Student expelled from Hackney’s Petchey Academy bags ‘young builder’ award

Zafar Tandel, runner-up in 'young builder of the year' awards, on House of Commons terrace. Picture

Zafar Tandel, runner-up in 'young builder of the year' awards, on House of Commons terrace. Picture by Barnardo�s. - Credit: Barnardo�s

A teenager who found himself drifting towards street crime after being expelled from his Hackney college has won second place in the “young builder of the year” awards at a Houses of Parliament ceremony.

Zafar Tandel was at risk of getting mixed up in crime and anti-social behaviour when they expelled him and referred him to The Hub education skills centre – in Stepney Green – run by the Barnardo’s children’s charity.

The Barnardo’s team encouraged the 16-year-old to learn practical skills like carpentry and painting and decorating.

Zafar was among a handful of finalists invited to the awards ceremony, when he was named the sole runner-up in the 14-to-18 category for his “exceptional progress”.

Cathie Short, school liaison placement officer at New Regent’s College in Hackney, who referred Zafar to The Hub, said: “I’m so proud of Zafar. He always had massive potential that was sadly missed in mainstream education. This award proves that alternative provision can be so successful for our young people.”