Civic Centre, Mulberry Place location.


  • Three London Underground services cross the district: the District and Metropolitan Lines share track between Aldgate East and Bromley-by-Bow. The Central Line has stations at Bethnal Green and Mile End, where there is an interchange to the District Line. And the Jubilee Line has one stop at Canary Wharf.

Rail and DLR

  • The principal rail services commence in the City at Fenchurch Street - with one stop at Limehouse - and at Liverpool Street, with stops at Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath.
  • The DLR was built to serve the docklands areas of the borough, with a principal terminus at Bank and Tower Gateway. An interchange at Poplar allows trains to proceed north to Stratford and south via Canary Wharf towards Lewisham.


  • Roads radiate across the borough from the City of London, with the A13 starting at Aldgate and heading east passing the entrance to the Blackwall tunnel towards Newham and south-east Essex. The A12 also starts at Aldgate, and crosses the Lea at Bow, towards Colchester and Great Yarmouth.