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City of London Academy

(15 Posts)
longestlurkerever Fri 02-Dec-16 14:04:23

One of our local schools is going to turn into a City of London Academy. It won't be selective or fee paying. It's currently a Catholic girls' school so in theory it's good news that it's broadening its admissions criteria, but I am not sure what to think about academies. There is already one in Hackney, Islington and Southwark I think, as well as the independent City of London schools. Does anyone have experience of any of those schools? I'm just curious really as my children are a way off secondary school age, but secondary schools are a hot topic round here and I'd be interested to know if this is "one to watch".

Mediumred Sun 04-Dec-16 13:51:06

Hiya, I'm interested in this too. I know the school you mean and it's quite close to me. Dd is in y4 so I am starting to think about secondary schools and was interested to hear anything about it, there doesn't seem much info about it.

Having said all of that, there is already a decent co-ed near us in Highgate Wood and that's more of a known quantity - children of friends and older siblings of her classmates go there. Guess it will be hard to judge this new school based on so little info/data, yes, good to know how the chain have got on in other boroughs. I'm pretty against academies in principle but it certainly seems to be the way this government is going, they would like all secondaries to convert.

bigTillyMint Sun 04-Dec-16 20:43:10

I didn't realise they are a chain - I only know of the COLA in Southwark!

100greenbottles Mon 05-Dec-16 10:23:24

The Hackney one (and there's another one coming in Shoreditch) is incredibly strict and very successful in grades. I think the head of it is now the head of the whole chain so imagine that approach will continue. I'm not sure how much input the City has into it other than some money.

Vinorosso74 Tue 06-Dec-16 10:47:02

I'm another one who will be interested, am also not a big fan of academies but a lot of the state schools are single sex which I'm not sure about either.
DD still has a few years of primary so will be interested.

longestlurkerever Thu 08-Dec-16 17:44:22

Yes we are likely to be out of catchment for Highgate wood and the most obvious choice is Hornsey Girls but I share your reservations about single sex. I am rather hoping this school turns out to be top notch and we end up in the sweet spot between it being too much of an unknown quantity and it being totally oversubscribed but I am probably in dreamland!

mrsmayitstimetogo Thu 21-Sep-17 13:27:23

a few months on, the school is now open - anyone know anything about it yet?

Mediumred Thu 21-Sep-17 13:30:55

I am going to an open morning in a couple of weeks so will be able to report back then. Saw a young lad walking home one lunchtime looking very smart but perhaps uncomfortably visible in his bright red blazer!

mrsmayitstimetogo Thu 21-Sep-17 13:58:55

they're um, noticeable, aren't they! very weird choice - off-putting!

YouShoesYouLose Thu 21-Sep-17 14:05:08

Do they just have year 7 at the moment? We live nearby and I haven't seen many pupils compared to previously. Wondering where all the older girls have gone. (This is just me being nosy). DD would presumably go there if we stay living here, so interested in how it does.

Mediumred Thu 21-Sep-17 14:13:31

Umm, I think, but am not sure, that the older girls have stayed on and are just in their old uniforms while the new year 7s are in their bright red blazers! I guess a few older girls might have moved, the parents were given the choice to go to other catholic girls' schools with places.

Vinorosso74 Thu 21-Sep-17 19:50:30

They have year 7 boys and girls plus the older girls who stayed. The uniform is quite distinctive, I have seen some girls in bizarre checked skirts.
I know of a couple of kids who have gone and they're settling ok but early days yet.

mrsmayitstimetogo Fri 22-Sep-17 22:07:36

Vinorosso - indeed, impossibly early days! I don't know anything about the other COL academies - did a bit of googling but nothing much came up...

Paperclipmover Sat 23-Sep-17 09:34:02

I'm going to have a look round Cola HH too, simply because it's a co-ed school as an alternative to Acland Burghley.
I'm wary of academies anyway and particularly so of schools who are so strict on uniform, it just seems so unimportant to me. However the other local co-ed, holloway, has a uniform and it's a school I'd like to avoid.

Mediumred Thu 05-Oct-17 22:37:40

So I went today and it was pretty impressive. The building and grounds were far nicer and better equipped than I expected. I don't think there has been an enormous change in culture due to the academy coming in - same head, teachers etc - apart from the new uniform (which the older girls are wearing too) and a greater emphasis on discipline (and boys are there now, obv!!) But the discipline didn't seem tremendously over the top, detention was for the normal stuff - lateness, rudeness etc.

The girls seemed happy, good-natured and proud of the school, as did the teachers.

It's more mixed ethnically and less middle-class than some other north London schools but I wouldn't see that as a bad thing. They seem absolutely determined to do the best for all their kids and there's loads of extra-curricula stuff, Saturday schools etc.

We've got another year to decide so will have a look at the GCSE results come late August and see if the academy can improve these, I guess that's my major reservation at the mo.

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