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Highbury Grove School: City of London trust to reopen troubled secondary as an academy in September

PUBLISHED: 16:40 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:48 20 March 2017

Highbury Grove School

Highbury Grove School

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Troubled Highbury Grove School is a step closer to becoming an academy after the City of London Corporation formally announced plans to sponsor it.

The standard of music and drama at Highbury Grove School has been praised by  the City of London Corporation, pictured is this month's performance of Les Miserables. Credit: Bill Cooper The standard of music and drama at Highbury Grove School has been praised by the City of London Corporation, pictured is this month's performance of Les Miserables. Credit: Bill Cooper

As revealed by the Gazette in January, the City was already in talks to take the reins, but has now formally confirmed it will sponsor Highbury Grove – “subject to an agreement about the school’s future resources”.

Under the proposals the school will come under the umbrella of the City of London Academies Trust, which already runs Mount Carmel RC School in Archway and City of London Academy Islington in Prebend Street.

That school’s skipper Clare Verga is earmarked to extend her role to executive principal of both City Academy Islington and Highbury Grove from September, and will be assisted by “soon to be installed” heads of school at each academy.

The 1,200-pupil secondary school in Highbury New Park was left without a permanent head following Tom Sherrington’s shock departure in January, with Aimee Lyall taking over temporarily in his stead.

The school’s track record of producing stellar arts and music productions has been described as a big factor in the corporation’s decision to become the school’s official sponsor.

Under the plan, the council-run Highbury Grove would close on August 31 and reopen on the same site the next day.

Trust chief exec Mark Emmerson said: “I am delighted to be welcoming the school and its students into the City of London Corporation family.

“The corporation is committed to providing access to excellent education and learning opportunities for children and young people.

“The school already has an inspiring record for the arts and creative subjects and this is something we will continue to build on as well as raising academic achievement.

“We will work closely with Islington Council, parents and the leadership of the school throughout the period of transition to ensure high-quality future provision on the site from September.”

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