Opening of controversial Canonbury private school moves closer

The building's long gallery

The building's long gallery - Credit: Archant

The opening of the first private secondary school in the borough inched closer after plans for its historic 16th century home were passed.

Developers behind the £3.5million independent school – North Bridge House Senior Canonbury – asked an Islington Council planning committee for permission to remove bars from the windows and change the layout of the Grade II listed building.

The school now looks certain to open in Canonbury Place in September as planned, despite residents concerns over increased traffic, noise and too many energetic teenagers.

North Bridge House Senior Canonbury has been mired in controversy since it was announced, with many people angry it will be able to open without applying to the town hall to become a school – its current legal use is as a conference centre.

In November the Gazette revealed the company behind the school, Cognita, is run by Chris Woodhead.

As chief inspector of schools, Mr Woodhead controversially ranked Islington Green as a failing school in 1997 despite his own inspectors giving it a clean bill of health.